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Hosting social media giveaways can be a great way to gain followers, amplify brand awareness and loyalty, or even get the word out about a new product you want to showcase. However, throwing a giveaway up on your brand’s social media account and hoping it takes off just because you’re giving away free stuff isn’t the best strategy. Coming up with a plan of attack around the prize you’d like to offer and setting goals are all crucial in the planning phase of a social media giveaway.

8 tips for hosting social media giveaways

Decide on the why behind the giveaway

Whether you’re looking to gain followers on a social media profile, increase visits to your website, or get more email subscribers, figure out the KPIs you’re hoping to track. This goal or “why” will help you keep your giveaway on track throughout the planning process.

Choose a platform

While it’s possible to plan a giveaway on multiple platforms, this can be a recipe for disaster when trying to keep track of entries or staying on top of the rules for each platform. You can always use another profile to cross-promote your giveaway, but sticking to one platform for the actual giveaway will keep things organized. For example, if you want to grow your new TikTok and you already have established your brand on Instagram, tell your followers over on Instagram they should check out your TikTok for a chance to win a prize.

Pick a relevant prize 

Choosing the right prize for your social media contest might seem obvious, but sometimes brands get this wrong. Spend the time to find something that your followers (or hopeful followers) actually want versus doing what everyone else is doing.

If you’re looking to showcase a new product or service you have, offer to give one away for free. If people love your products but they sell out quickly, give one of them away. Take the time to think through what your customers actually want so much that they have to take the time to stop their scroll and complete all the rules to enter.

In the example below, this small business listed the rules for its giveaway throughout its video. This encouraged viewers to keep watching and raised its watch time.

@sliimeyhoneyshop

Replying to @Bianca<3 Giveaway time! Watch the video all the way for rules to enter 🤭 NEW SLIMES DROPPING SATURDAY, AUGUST 20 AT 11AM PST 💕 #slime #satisfying #slimeshop #smallbusiness #giveaway

♬ original sound - sliimeyhoney

Create a timeline and promotional plan 

This step is important on both the backend for your social media team and for your giveaway entries. In most cases, the simpler, the better when it comes to entering contests and giveaways. Take these steps:

  • Decide when your giveaway will begin and end. Most giveaways need only to be a few days to a week. For longer durations, post reminder photos, graphics or videos throughout the time period.
  • Create an entry form on your website or use a giveaway service to make tracking entries easy. 
  • Lay out exactly how you will choose the winner and how they can expect to hear from you. Let your followers know when they can expect to hear about the winner.
  • Put all of these steps into a clear and concise list in your social media caption or on the giveaway photo or video itself to help with any questions.

Make sure you’re legally sound

Cover your legal bases and ensure your audience has access to the official rules at all times. Not only do you want to be sure your own rules make sense for your company, but you also want to be sure you’re not going against any guidelines by the social media platform you chose for your giveaway. Craft a post on your blog to link back to, leave guidelines in your caption or link to legal rules on bigger giveaways. Here are the rules for Facebook, TikTok and Instagram giveaways.

Create an enticing graphic or video

While the rules and plan are important, it’s equally, if not more, important to have an eye-catching post that stops people from scrolling past it. Whether it’s a video or graphic, make sure you’re calling out that it’s a giveaway right away so people don’t miss it. You don’t have to busy up your post with all the rules (that’s what the caption is for) but choosing the right visual should be the main priority for your contest. Enlist the help of a professional graphic designer or jump on a TikTok trend.

Work with influencers or partners to promote your giveaway

Why not work with your favorite influencer on your giveaway? As a brand, this can be an easy way to tap into your influencer’s community and vice versa for them. For example, this influencer works with local hotels and restaurants to do giveaways of her favorite places to stay and eat. Not only does this help you get more eyes on your giveaway, but it’s a great way to partner with an influencer you’re currently working with or a new person.

Showcase the winner with another post at the end

Your giveaway is over, but it’s time to celebrate the winner! Once you’ve chosen your winner and they’ve accepted, put up a little shoutout post in your Stories or edit your original post with the first name of the winner. 

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