Asking Friends for Contest Votes

Posted By Debbie on August 24, 2012

My startup, CheckInOn.Me, is part of a contest related to a pitch event. Like any hungry startup, I’m using Facebook and Twitter to try to get my friends to vote for us. Would you please vote for us? 🙂

I’m asking ever so nicely, but I found I wasn’t getting a lot of votes. I only keep about 200 Facebook friends (people I care about who I believe care about me), so it’s not like these are strangers. They know my startup is important to me and others. Why wasn’t I getting more votes? Why don’t I have 200 votes, one from each friend?

Two reasons. One was that you had to log in with Facebook to leave a vote. And I think you end up on a mailing list that you can easily take yourself off of. But some people don’t like logging in with Facebook or feeling like they are sharing that with an unknown company.

But I found something interesting. Each time I posted to Facebook asking people to please vote, I got maybe one or two votes. So I tried something different. I came up with small goals, and posted those. First I posted asking for “just a few votes” because that would really help. And I got 3 votes. I posted a few days later that I’d love to get 5 votes since that would move us into 7th place. I got 5 votes.

I wonder if people saw the competition, figured OH they’ll never beat the guy in first place, my vote won’t matter. But in this case, it does. The conference is evidently going to take the TEN companies who get the most votes, and let them pitch live. So I don’t need to come in first. First would be great, but seventh still gets me into the event and pitching.

I think when I created small, concrete goals like “I would love to get 5 votes,” it made people feel like hey, their vote really did help me and matter. When I asked people to just “please vote,” I got very little response. It’s been an interesting lesson in human behaviour. Small, concrete goals that make people feel like they are really helping.