The first thing you need to do in order to begin incorporating social media giveaways into your marketing strategy is to audit your company’s existing social presence.
It doesn’t always make sense for a company to be on each and every platform that exists. Do a quick assessment of all existing accounts to decide if they are relevant to your business. Make sure there aren’t duplicate profiles. Next, decide if you want to create pages on any sites you’re not currently on.
Once you have decided which social media pages your business is going to focus on, review the content posted to each, including any profile photos, About descriptions, etc. to ensure your profile is prepared for increased traffic.
Finally, you’re ready to choose which platform you want to run the contest on. I’ve found that Facebook and Instagram are great options for giveaways, but you’re free to branch out and try something new.
1. Choose Your Purpose
The second decision you and your marketing team need to make is the purpose of the contest. What do you, as a company, want to get out of it?
Do you want to increase traffic to your website? Attract more social media followers? Acquire free-to-use content? Do you want to use the giveaway to gain marketing qualified leads (MQLs)? Are you just trying to get more shares as a form of free advertising? Answering these questions will help you decide what kind of contest you want to hold.
No matter what you choose, your contest should have a hashtag so that it’s easy to search when it comes time for you to pick a winner. Do your research and choose something that has never been used before.
If you’re asking consumers to post photos as part of their entry, make sure you set out clear parameters and state that your business has the right to use any photos as you see fit. This will give you tons of free content.
Another good idea is to tie your contest into something specific happening with your business. Are you running a free shipping special for 90 days? Did you just launch a new product? Use the giveaway as one means of advertising that to increase your overall sales.
2. Choose Your Prize
Next, it’s time to settle on what you’re going to give away. If you’re in the promotional market, the simplest solution might just be the right one. If you own a local embroidery shop, then give away a personalized item you have in stock. It costs you very little money and doesn’t disrupt your day-to-day operation.
One of the most popular choices involves the products or services your company provides. For instance, a bakery might hold a contest for engaged couples giving away a wedding cake, or a dentist’s office might give away a whitening treatment, or even a full smile makeover to someone in need.
Another popular giveaway is an experience. Hotels and Casinos give out vacation packages all the time. But this can also include things like theater tickets, massages, celebrity meet-and-greet packages, and more.
Think about your industry, and try to come up with some compelling experience ideas your followers would be interested in. You can even hold a Twitter poll and let your audience choose what they want you to give away.
3. Follow Best Practices
Now, let’s look at some best practices for social media giveaways. Does your business produce a newsletter or anything for your email list? Include information about the contest before it begins and during the duration to encourage participation. You can also run paid ads on whichever social channel you choose to run the contest.
Think about the timing of your giveaway. Can you accurately tie it into something happening in pop culture? Think out of the box, you can work off of things like March Madness, holidays, a highly anticipated movie or Netflix show. You should also consider partnering with social media influencers or other non-competitive businesses.
Finally, after you have decided on a purpose and prize, and your contest has run its course it’s time to select a winner. In the days before or announcing your giveaway recipient, share a series of honorable mention entries; be sure to tag each person’s social handle and include the hashtag. Between doing this, and advertising the winner, it will build trust among your followers. Some people think social giveaways are fake, so be sure to be as transparent and authentic as possible.