Social Media Giveaways: Everything You Need to Know to Launch a Successful Campaign

The beautiful thing about social media management is that you can use it to promote your business in a number of ways, and attract people towards your brand without invading their privacy or cluttering their inboxes.

Social media management is a part of a pull marketing strategy, and even though you should invest in social media advertising as well, you should primarily use it to “pull” people towards your profiles, and inspire them to follow the links to your landing pages and content.

Now, one of the most popular forms of social media brand promotion is to fuse digital marketing with freebies. People love free stuff, and if you announce that you’re giving out branded products as a part of a social media contest, you can bet that people will be flocking to your SM feeds in no time. In turn, this will skyrocket brand awareness and expand your reach, while boosting your acquisition strategy. 

But you need to do it right. Here’s everything you need to know (and do) to launch a successful social media giveaway contest.

Identify your campaign’s goals

First and foremost, your contest needs to have a set of realistic goals that will give meaning to your campaign. You can’t just give stuff away without actually trying to achieve something, because if you do, you’ll achieve nothing at all, which is why setting and prioritizing goals should be your no.1 priority. There are many goals you might want to achieve through social media giveaways, so consider the following:

  • Improve traffic to your website.
  • Improve traffic to your stores.
  • Boost brand awareness and recognition.
  • Improve brand loyalty.
  • Spike social media engagement and interest.
  • Increase your number of SM followers.
  • Promote a specific product or service.
  • Obtain relevant industry feedback to improve other processes.
  • All of the above and more.

Depending on the number of goals you set for the contest, you will need to develop their respective KPIs and monitor them closely throughout the process in order to ensure measurability. Measuring every goal will allow you to gauge your brand’s performance and adapt your strategy for all subsequent campaigns.

Choose promotional products

Next up, have you considered what you’re going to give out? Pens, mugs, USB drives, flame throwers? It’s not just about slapping your name on it, it’s also about the product itself – you need to make it interesting enough to spark engagement, and you need to make it truly valuable to your demographic. What’s more, the products you choose need to correspond with your brand’s identity and they need to be related to what you do. That way, you can promote anything from your entire brand to a service like a class or a workshop.

Luckily, there many possibilities out there, you just need to find something that a) speaks to your customers, and b) portrays your brand in the best way possible. Now, keep in mind that it can’t be a single product, or a single version of a product – your customers need variety. You can choose to create numerous iterations of one amazing branded product, or you can choose to have multiple tiers of prizes and a unique product for each one.

Ensure item availability at every location

Does anyone remember the Starbucks fiasco back in 2018 when the coffee shop giant was promoting its holiday season set of reusable mugs? Does anyone remember why the whole thing turned south very quickly? It’s because when you’re promoting and giving away personalised mugs you need to ensure constant availability at each and every one of your locations. Starbucks didn’t do this, but that might be the right take-home lesson for you – make sure you have enough items to give away in the first place. Yes, even if you write “limited availability”, you want to make sure no customer gets left behind.

So, how do you calculate the number of promotional items you need to have in stock for the upcoming giveaway? You can’t get an exact number, but you can pull up your online and offline traffic statistics to figure out how many people you have coming in and out of your stores (or coffee shops) on a daily basis. If you’re operating strictly in the digital realm, great, all you need to do is look at past events and engagement to get a ballpark figure.

Promote the upcoming giveaway

Now that you have your goals, your promotional products, and have ensured adequate availability, it’s time to start promoting the contest itself. This is a cumbersome process that involves everything from getting influencers to promote your content and giveaway, all the way to emailing everyone on your subscription list and teasing your audience about the upcoming contest in the weeks leading up to the event. 

The key here is to build that desired social media buzz that will get the community talking about your brand, and get people involved. Be sure to spread the news of your contest across all platforms, get influencers to back you up, and most importantly, create interesting teasers. These teasers should be predominantly visual, displaying the products your followers will be able to win if they enter the contest. 

Launch across all SM platforms

When you’re creating a giveaway campaign, you want to cast as wide of a net as possible, and engage with your online audience across a multitude of platforms. This way, you will ensure maximum brand reach and exposure, and boost traffic to your site or your stores. That said, the campaign needs to be tailored to the specific platform.

