Social giveaways are a killer way to get new customers, and they’re surprisingly easy to do if you follow these 5 steps!
Contest marketing is a proven way to boost awareness and leads for your online business.
Platforms like Instagram and TikTok give us unprecedented opportunities to reach any market. Plus, who doesn’t love a chance to win a freebie from one of their favorite brands?
Pair an effective social media giveaway campaign with a ninja email marketing funnel, and you have the perfect formula for consistent new customer leads.
With a little preparation and the right tools, knowing how to do a giveaway on social media isn’t rocket science.
Following are 5 simple steps to help you run your social media contest like a pro. Let’s dive right in!
1. Set a Clear Objective
We all want to squeeze as much ROI from our marketing efforts as possible. So it’s easy to fall into the trap of wanting to increase every imaginable metric when running a social media giveaway.
But increasing just one metric (e.g., signups) is more achievable. So you’ll want to take a step back and define a single objective for your contest to give it focus and make it measurable.
Let’s look at three good objective examples to get you started.
Grow Your Social Media Following
You don’t have to be an expert to start building a loyal social media audience, thanks to social media contests. A well-planned giveaway will speed up the process and give you a competitive edge.
Here’s how to set this goal:
- Choose the platform you want to grow
- Make sure you have at least 20 posts on your account before running your giveaway
- Note how many followers you currently have
- Set a goal for the number of followers you’d like to add
Improve Social Media Engagement
Social media algorithms are tuned so that posts with better engagement are shown to more people. It’s a bit of a circular thing: More clicks equal more engagement equals more clicks. So increasing engagement is an excellent goal.
To set this goal, you need to…
- Take a look at your profile’s current engagement rate
- Decide what you want your engagement rate to be
Gather Social Proof
Satisfied customers evangelizing your business on social media. It’s a beautiful thing. And it’s one of the most powerful ways to improve your conversions.
You can use contest marketing to encourage customers to post on their social media accounts about their experience with your brand. This type of marketing is known as user-generated content (UGC).
Once you’ve collected it, you can embed your UGC on your web pages, share it on social media, or share it anywhere that makes sense.
2. Choose a Social Media Platform
It can be tempting to run your social media contest on the platform you’re most familiar with. However, you should detach from your experience and use the platform where your target audience spends most of their time.
For example, if you’re trying to reach young moms, Pinterest might be the best option. If you want to market to the younger Generation Z, then TikTok is the way to go. Want to get in front of Baby Boomers? Facebook is the preferred platforms for boomers.
Take some time to analyze the user base and context of each platform before deciding on one.
If you’re unsure, you might want to run a separate, smaller giveaway on each major platform to see which one resonates most with your ideal customer.
Last, be sure you review the promotional guidelines for the social media platform you want to use. The rules can be pretty strict, and the last thing you want is to have your posts taken down in the middle of your contest. Talk about bad PR!
3. Pick a Good Prize
Here’s the truth. The audience you wish to reach won’t enter your social media contest if your prize is lame.
For the best results, select a prize that’s tempting and relevant to your business. The higher the perceived value of your prize, the better.
For instance, if you run a membership site, you could give away free access to your membership for a year. That way, you’re capturing the interest of prospective customers with an enticing offering that’s aligned with your core product.
4. Write a Simple Plan
At this point, you’ve made the higher-level decisions regarding your social media giveaway. Now it’s time to flesh out the rest of your plan. Your social media giveaway plan should include the following.
Set dates for when you’ll start and end your giveaway campaign. Be sure to mention your entry cut-off dates in the caption of your posts, newsletters, podcasts, blogs, videos, or wherever you’re promoting the contest.
This will help to create some buzz and urgency for your giveaway.
Write down who can enter your competition. For example, are you targeting an audience above a certain age?
Make a note of your requirements and how you’ll concisely communicate that to your participants.
Also, be sure you’re not breaking any rules or engaging in discriminatory practices. Check out these contest and sweepstakes laws by state before you get going.
Mode of entry
What actions do users need to take to enter your competition? The answer to this question comes back to your goals.
Also, you’ll want to lay out details like whether a participant can enter multiple times and whether you’ll cap the number of entries.
For guidelines and mode of entry, there are tons of free contest terms and conditions templates available online.
To make things easy, cut and paste from one of these docs, then customize to your contest. Here’s a handy template from The Gin Guide (we know, it’s random, but they have a great template!).
How will you decide on a winner? When will you announce the winner? Will there be multiple winners? If so, how many?
Factor these answers into your marketing materials to get participants excited about winning your prize.
During your social media giveaway, decide when and how many times you plan on posting updates and reminders for your audience.
We suggest you at least draft all your posts and schedule each message in a calendar before starting your campaign.
By writing your copy in advance, you reduce the chance of missing posts during the giveaway. It also frees up your time to engage with your participants and run your business.
If you don’t have an existing audience, consider using targeted ads on your chosen social media platform to build some initial momentum.
They’re not free, but you can do quite a bit with social ads, even with a small budget. And rest assured it’s money well spent.
5. Use The Right Tools
If you stick to a solid plan, there’s a good chance you’ll be flooded with entries and requests during your campaign.
Trying to keep track of everything will quickly get overwhelming. It’s important that you leverage the best tools to save time and get the best results.
As for the giveaway itself, you could host your contest using a tool like SweepWidget.
SweepWidget allows you to gain followers and engagement across 30+ social media platforms including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest, and TikTok.
You can also use it to collect emails and grow your newsletter lists. In addition to a basic giveaway, you can run leaderboard competitions, instant prizes/coupons campaigns, and viral/refer-a-friend giveaways.
As your giveaway is running, SweepWidget lets you view and manage all your contestant entries in a centralized hub.
You can see user geographic information, email addresses, the social media accounts they followed you with, and other valuable user data points.
Once the contest is over, SweepWidget lets you randomize or manually select your winners, too.
How to Do a Giveaway on Social Media – FAQs
Q: How effective are social media giveaways?
A: Contest marketing creates excitement and a community of evangelists around your brand. When done right, social media giveaways are viewed as acts of generosity. They’re also a great way to get to know your customers.
Q: How do I run a social media contest?
A: The optimal approach to running a social media contest is to offer a prize in the form of a free trial or discount on your core product or service.
Q: How do I pick a winner for my social media giveaway?
A: The most common methods for choosing a contest winner are selecting at random or ranking your participants using a scoring system. While you can track and choose winners manually, using giveaway tools (like SweepWidget) that automate the process will save you significant time.
Q: How long should my social media contest last?
A: You don’t want to leave your campaign open for so long that it grows stale, and people start to forget. Research shows that the sweet spot for contest duration is 2-4 weeks. However, you can certainly run your competition for a longer period. Just ensure you have an excellent touchpoint plan to keep your messaging fresh and exciting throughout.
Are You Ready To Grow Your Business With a Social Media Giveaway?
To recap, the success of your social media competition hinges on these five steps:
- Set a clear goal
- Choose a social media platform where your target audience hangs out
- Pick an enticing and relevant prize
- Write a simple giveaway plan
- Use the right tools to automate the process
Follow this framework, and you’ll be on your way to growing your business through contest marketing. Have fun with it!
Do you have any questions on how to do a giveaway on social media? Let us know in the comments.