Let me start by saying that my intention with this post is to shed some light on what the word on the street is about blogger giveaways. It is NOT to call anyone out per se or attack anyone for having an opinion and making their own decisions to grow their blog.
Did you catch that? My second line was complete BS. This is what some bloggers will feed you with before they write a very spicy post and it’s such nonsense. I’m going to be real here so yes, I will be shedding light on what giveaways and the controversy behind it BUT I’m also going to share my two cents on it because I’m truly sick of hearing all the little girls gossip about it.
WHAT ARE GIVEAWAYS
If we want to be legally correct, “giveaways” are actually called sweepstakes. You know, prize giveaways where your readers enter and are chosen by the luck of the draw. A lot of bloggers that I know and follow (if not all) participate in some kind of giveaways in their career. Here are a few of the types:
a) A personal one, where it’s between the you and the blogger only (i.e. my Friends-themed giveaways one for example).
b) A fun, business related one between you, the blogger and a brand! Sometimes this can be in collaboration with the brand (i.e. the one I recently did with Urban Decay and Essie).
c) A medium sized one that’s marketed towards your target audience (i.e. Nordstrom gift card with a small number of similar styled bloggers or friends)
d) And of course, the infamous loop giveaways. Loop giveaways are the MASSIVE ones that you’ll usually see an iPhone or make up in the giveaway photo. This is the one I’m going to expand one as this one seems to be the most controversial.
- Loop giveaways are much bigger because the influencer is paying for the gift, yes, but we are mostly paying for bigger sponsors (YouTubers and all) to post on their feed. Those sponsors (they usually have 500k+ followers or more) get paid (by us smaller accounts) to post the giveaway photo on their feed and the steps will say something along the line of 1) Follow X, 2) leave a comment, 3) like the last three photos on my feed. When you go to follow X, that person will have another account you need to follow. This goes on until the entire “loop” is complete and it typically consists about 20-40 accounts.
Although I’m going to talk about loop giveaways, I wanted to be sure I listed out a few of the other common giveaways that influencers take part in. I did this to show you guys that at the end of the day, it’s all the same thing. Some bloggers will feed you a line saying “Oh, I just want to give back, love you guys etc” and sometimes that’s true but the real end game for us is to gain exposure, gain engagement, and gain followers. Yes, that’s the cold hard truth.
So, why am I writing this post? I definitely wanted to give you insight on what giveaways are, the different kinds of giveaways and why bloggers do them. But man oh man am I annoyed of the amount of cattiness I’ve seen in the industry over the last year. I’ve stayed pretty neutral and quiet around the subject matter, but it bothers me to see how low girls can get (not physically) as a person when it comes to this subject. I’ve seen girls UNFOLLOW bloggers that participate in loop giveaways, talk bad about them behind their back and to brands, call each other names, and “fight” on Facebook over it. Ugh, the back and forth just sucks to see because we’re kind of supposed to be on the same team here, right? We’re all trying to grow our platform one way or the other and what works for one person may not work for someone else. If you’re reading this, I don’t know where you stand on giveaways however if you’re wondering why some girls are butt hurt about them is because they think loop giveaways is buying followers. LOL! Let me tell you, BY NO MEANS IS PARTICIPATING IN LOOP GIVEAWAYS BUYING FOLLOWERS. If it is, then you buying a Starbucks gift card to share to your follower or a Nordstrom gift card to one lucky reader is buying followers. It’s THE SAME THING. The only difference is one yields a higher amount of reach. And seriously, I know girls that actually buy their followers and likes. Like, legit bots. THAT IS BUYING FOLLOWERS, GIRLS.
THE PROS/CONS OF LOOP GIVEAWAYS
- If you’re stuck in a rut, loop giveaways are AMAZING. It gives you that boost in followers, boost in engagement and a honestly boost in confidence too. There’s a lot of highs and lows in blogging and it’s hard not to look at your stats and feel a little down. You’re your own biggest critic and naturally you’re going to be hard on yourself– even when you’re probably doing just fine.
- Some followers actually stick around and engage.
