I love discovering new beauty blogs. For beauty blogs that I like, I read the “ABOUT” section, if there is one. You never know what kind of interesting story is there, especially if they have a large following. Sometimes, if a blogger has a large following, and their blog looks really professional, I will google their blog to see if they have done other stuff in the larger social media world. This is how I discovered the purpose of giveaways as I had never entered one before. I liked their site and I couldn’t find a darn thing about this blogger because this blogger had done so many massive giveaways and required people to promote their own giveaway that all you could find on the internets were mentions of their giveaway. That’s when I went back to their blog to read more information about this giveaway because I thought it was strange so many other blogs were promoting it. Well, it wasn’t strange – it was a requirement for an entry. Just one of the many required, convoluted steps to get a chance at winning the giveaway. I even stopped reading the instructions because it just kept dragging on with what you had to do. Having discovered the purpose of this giveaway and seeing the large number of followers this blog had made me think – “Wow! That’s Genius!” I also felt a little disheartened.
Now that I know that the purpose of a giveaway, depending on the requirements for winning, is to increase follows, it makes giveaways not as much fun. Where the hell have I been, you ask? I don’t know. Truthfully, I usually don’t discover blogs unless I need to look up product info, or a swatch of a product. I can’t say I have ever followed a blog from the beginning since I usually only discover them two to three years into their blogging life. I also usually bypass giveaway posts. Also, um – I have other interests. Reading beauty blogs is a small part. Since I was never part of the blogging community before I never thought about this kind of stuff. Why would it be interesting to me? Well, now it is. It is all really fascinating actually.
I read a lot of industry news regarding the impact social media is having with brand strategies and marketing. Clearly, companies are looking for positive exposure and a proven connection between their advertising/social media dollars, or product investment, and revenue stream. A blog with thousands of readers/followers is a great way to reach out to current and potential new customers. I wonder if companies have ever considered whether the community they are reaching out to may be nothing more than a great big circle of bloggers echoing. I mean, if everyone who is following someone is themself a blogger, how valuable is the readership?
Sure, bloggers are customers too. But the average customer is not a beauty blogger who is obsessed with beauty products. Considering the number of friends I have tried to convert to be beauty junkies to no avail. They just want a simple face wash, sunscreen (for the initiated), wrinkle cream, or eye cream that they can continue to buy over and over again without thinking about it. They don’t want ten steps, or products, they maybe want three, tops. Unlike the average beauty blogger who usually has NO LOYALTY to a product (unless they can’t find something exceptionally better), in many cases, average customers are brand customers for life.
This is the prize a company is looking for. Of course, beauty bloggers as customers shouldn’t be scoffed at either. I mean, one beauty blogger probably provides the equivalent revenue stream of 10 average beauty customers…or more. Seriously. Do you know how many masks, facial cleansers, serums, blushes, foundations, I have? I have enough for half a dozen people for crying out loud. But this is the key – am I a “life” customer? For the majority of products I buy, no. The revenue stream I will provide will actually be diffused to various new companies. Only a small handful will be “life” brands for me, and some may be dependent on my current life stage. Will I still buy anti-acne creams/lotions/serums once I no longer get acne? (Please JEEBUS tell me there is a life stage where I won’t get it!).
So, back to giveaways – I still think they are a cool idea. I like the idea of giving something away to brighten someone’s day. Free stuff is awesome! Especially when it comes as a surprise. When I started this blog, I wasn’t sure how long I would be interested in doing this. Frankly, it’s too short a time period for me to say I can see myself doing this long term. It hasn’t even been THREE MONTHS since I started blogging. Whose to say that after six months I won’t stop? For the time being, I enjoy blogging; it is providing a useful new skillset; and it is getting me to think in ways I did not before I started blogging. It has been a positive experience for me. Although, it is a HUGE time suck and my posts aren’t even elaborate compared to other bloggers I follow.
So, if I ever did do a giveaway, it would have to honor a special moment for this blog and I have decided it should be to reward current readers, not future ones. You know, people who followed me because they were interested in the products I reviewed/swatched, or what not. Why not even make it a SECRET giveaway – as in – surprise! You won! However, what if a person has always been a reader, and does follow the blog regularly, but has never “officially” followed it? Well, I suppose the giveaway acts as an incentive to the reader to finally become an “official” reader. I will be honest. I follow tons of blogs without ever making it “official.” What I don’t want is having a large “follower” group who could care less about my posts and just signed up for a giveaway. I want to continue doing this blog for the right reasons, regardless of how long the life of this blog is (I have a short attention span). 🙂 I would hate to feel “compelled” to post because I had a large following even though they weren’t reading a thing. OHNOOOOS – ‘what will my readers think! What will they do?!’ Ummmmm, I think they will be just fine and move along to another blog, just like I would. 🙂