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.

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