7 Tips For Running a Successful Social Media Giveaway

Here at Pigtail Media, we frequently help clients strategize and manage giveaway campaigns that support their overarching marketing goals. The goals typically include growing their social media community with authentic users to target in the future.

A recent campaign we managed received over 70,000 entrants and saw an increase of over 10,000 social media brand followers. 

You don’t have to be a large company or even have a large budget to run a successful social media giveaway. Hosting a social media giveaway can be a really great way to increase your social media community with authentic users – which means more people who will see all of your beautiful social media content!

tips for social media giveawaysAre you considering a giveaway on social media? Here are some things you want to consider.

1.) Define your goal and build everything around it:

Is your goal to gain new followers across specific social channels? To increase newsletter subscribers? To gain engagement?  To gather user generated content for your future content?

You may say, “YES! I want all of that.” Come on now. That’s having your cake and eating it too.

Define your goals.

How you define them will help set the stage for what type of giveaway you run, on which platform and how you set it up.

Set 1st, 2nd and 3rd tiered goals and ensure every decision you make supports these.

Once you define your goal, work backwards to strategize what it will take to get your audience excited enough to take the time to enter. Here’s where knowing your audience comes in extremely handy!

2.) Make. It. EASY!

Like as easy as humanly possible. Do not try to get too creative. Sounds weird, right? But this is actually one of the biggest mistakes we see with social media marketing giveaways. Marketers want them to be sexy. Yes, that’s great! But…

If it’s not extremely easy for a user, users do not enter. And then your goals aren’t met.

*Note: Some goals really are to showcase a brand as sexy or cool and everything else is unimportant. Again, go back to defining your goals!

Put yourself in the shoes of your users. Go through the entry steps yourself. Would you take those steps to enter? If not, scratch it and go with something way easier.

The more simple = the higher entrant rate. This is assuming your prize is cool enough.

3.) Get a really cool prize:

You’re asking someone to take time to enter your giveaway. You may think your promotional t-shirts are all that and a bag of chips, but let’s be honest.

Go big or go home. Or at least go a little big – big enough that it’s worth someone taking the time to enter.

Rule of thumb: If you were a user, would you take the time to enter to win this? If you waiver or think nope. Reconsider what you’re doing.

Tip: Don’t have a budget for a large prize? Consider partnering up with other brands to enhance the prize, plus utilize cross promotional opportunities with them. This can be a wonderful win-win.

Double tip: Try testing a smaller giveaway idea to see how your audience reacts before you invest in a large one! Social media is so great to get real-time insight!  

4.) Follow the rules:  

Do your homework. Each social medium has very specific rules – and they change frequently. If you’re not looped in, you could potentially get your account shut down. Sure, many brands get away with breaking the rules everyday. But, is it really worth risking?

You may be surprised by some of the rules. And it’s better to be surprised before you start the giveaway than after your account is compromised or someone calls you out. #embarrassing

For example, as of writing, you cannot require a user to ‘like’ your Facebook account or “share” a post to be entered. However, you CAN require them to “visit” your page and hint for a “like.” On Twitter, you CAN require a user to “follow” your account or “retweet” a post to be entered.  Do your diligence before.  

5.) Consider using giveaway tools to manage.

It can become difficult to track your entries and entrants. A great example that we see all the time is brands requiring a user to share a post on Facebook. This is not trackable if a person has a private account – it’s not even viewable. This is also probably why it’s against Facebook’s rules (see above).

Tools like Rafflecopter, Gleam, Shortstack, and Woobox are some reputable brands to work with and have low cost and free options.

What this means? These tools can help track action steps people are taking. For example, if they visit your Instagram page, they can click a button that lets them visit and then confirm, “I’ve completed this action.”

What this really means? It saves you a lot of time and frustration.

6.) Post about your giveaway frequently (but not too much):

Don’t post once and assume it’s going to catch like wildfire. Create a giveaway posting schedule that has a good balance of reminding your users of the giveaway, but not annoying the community you’ve worked so hard to foster.

Users leave a lot faster than they come.

Be careful and strategic about how and when you post about the giveaway.

7.) Go beyond social:

We love social media and what it can do – duh – but we will be the first to agree it’s not everything.

Social media can spread the word far and wide, but use other avenues to get your giveaway out there to make it even larger.

For example, post it on your website in a highly visible place, send out a newsletter to all your customers, place on-property signage or partner up with other brands to cross promote in win-win situations.

You’ll also likely want to consider boosting your posts on social media with paid targeting. A little dough can bake a big cake.

In conclusion:

Giveaways can be such a great way to engage your audience, give back to your fans, create brand awareness and collect more customers along the way!

Use the tips above to knock your social media giveaway out of the park!

Need help or want more details on how to create and manage social media giveaways? Shoot us a note. We love helping brands tame the massive beast of social media and relax more easily.

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