How to Choose a “Winning” Platform for Your Weibo Contests
August 27, 2014 |

Contests are a great way to increase followers and engagement on Sina Weibo (who doesn’t like free stuff?). You’ve got your catchy post, your prize, and thousands of entries- all you have to do is pick the winner. Simple enough, right? Nope. Here’s where it gets complicated.

Your first thought might be to choose a winner yourself. However, this often leaves many fans and participants disgruntled, particularly if the winner happens to be someone famous or that has ties to your company, because it comes across as unfair. Additionally, posting a contest yourself limits your pool to only your existing fans- not very helpful if you’re looking to grow your fan base.

Sina helpfully provides a 3rd party contest platform. Not only does this ensure that your winner is picked fairly, but also increases your reach because users can find the contest on a contest page on Sina. However, because there are so many zombie users on Sina, a problem we’ve often run into using this platform is that Sina picks zombie fans as winners. It’s pretty clear when a winner isn’t real- the profiles are barely active, often have numbers in their name, and no picture. This frustrates real entrants to the contests, who can tell that the winners are zombies, which doesn’t help your brand reputation. Picking a new winner also either results in another zombie fan (this has actually happened to us up to several re-picks), or entrants complaining that you’re just selecting people until you find someone you want rather than leaving it up to chance. What to do?

Fortunately, we’ve found another 3rd party contest platform, http://judge.sinaapp.com/. It’s also owned by Sina, though lesser known. It’s a similar version to their contest platform, but unlike the Sina contest platform, this platform ensures that the winner isn’t a zombie / robot fan that only takes part in contests, so you reward one of your true fans. It does this by allowing you to create a set of criteria, such as Location based marketing - you can select the winners from certain cities.So if the prize was an event in Beijing, then you can select winners only from this area. Additionally, you’re able to control more of the contest since this platform only chooses the winners, whereas on the first platform, you run the whole contest process through the platform.

We’ll show you how to create a contest with this platform using a real contest we created for gaming company, Bodog around the Ice bucket challenge to encourage further donations from Chinese fans with a chance to win limited Chinese editions of memorabilia from the charity site.

Fans just had to forward the contest post that included a video on ALS to increase exposure of the disease.

Step 1: Launch contest on your own page.

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Step 2:

Log into your account on http://judge.sinaapp.com/ and find your contest

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a)Either enter the link to the contest

b)Find it from recent posts

Step 3: Select this contest

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Step 4: Enter Contest details

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  1. Prize
  2. Contest mechanism
  3. Start / end date
  4. Filter winner’s city (great for Location based contests)

Step 5: Select level of contest platform (Free, Basic, Advanced, Premium)

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Row 1: Suggested size of contest

Row 2 and 3: Filter out Zombie fans and those that only participate in contests

Row 4: Maximum level of forwards supported

Row 5: Contest rules supported

  1. Free: Follow, Forward and @Friend
  2. Basic: Follow, Forward, @friend and filter city
  3. Advanced: Follow, Forward, @friend, filter city and keyword search (e.g. look for answer if you asked a question in the contest)
  4. Premium: Follow 2 accounts, Forward, @friend, filter city and keyword search (e.g. look for answer if you asked a question in the contest)

Row 6: Number of times to pick a winner

Row 7 and 8: the number of winners you can pick

Bottom: price for each

Step 6: Winners selected and confirmation on platform

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Option to announce winners on Weibo account

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Step 7: the winners announcement on weibo

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