Quick summary:

  • Choose a goal for your giveaway.
  • Decide on a prize that's relevant to your audience.
  • Determine the entry rules and requirements.
  • Select the social media platform(s) you want to use.
  • Create visually appealing graphics and promotional materials.
  • Promote your giveaway on social media and other channels.
  • Track your results and measure your success.

If you spend a lot of time on social media, I'm sure you’ve noticed a trend that's hard to ignore: Social media giveaways. 

It seems like every other post is advertising a chance to win some sort of prize, whether it's a luxury vacation, a tech gadget, or a year's supply of snacks. 

Disclosure: This content may contain a few affiliate links, which means if you click on them, I will get a commission (without any extra cost to you).

And I have to admit, I'm guilty of participating in quite a few myself.

But why are these giveaways so popular? 

As it turns out, they're not just a fun way to potentially win free stuff – they're also a highly effective marketing tactic for brands. 

In this article, I'll explore why social media giveaways are a great way to boost your online presence and engage your customers.

What are Social Media Giveaways and Contests?

Social media giveaways and contests are promotional campaigns that brands run on social media platforms to increase their visibility, engagement, and followers. They typically involve giving away free products, services, or experiences to participants who meet certain criteria.

Giveaways typically involve asking social media users to follow the brand's account, like, comment, or share a post, or tag their friends to get a chance to win a prize. 

On the other hand, contests may require more effort from participants. It could include actions such as creating and sharing user-generated content, answering questions, or completing challenges.

Social media giveaways and contests are often a win-win situation for both brands and participants. Brands can increase their reach and engagement, while participants can win something for free. 

The best part is that social media giveaways and contests are versatile tools of marketing. You can tailor them to suit your Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook, or YouTube marketing strategies.

Why Should Your Brand Create a Giveaway or Contest on Social Media?

If you are ready to take your brand to the next level on social media, creating a giveaway or contest could be just what you need to do.

Here are some reasons why you should consider running a social media giveaway or contest:

  • Boost engagement: By offering a desirable prize, you can encourage users to like, comment, and share your posts. This can increase your engagement and reach on social media. 
  • Increase brand awareness: A well-promoted giveaway or contest can attract new followers and potential customers who might not have found your brand otherwise. By spreading the word about your brand, you can increase your reach and grow your audience.
  • Generate user-generated content: You can encourage users to create and share content related to your brand or products. If you want to build a strong sense of community and trust around your brand, this is a great strategy.
  • Gather valuable data: Giveaways and contests can be a great way to gather valuable customer data, such as email addresses or feedback on products. By gathering this data, you can optimize your marketing efforts.
  • Showcase your products: Through giveaways and contests, you can showcase your products or services and highlight their unique features and benefits. 
  • Create excitement: People love the chance to win something, and hosting a giveaway or contest can create excitement and buzz around your brand.
  • Build customer loyalty: Giving back to your followers by hosting a giveaway or contest can help you build customer loyalty and strengthen your relationship with your audience.

Social media contests and giveaways are particularly effective for SMBs looking to compete with larger companies and build a loyal customer base. However, it's important to have clear goals and a well-thought-out strategy before launching a giveaway or contest.

How to Run a Social Media Giveaway or Contest

Having run several successful campaigns, I've learned that hosting successful social media giveaways or contests takes good planning. If you are new to this arena, here is a step-by-step guide you can follow:

1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

Before you begin planning your giveaway, figure out why you want to run it. In my experience, this step is important because it helps you define what you want to achieve with your giveaway campaign. 

Based on your goals, you’ll also have a better idea of how which key metrics you want to track.

Without clear goals, it can be difficult to measure whether your giveaway was successful or not.

Here are a few objectives that you can base your giveaway campaign on:

  • Increase follower count: To participate in your giveaway or contest, you can ask users to follow you on different social media platforms. Make sure you include a clear call-to-action, asking them to follow your page to enter the contest.
  • Grow your email list: In addition to following your social media channels, you can also ask entrants to submit their email addresses. This allows you to grow your email list and keep your fans updated about future promotions and offers.
  • Boost brand awareness: Giveaways can help increase your brand's visibility by encouraging users to tag their friends on your posts. This helps your content reach a wider audience and can lead to new followers and customers.
  • Drive engagement: Encourage your followers to like, comment, and share your posts to enter the contest. Make sure you also respond back to comments (We’ll discuss this in detail later in the post) and post user-generated content throughout the duration of the giveaway to boost engagement.
  • Promote new products: Use giveaways to draw attention to your new product offerings. Offer exclusive access to new products or special discounts to incentivize users to enter the contest and spread the word about your brand.

