This week’s biggest news (besides the unfortunate passing of David Bowie) is the PowerBall lottery. With it’s biggest estimated jackpot ever at $1.3 billion dollars, everyone is excited about the insane amount of wealth it may bring.

Unfortunately, I’ve seen some people (business owners and social media idiots) doing some things that may end up hurting them in the long run.

Check this out:


You’ve probably seen some of these floating around Facebook, and you’ll probably see more until the jackpot is won. It sounds exciting – share and win! But I see a really bad downside to doing this for your business.

Like Timestamps

First of all, the entire idea of asking people to share, like and post in order to win creates a problem – there are no timestamps on likes, so how will you pay it out if you win?  The post won’t go away (and you certainly wouldn’t be able to delete it after your newfound noteriety) – so what’s to stop 1.3 billion people liking, sharing and commenting on your post? Now you owe each of them $1.  Considering that you’ll only get what, two-thirds of the actual jackpot, you’ll be bankrupt!


Secondly, you aren’t really building your list of potential customers that are interested in your product – you’re building a list of people interested in winning the lottery.  Is this your target market?

If you get thousands of likes from this ruse, do you intend to then pay the crazy fees to market to them?  I doubt it – they’re not interested anyway!

Is it an ego thing? You just want to see the more likes you can get, no matter how uninterested they actually are in your business?

Bad idea.

Legal Issues

Take the example above.  Just for starters, there’s no mention of a date when the likes/shares have to be in by, so technically you’d be paying out forever.  I’m sure there are hundreds of other legal issues that can arise from this silly idea, too.

Or maybe you’ll just keep the money and say the post was a joke.  How do you think that’ll go over?

Or maybe you’ll delete it and play dumb.  Afterall, the Internet doesn’t remember things, right?

What if your social media guru told you this was a great idea and you win – then what? You’re screwed.

Are you ready to go bankrupt?

Think Before You Post

This is a really bad idea waiting to happen.  And if you have a social media ‘guru’ that’s giving you ideas like this, fire them now. No telling how wreckless they’re being with your brand.

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