Contests on Social Media

Ever since I got engaged, the stresses of financially having the wedding I’ve always wanted have been looming over my head.  After I went to a bridal show at the beginning of January and realized I can enter contests and win FREE STUFF, I have been going contest crazy (as some of you may already know).  I have actually won something so far from the bridal show I went to (still not winning anything I’ve entered online YET).  I won a free catered dinner at my house for 4 couples and a free pan (worth $300).  The dinner was awesome.  We had so much fun with our friends and the guy cooked a fabulous meal including steak, chicken, potatoes, carrots, broccoli and a few other things.  Although I would never pay $300 for ONE pan, it is definitely an awesome pan we got for free!!

So the craziness began.  I enter so many contests and it takes up a lot of my time.  I enter the HGTV dream home sweepstakes 6 times daily and try to enter as many wedding contests as I can.  Currently I am trying to win a contest for a free honeymoon by trying to get my Facebook friends to vote for my proposal story!! (I will know next week if we win….voting is happening now through the 13! SO VOTE!! haha)
VOTE HERE
Anyways, the reason I can enter so many contests is because of social media.  I have searched on Facebook and Twitter (as well as Google) to find contests.  Most contests I have found are on Facebook, or at least talked about on their Facebook page and linked to their website.  Social media contests spread like wildfire through the online networks and bring people to businesses they may have never come across before.

I found some information on a specific contest for Crate and Barrel where couples entered their proposal story, the public voted, and one couple won a $100,000 wedding.  The contest resulted in a 19% increase in Twitter followers and a 17% increase in Facebook likes during the contest period. Case Study

Creating contests for customers is a great way to bring people into your business in the hopes that they will keep an interest after the contest ends.

Someone has to win, right?? You can’t win if you don’t enter!!

Blame TV Network for Suicide?

Although this situation occurred last fall, it was brought to my attention yesterday by a friend.  The Bravo show, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills had a tricky situation this season.  On August 15, 2011 Russell Armstrong, one of the housewives’ husbands, committed suicide only weeks before the new season was to air.  This provided a problem for the network in order to respect him and his family.

The couple’s failing marriage was supposed to be the center of the new season’s plot, however, the network decided not to show Armstrong in the first four episodes.  Before his death he talked about how the show had changed himself and his wife and said “this show has literally pushed us to the limit”.

Here is a link to the story:

http://abcnews.go.com/Entertainment/russell-armstrong-suicide-latest-real-housewives-curse/story?id=14318388#.TygLV8VAZWw

Armstrong was reportedly in $1.5 million dollars in debt attempting to keep a lavish lifestyle for the show according to his lawyer.  There have been many people in the blogger world questioning whether Bravo and the show were to blame for making his life very stressful.  Some people even suggesting networks should psychologically screen people to see if they are mentally prepared to be on a reality show.

This is a link to a blog talking about how blaming the network is just crap.

http://www.divinecaroline.com/122442/117622–real-housewives-suicide-bravo-blame/2

While I definitely see how being on the show escalated his emotions, for someone to say the show is to blame is just too much.  There have to be underlying factors that made Armstrong commit suicide.   There was talk from his family about possibly trying to sue the network.  I do not know all the details of the contracts these people have, but I know that if my family was on a reality show and it became too much, I would do everything I could to get myself and family off the show.

However, it is very interesting to see the effects the media can have on celebrities by putting extra stress on them by showing the world their problems and magnifying them times ten.  I don’t think it is really possible for a potential celebrity to completely understand what their life will be like in the spotlight until it actually happens.  But I also think that if you put yourself in the spotlight, although it may not be entirely possible to take yourself out because of the paparazzi, but you can definitely take small steps.  In this case, Armstrong should have attempted to get off the show.

This has not been the first time TV has been blamed for harming people physically and mentally.  Our American culture places large importance on having reality shows where people thrive on other’s issues and drama.  So, is the American population to blame since we are the ones who watch the shows and create the demand for them?