    If you’re looking for inspiration, take a look at Birchbox's giveaway campaign on their Instagram account. They showcased their range of new products from Living Proof Inc and gave away exclusive sets to some lucky winners.

2. Pick a Relevant Social Media Platform

If you're planning to run a social media giveaway, it's essential to choose the right platform to host it on. While there are a lot of different platforms available, you don’t want to spend effort on running giveaways across all networks at once.

Here are some tips to help you choose the right platform for your social media giveaway:

  • Consider your target audience: Understanding who your audience is and which platforms they are most active on is essential. 

    For instance, if your audience primarily includes younger demographics, platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or Snapchat may be a good choice. However, if your target audience is more professional, platforms such as LinkedIn might be a better option.
  • Think about your goals: Consider what you want to achieve with your giveaway. If you're looking to increase your brand awareness, platforms with a large user base such as Facebook or Instagram may be ideal. 

    If you're looking to drive traffic to your website, a platform like YouTube may be more effective.
  • Consider the type of content to share: Some platforms are more suitable for certain types of content. For example, if you plan to share a lot of videos, then YouTube may be the best platform to use. But if you want to share infographics, LinkedIn might be a better choice.

After taking into consideration these factors, you can decide which social media platform is the most suitable for you. If you have the bandwidth, you could run giveaways simultaneously on multiple social platforms.

3. Decide on the Contest Prize

An attractive prize can be a powerful motivation for people to participate in your social media giveaway. 

Think about it: Who isn’t naturally drawn to the idea of receiving something of value for free? The more appealing the prize, the more likely they are to enter the giveaway and engage with your brand.

When followers see that the prize is something they truly desire or find useful, they are more likely to take action and participate in the giveaway. 

While selecting a prize for your social media giveaway, think about the value of the prize. It should be in line with the effort required to participate in the giveaway. 

Offering a prize that is too small or insignificant may not attract many entries. On the other hand, a prize that is too valuable may attract a lot of entries, but not necessarily from your target audience.

For instance, if you ask your followers to like your posts, you can offer a few product samples. However, if you want them to upload photos using your branded hashtags, you need to raise the stakes. 

Take a cue from Domino’s social media giveaway. For a chance to win the $10,000 reward, Domino's asked fans to post their photos using the hashtag, “#PieceofthePieContest.”

A reward worth $10,000 may be a bit too much for smaller brands. But you can take inspiration from this example to offer something valuable in your giveaway.

The prize doesn't necessarily have to be expensive. 

Often, giveaways also offer experiences or items that money can't buy, such as backstage passes or exclusive access to a limited edition product.

Also, consider the timing of the giveaway. If you're running a seasonal campaign, the prize should be relevant to the season. For example, a winter giveaway might include a ski pass or cozy winter apparel.

4. Finalize the Rules for Participation

Determining the rules and guidelines for entering the giveaway is essential to running a successful social media promotion. Without clear and concise rules, participants may become confused or frustrated, which can lead to a negative experience and ultimately impact your brand's reputation.

Here are some steps you can take to determine the rules and guidelines for your giveaway:

  • Specify the entry requirements: Decide how participants can enter the giveaway. Be clear if you want users to follow your social media accounts, tag their friends, or share your posts. You can even have them do all three at once. Just be sure to make all requirements that they need to meet clear to them.
social media giveaway ig example - entry requirements
Image via Drip
  • Specify the duration of the giveaway: You should decide on the start and end dates for the contest or giveaway. Make sure it's clear to participants when the giveaway will end.
  • Outline the eligibility criteria: You should decide who is eligible to enter the giveaway, based on factors such as age, location, and other relevant information. If you have any restrictions on who can participate, make sure you specify them in the rules.
  • Announce the prize(s): Determine what the prize(s) will be for your contest or giveaway. You should also announce how many winners there will be, and any other details about the prize(s) that participants should know.
social media giveaway ig example - prize announcement
Image via Rafflepress
  • Specify how you will choose and notify the winner(s): Decide on the method for selecting the winner(s). You could go for a random draw or select a winner based on the best answer to a question, and specify how the winner(s) will be notified.

Once you have a fair idea of the details mentioned above, you’re almost ready to make your social media giveaway go live. 

5. Understand the Platform Guidelines

Before you post your giveaway, make sure you understand the rules regarding promotions. Each social media platform has different rules. So, based on the platform you've chosen, you'll have to read the rules.

For instance, Instagram's promotion guidelines state that you should clarify that Instagram isn't directly involved in the campaign. This guideline is also applicable to promotional posts on Facebook.

social media giveaway ig guidelines
Image via Instagram

Additionally, Instagram does not encourage inaccurate tagging. So, if a person is not present in a photo, you shouldn't ask them to tag themselves in it.

However, it's acceptable to ask users to tag their friends in the comments section.

