Amazon recently launched Giveaways (or I recently discovered them) where you can easily run a giveaway/sweepstakes on Amazon. It is extremely easy to set one up, but they clearly didn’t think through the wonderful world of internet spam — don’t waste your time until they have some controls in place.
How Amazon Giveaways Work
It is extremely easy (although has limited functionality) – you choose a prize and the number of prizes and frequency you want to give out the prizes at (for example 3 prizes for every 1,000 people).
You can require people to follow you on Twitter to enter (YAY!) so presumably this would be a cool tool to grow your Twitter following.
Next you customize a few settings (name, etc.) and your giveaway is ready to go. The setup is SOOOOO easy. You don’t have a lot of flexibility but you can set it up in 5 minutes or less.
My contest was approved, so I promoted it through our Twitter account and on Facebook. I thought this would be a great way to connect with our customers and test a new digital marketing tool.
For the first two hours I got about 25 entries (I had planned to give away one prize for every 400 entries). All of a sudden, the contest generated HUNDREDS OF ENTRIES in under an hour. The prizes were gone and the contest is closed before my promoted post on Facebook was even approved!
Since I required that users had to follow us to enter (which seemed like a great way to get our Facebook followers to connect on Twitter) we ended up getting followed by HUNDREDS of fake spam accounts in under an hour.
This is a sampling of our new followers:
You can see the HUGE spike in followers when some bot online must have picked up our contest – we got almost a thousand spam followers in minutes.
Bottom Line: Before our customers and fans even became aware of the contest it was overwhelmed with entries from fake Twitter accounts & bots.
With the technology that Amazon has, you’d think they would be able to see that thousands of entries in under an hour isn’t organic for a business trying to promote a giveaway.
Now our Twitter account is FULL OF SPAM FOLLOWERS!!!!!!!
Overall Amazon Giveaways are a good idea but a TERRIBLE execution. I can’t believe that Amazon hasn’t put some controls in place to prevent this.
The way they currently work they are a waste of time and will overwhelm your account with spam followers and lower the quality of your Twitter account.