I noticed a comment on the Boost Your Business finalist results announcement that was calling into question the validity of the contest because of the "thumbs down" voting. I decided to put my response out here for everyone to see in case anyone else had the same feelings.
I can assure you that the contest was run fairly. No one has "suffered" or been put in an unfair position because of the thumbs down votes. While I can't tell exactly how many thumbs down each business got, I can tell that the most thumbs down votes any business got was 15. If you take a look at the businesses that were closest in number to the 5 finalists, you'll see that the margin is much greater than 15. So even if I added the maximum 15 votes back in to the non-finalists, it still wouldn't push anyone in to the top 5. That's not even taking into consideration that the top 5 were given thumbs down votes too. It happened to everyone.
I also want to take a moment to explain why I used this app in the first place. Facebook's promotion guidelines require that any contest run must use a third party app if on their pages. That means you CAN NOT hold a contest in your photo album, as it was suggested I do. I see pages get taken down left and right for not following the rules. So, while some people may still be doing it, it wasn't a risk I was willing to take.
As far as my selection of Wildfire to run this contest, unfortunately I was limited in my choices. There are only a handful of apps that will run a contest of this type. The others cost hundreds of dollars for a page of my size. Wildfire was the most affordable option and the only one I could choose if I wanted to do this contest. I didn't know about the thumbs down option until the voting began. At that point, there wasn't anything I could do. I wish it were something that was made clear before the competition started so I could have perhaps thought of a way to combat it, but it wasn't. Even so, I'm confident, as I said earlier, that it did NOT affect the results.
I have absolutely no doubt that the top 5 were indeed the true top 5 vote getters. If I was concerned in the very least, I would have done it again. I put a lot of work into this competition, not to mention paying to run it on the third party app and donating nearly $200 worth of prizes myself. All of this to not gain a thing for myself. It was done for you guys. To have my character called into question is very upsetting to me, and I must say, I am offended. If you do not agree with how I run my business or promotions, then please move on and find other resources to help you build your business. I'm sorry if this sounds harsh, but it's very disheartening when your character is questioned, particularly when all you're trying to do is help and you put a lot of time and money into doing so.
If you have any questions about the contest, please feel free to email me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org. I'm happy to disclose any part of the competition or answer questions if you are still in question about the fairness of the results.