- You gain exposure. Every single person that enters the giveaway sees your account and knows your name. That exposure is gold. When I used to do loop giveaways on the regular, I gained a lot of loyal followers that I still chat with every so often. They genuinely like my content creation that’s the best compliment an influencer can get.
- It’s getting way too expensive– to the point where it’s kind of an investment in your business now.
- If you’re a US-based influencer, you’re going to want your target audience to be in the US. They’re the ones that can buy what you post and that’s what most brands want to see. With loop giveaways, I’ve noticed the people that participate are outside of the US (usually Mexico and Venezuela). I’m cool with that for the most part (some people may not be) but if we’re talking long-term goals and overall end game, you’re going to want your readers to be in the US if you live in US. As a general rule of thumb, your largest audience should really be in the city you live and expand from there!
- Some followers unfollow after the loop giveaway ends (typically around 30%) and your engagement will go down because they are not ‘required’ to like your last three photos.
WHAT SOME INFLUENCERS MAY ARGUE AND MY COMEBACK
THE JUDGMENTAL BLOGGER: “You’re not growing your platform organically or authentically”.
ME: Are buying Facebook Ads and Instagram Ads growing your platform organically and authentically? No, it’s not. You’re paying for EXPOSURE and whoever wants to stick around for your content, will. I never understood why some influencers thought this but my guess is they may not be business-minded and overall intelligent about their own career moves tbh.
THE JUDGMENTAL BLOGGER: “You’re buying fake followers”.
ME: You have to be careful about which giveaway you are joining and who’s hosting it. Since I’ve participated in quite a few in the past, I’m pretty knowledgable on who hosts the crappy ones that have fake bots somehow in the loop (no idea how) and who hosts the real deal quality ones. I understand if this is why some people say you are buying fake followers/bots but just to be clear, that’s not the case. The influencer probably didn’t know any better and joined any giveaway without doing much research and that’s okay– it’s just a mistake. However, I know a few good hosts that do their homework on each sponsor they put in their giveaway. Additionally, I do my own homework and always ask the host who are the sponsors are and who’s participating in the giveaway. I then go onto their feed and look at their followers and who’s liking their photo. Yes, it’s a lot of work but if you’re going to spend the $$$ and invest, you better be sure you’re getting what you paid for.
THE JUDGMENTAL BLOGGER: “You’re hurting Instagram’s algorithm”.
ME: How? Have you talked to someone at Instagram and they told you this? Or are you making things up? That’s what I thought.
MY FINAL THOUGHTS AND WHAT I SUGGEST
Personally, I think doing a mix of all of four mentioned giveaways can be healthy for your account and overall future growth as an influencer. I used to do loop giveaways biweekly and it got to be a little much price wise. Loop giveaways once used to cost anywhere from $100-300 and now they’re around $400-1400! It’s way too pricey if you ask me and that’s part of the reason why I cut down on how many I participate in. I still hope to do them monthly or every 3 months though because I truly have gained quality readers from it. I’ll see how the year goes!
As for the judgmental and catty bloggers, it would be great if you stop! As influencers, girls look up to us and if they knew how you were behind the scenes, I’m pretty sure you’d be losing those readers. Influencers should stand by each other but if we can’t do that, the very least we can do is be respectful both on and behind the scenes. We are all in the same industry to grow and everyone grows differently. There isn’t a secret recipe to success at all– everyone is out doing their own thing and are finding new, unique ways to succeed. Wouldn’t it be a great if we all just supported each other, liked each other’s content and praised each other for our drive and motivation? Yea, it would. But we’re human and sometimes humans can suck. All I ask is you simply show respect and not go so far in talking bad about an individual for finding their own way to succeed in their own business. Focus on YOU and the things that help you grow and all will be okay.
I hope this post was helpful and shed some light for you guys on what giveaways are, the different kinds and some pros/cons. I really felt it was necessary to talk about this simply because because of how weirdly controversial it is. In summary, I personally don’t understand what all the hooting and hollering is about and I think everyone should focus on their own growth rather trying to hurt someone else’s. Thanks for tuning in and if you liked the post, please let me know in the comments down below or message me! Engagement is everything for bloggers and I’d love it if we can connect more! Chat soon, loves!
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