Twitter discourages the creation of multiple accounts. They also advise brands to include a rule that states – people found to be using multiple accounts for contests will be ineligible.

Some guidelines for posting promotional content on social media platforms may also be country-specific. Read up on all of the rules for the platform you've chosen.

6. Promote Your Giveaway on Different Channels

To ensure the success of your giveaway, it's essential to promote it effectively on social media and other marketing channels. 

The first step is to create engaging and attention-grabbing posts. Use high-quality visuals, engaging captions, and relevant hashtags so that your posts stand out.

Next, leverage your existing audience by sharing your giveaway with your followers and encouraging them to share it with their friends and family. You can also use paid advertising to target a larger audience and promote your giveaway to new potential followers.

Another effective way to promote your giveaway is to collaborate with other brands, influencers, or celebrities in your niche. 

Reach out to them and ask if they would be interested in partnering with you to promote your giveaway to their followers. In return, you can offer them exposure on your social media channels or a prize package of their own.

Also, don't forget to promote your giveaway on your website, through your email newsletter, and via other marketing channels. Use a prominent banner or pop-up on your website to drive traffic to your social media channels and encourage participation in your giveaway. 

social media giveaway - newsletter promotion
Image via GetResponse

Similarly, include a call-to-action in your email newsletter to direct your subscribers to your social media channels and promote your giveaway.

7. Respond to Comments and Questions About the Giveaway

Responding to comments and questions about your giveaway is crucial to maintaining engagement and building a positive relationship with your audience. Here are some tips to help you respond effectively:

  1. Respond promptly: Respond to comments and questions as quickly as possible to show your audience that you value their participation and feedback. This also helps prevent any confusion about your giveaway or frustration from unanswered questions.
  2. Be friendly and personable: Answer in a friendly and personable manner to build a connection with your audience. Use their name if possible and thank them for their participation.
how to respond to comments on social media - example
Image via Instagram
  1. Answer questions thoroughly: Make sure to answer questions thoroughly and provide as much information as possible. If you don't know the answer to a question, don’t fret! Just let them know that you’ll find out and get back to them as soon as possible.
target responding to comments on ig example
Image via Instagram
  1. Use humor and personality: Inject some personality and humor into your responses to make them more engaging and memorable. This can help build a positive brand image and create a more enjoyable experience for your audience.
  2. Address negative comments tactfully: If you receive negative comments or feedback, respond tactfully and professionally. Acknowledge their concerns and offer to resolve the issue or provide additional information if needed.
walmart responding to negative comments on ig example
Image via Instagram

8. Use the Right Tools

You're going to be flooded with entries once your social media giveaway goes live. It can quickly get overwhelming if you don't have a plan in place to track all the entries.

To make your job easier, you need to use the right monitoring and tracking tools.

You can use Hootsuite to stay updated about the new entries on your post. This tool will allow you to track who is mentioning your hashtag and who is reposting your photos.

For hosting and designing your social media giveaway campaigns, here are the tools that you can use:

1. VYPER

With VYPER, you can run a free giveaway and create campaigns that generate new referrals and revenue. Plus, you can choose between an evergreen loyalty program or a referral/reward program.

With a simple visual designer and 8 templates to choose from, it's easy to create a campaign that matches your brand's look and feel. 

vyper campaign

You can even create a campaign without an external landing page builder or embed a campaign sign-up on your own page. With integrations like GetResponse, MailChimp, and Zapier, Vyper makes it easy to automate workflows and run email giveaway campaigns.

vyper email integrations

2. Rafflecopter

Whether you're a seasoned marketer or a novice blogger, you'll be able to create a professional-looking giveaway in just a few minutes.

Installing Rafflecopter takes only seconds, and once it's set up, you can customize the look and feel of your giveaway with ease. 

rafflecopter giveaway -pick a winner

The platform offers one-click email list integration with popular email marketing services like Mailchimp, Aweber, Constant Contact, and Campaign Monitor. This makes it easy to promote your giveaway and reach out to a wide audience.

Plus, with Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and free-form entry options, your audience will have plenty of ways to enter your giveaway.

rafflecopter giveaway - start and end date

9. Announce the Winner and Follow Through on Delivering the Prize

Congratulations on hosting a successful social media giveaway! Now that you have selected a winner, it's time to announce the good news. 

social media giveaway winner announcement example
Image via Easypromos

Before announcing the winners, you could create some anticipation with a post thanking everyone for their participation. You could also let them know that you’ll be announcing the winner soon.

Once you've made the announcement, tag the winner in the post and follow up with a direct message congratulating them.

