A lot has been said and written about click farms and even individuals who basically make it their job to look for online opportunities to join contests and create fake social buzz.

Contest Hacker

At BuboBox, be believe strongly in authenticity, to amplify your word-of-mouth marketing, and to be able to identify your real and genuine brand ambassadors.

Obviously, there’s a mismatch and I’ll shortly explain what you can do as a brand owner to limit the cheating as much as possible.

Most of the online tools to easily set up contest or challenges with your fans already have some built-in mechanics into place (f.e. a visitor can only vote once a day on a content entry based on IP (link Wikipedia), a visitor must be in a specific region to be able to vote, again based on IP, unique email adresses, and much more).

The weak point is that these are technology-based so there’s always a caveat for internet-savvy price-hunters as we define them. These are the people that don’t care about the brand, only about the prices, and are active in Facebook groups where they actively trade links/shares/votes with other peers. These are the same people that are even paying click farms a small amount of money or work through websites like fiverr.com to get a maximum of votes for their entries.

Be able to reward your genuine fans

That’s of course not wat online contests should be about. Creating social buzz is great, and has proven to be extremely powerful these days, but brands want to reward their genuine fans.

We do believe some technology should be in place to capture most of the fake stuff that’s going on. The problem is much bigger than you would imagine (we’re speaking from our own experience here).

Some brand managers don’t really mind to be frank: they’ll be massively exceeding their KPI’s and their should be winners anyway, right?

Wrong, not in our ethic BuboBox playbook. Brands are spending lots of marketing dollars on promoting these kind of activities, so the least you can offer them is to have a clear overview of the real fans, their brand ambassadors if you like, and that’s not possible when these price-hunters are ruining the contests.

Some of them even make it their day-time job to source the internet for all possible contests they can join, and try to cheat the system and win one of the many great prices brands are offering.

Hunt down price-hunters with these tips

Some quick-wins you can think about to disincentivize these price-hunters:

  1. Clear terms and conditions: make it clear that you can and will hunt down “fans” who are abusing the rules that you clearly define (legal can advise you on this or contact us for best-practices
  2. Mention in your copy exactly how the winners will be defined (and match this with your terms and conditions obviously)
  3. Include a tiebreaker as your final question or form element: luck comes into play now, something price-hunters do not like, they like to control the contests they participate in before investing too much time or money
  4. Save the best for last: let your top-10 be decided by the social buzz your fans generate (in the BuboBox platform we have about 20 parameters you can assign a certain weight to to create their social buzz generation score ; but (and now comes the good stuff) let a jury decide the winner(s) from this list).Again, more loss of control for the price-hunters. They’re not going to spend lots of money for only a small chance to go home with the grand price. You’ll receive less buzz, true, but real buzz (and that’s what it’s all about at the end of the day)

Don’t make the classic mistake of setting up a tagline like “fans with the most likes/votes will win” ; but take the aforementioned tips and tricks into account.

This way you can start building your real ambassador army from day one and don’t dilute your database with fake data and people who just don’t care about your brand.