Different social media networks prefer different content formats, and even though visual content is always the likeliest to spark engagement, you still need to tweak your posts and the contest itself to the platform. For example, Instagram giveaways thrive on quality photos and viral hashtags, while Twitter giveaways thrive on the quality of the copy, the tone of voice of the brand, and the message it carries. Be sure to find out exactly what works for each relevant platform, and adapt your approach.

Select the entry criteria

How should your social media followers enter this contest? Is it by liking and commenting on your Facebook posts, is it by creating their own content with your contest’s hashtag, or is it by heading to your website’s blog page to find the instructions there? The entry criteria you select will influence your entire campaign in a significant way, so you need to be careful how you approach this problem.

As you probably know, one of the keys to improving sales and marketing in general is to reduce customer effort as much as possible. Now, there’s a difference between simplifying a process and dumbing it down. With that in mind, your entry criteria need to be:

  • Tailored to the goals of your contest.
  • Relevant to your community and their interests.
  • Made to engage your followers in a meaningful way.
  • Unique enough to spark additional interest and break the mold.
  • In line with your brand’s values, personality, and overall identity.

Wrapping up

When all is set and done, the winners will receive your branded or personalized products (make sure other participants get something as well), and you will have reached your goals and generated enough valuable data to launch an even better contest in the future. Assess the overall performance of your campaign, act on relevant insights, and start planning your next big giveaway.

Elaine Bennett

Elaine Bennett is an Australian-based digital marketing specialist focused on helping startups and small businesses grow. Besides that, she's a regular contributor for Bizzmark Blog and writes hands-on articles about business and marketing, as it allows her to reach even more people and help them on their business journey.

Neeraj Kaushik

Yes Social media One of Best plateform forever for advertisement of any product or services. and the article is very helpful and informative…. Thanks for sharing it


This is nice post for social media giveways for better article to see you here, Thanks a lot for sharing with us.

Aadarsh Roy

Hey Elaine Bennett,

Great post with amazing tips. I really lie the tips and the tips that you have listed, whereas your all the suggested tips are great helpful and work effectively. Giveaways are a great marketing tactics that help business to increase the brand awareness, promote the product and generate more leads. Identifying the campaign goals are truly important and necessary. Choosing promotional product and promoting the upcoming giveaway are really a good tips and will helps a lot. Using social media platform will be helpful and will provide good benefits, whereas social media platforms are a great source for doing promotions. Following these tips will be a great help.

Really helpful post and thanks for sharing.


    yes, great tips, it will also help me a lot and thanks a lot for sharing these. respect for his person.

Elvis Michael

You nailed it, Elaine. I actually just opened a Twitter / Instagram account about an industry that im passionate about. My first thought was to do monthly giveaways to attract more recognition and followers — and im absolutely excited to start.

Thanks for the additional encouragement!


    Elaine Bennett

    Hi Elvis,

    Glad to hear that my article encouraged you to start monthly giveaways.

    Good luck!

Moss Clement

Hi Elaine & Entine,

Giveaways are remarkable marketing tactics that enable businesses to enhance brand awareness and generate targeted leads. However, as you noted, one needs to define the objective of his campaign to be able to make a better marketing decision that will assist you in achieving your goals.
Thank you for sharing.

James McAllister

Hi Elaine and Enstine!

This is great advice. My baby product brand has been utilizing giveaways to great success in the last year both to drive sales, build email subscribers, foster engagement as well as to help encourage UGC.

We run giveaways unique to customers who share photos of our products in use on social media and hope to do more of this in the coming months. We also run a giveaway where people go through our newest batch of designs, and select their favorite 2. Each time we do this, 2 people win the designs the products that they started were their favorites.

This forces people to actually look through all of the new products, and even those that don’t win often stick on our email list, many of which eventually buy something.

It’s worked great so far!

– James McAllister

    Elaine Bennett

    Hi James,

    Thanks for your comment.

    Keep up the good work and good luck with your products!

    Kind regards,

Shamsudeen Adeshokan

Hi Elaine,

Nice to meet you here, probably my first time coming across your path online.

Give away (contest) is a great way to create brand awareness, promote your products and services, get leads, etc.

You’ve shared useful tips that if followed and executed correctly, it will help to organize and run a successful contest/giveaway.

Thanks for sharing.

    Elaine Bennett

    Hi Shamsudeen,

    Thanks for your comment. Glad to hear that you found my tips useful!

    Kind regards,

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