Next, it's important to follow through on delivering the prize. Be clear about how the winner can claim their prize, whether it's through a DM or an email. If you're mailing a product, make sure to double-check the winner's mailing address and send it out in a timely manner.

social media giveaway winner announcement ig example
Image via Flowbox

Additionally, if you have any terms and conditions for the giveaway, such as age restrictions or residency requirements, ensure that the winner meets these criteria before sending out the prize.

It's also a good idea to share pictures or videos of the prize being sent out or received, as this can create excitement among your followers and encourage them to participate in future giveaways. 

You could also ask the winner to share their experience on social media and tag your account. This will help you increase your visibility and attract more followers.

10. Measure the Success of the Giveaway 

It's essential to measure the success of your social media giveaway because it can help you understand what worked and what didn't. 

Here are some ways to measure the success of your social media giveaway:

  1. Engagement: The level of engagement your giveaway received is a great indicator of success. You can measure engagement in terms of likes, comments, shares, mentions, and tags. The more engagement your giveaway receives, the more likely it is to be successful.
  2. Reach: The number of people who saw your giveaway is also an important metric to measure. You can track your reach by looking at the number of impressions your giveaway received, as well as the number of unique users who saw it.
  3. Follower growth: One of the primary goals of a social media giveaway is to attract new followers. Measuring follower growth during and after the giveaway will help you determine whether your campaign was successful in this regard.
  4. Conversion rate: If your giveaway was designed to promote a product or service, you can track the conversion rate to see how many participants turned into paying customers. You can do this by tracking the number of sales made during or after the giveaway.
  5. Feedback and reviews: Encourage participants to leave feedback and reviews after the giveaway ends. This will help you understand what participants liked and disliked about the campaign and give you insights into how you can improve your future campaigns.

I would recommend that you use social media analytics tools to track the progress of your giveaways. That way, you’ll get access to detailed reports easily.

10 Best Social Media Giveaway Ideas to Inspire You

If you're looking to engage your audience and host a successful social media giveaway, take inspiration from the ideas mentioned in this section. These ideas can be easily tailored to fit your brand. 

From ecommerce to service-based brands, all brands can use these social media contest ideas to increase engagement, generate buzz, and attract new customers.

  1. Product giveaway: Offer one of your products as a prize for your giveaway. This is a great way to generate interest in your products and attract new customers.
  1. Gift card giveaway: Give away a gift card to your store or to another popular retailer. This is a versatile prize that can appeal to a wide audience.
  1. Photo contest: Ask participants to share a photo related to your brand or product for a chance to win a prize. This can be a fun and engaging way to create user-generated content and build brand awareness.
  1. Caption contest: Ask participants to come up with the best caption for a photo or video related to your brand or product. This is an easy-to-enter giveaway that can generate a lot of engagement.
  1. Refer/tag-a-friend giveaway: Encourage participants to refer their friends to your brand or product for a chance to win a prize. This is a great way to build brand loyalty and attract new customers.
  1. Event giveaway: Your brand's birthday or hitting a follower milestone is a great opportunity to show appreciation for your audience and generate more interest in your products or services.
  1. Daily giveaway: Run a daily giveaway for a set period of time, such as a week or a month. Each day, one person is chosen at random to win a prize.
  1. Video contest: Ask participants to create and share a video related to your brand or product for a chance to win a prize. This is a great way to create user-generated content and engage your audience.
video contest giveaway example
Image via WPForms
  1. Trivia quiz: Host a trivia quiz related to your brand or product. The winner can be selected based on the number of correct answers they give or through a random draw.
trivia quiz giveaway example
Image via Woobox
  1. Like and share contest: Ask your followers to like and share your post to enter into a prize draw. This is an easy way to increase your reach and engagement.

Whether you're a small startup or a well-established business, a social media giveaway can work wonders for your brand. Don't be afraid to get creative and try out different giveaway ideas to see what works best for your brand!

Ready to Boost Your Reach with Social Media Giveaways?

By now, you should have a good idea of how to run a successful social media giveaway. Remember, the key is to make it engaging, exciting, and valuable for your audience. 

With a bit of planning, creativity, and promotion, you can leverage the power of social media giveaways and contests. They will help you reach a wider audience, build your brand, and connect with your followers in a fun and meaningful way. So, don't be afraid to try it out! 

With these tips in mind, you're ready to launch your next social media giveaway and watch your engagement and customer base grow. Good luck!

6 Comments

  1. Thomas Greenbank says:

    Interesting post. Some good tips here.

  2. I really enjoyed your article. Thanks.

  3. Great content, This is a very helpful article. Thanks

  4. Lionel Monce says:

    I appreciate you writing this awesome article. It has genuinely helped me.

  5. Bharat Kaur says:

    Thank you for the great write up!

    1. Shane Barker says:

      I’m glad you feel that way. Thank you so much.

Comments are closed.