Interested in running a social media giveaway? A proven strategy to increase engagement, gain new followers, drive traffic (to your site or store), and plenty more, social media giveaways are both an exciting and effective way to reach your marketing goals.
Though they may seem simple to an outsider, behind the scenes, a social media giveaway is far more complex than you might think. Between juggling the strategy and execution of the campaign, legal administration and rules writing, and prize fulfillment (to name just a few of the steps), things can quickly get out of hand.
A full-service promotional administrator with 30 years of experience, we’ve administered countless successful sweepstakes and contest campaigns across all platforms, including social media. In that time, our team of legal experts, front and back-end developers, project managers, and, of course, promotional marketers, has learned the ins and outs of executing social media campaigns. Together, we’re sharing our best practices and a few tips along the way.
Define Your Social Media Giveaway’s Goals
A relatively standard first step for any successful campaign, our team suggests clearly defining your goals before anything else. Hey, if it’s not broken, don’t fix it, right?
When it comes to defining your goals, we recommend carefully considering exactly what your brand hopes to achieve with your social media giveaway. Depending on the structure of your campaign, it can accomplish any number of typical objectives, so start there first, and then craft your campaign accordingly.
For example, social media giveaways are particularly great at:
- Collecting user-generated content
- Gaining new followers
- Increasing online engagement
- Driving traffic (to your site or store)
- Boosting sales
However, just because a social media promotional campaign can accomplish all of the above (and more) does not mean you should set your sights on each of them. In fact, start with one primary objective for the most targeted and effective campaign possible. Anything beyond that and you risk having a misguided, messy campaign.
Determine What Qualifies as a Valid Method of Entry
With your social media giveaway’s primary objective in mind, our team recommends focussing on your method of entry next. You’ll want to be crystal clear as to what constitutes a “valid” entry to your brand’s campaign. On top of that, you must also consider what is not a “valid” entry, and what disqualifies an entry.
There are a few things to keep in mind while choosing your brand’s method of entry:
- What you may legally allow as an entry
- What method will most likely help you reach your goals
- What method your users will actually use
We’ll walk you through it.
What you may legally allow as an entry
While this is mostly a consideration for Facebook giveaways, it’s still important to note. Facebook’s vast team of lawyers, policy experts, and developers have dedicated an entire section of their terms and conditions to regulate promotional campaigns. Not only have they taken the time to define these rules and regulations, so too do they take the time to monitor and penalize anyone who violates them.
In their terms and policies, they state valid ways to share or enter a social media promotion. One common method of entry that Facebook no longer allows: promoting your social media giveaway on a personal timeline or feed.
In short, Facebook won’t allow you to ask users to share your brand’s page as a means of entry. You also can’t ask or incentivize users to tag others as a means of entry or part of your promotion.
What social media giveaway method of entry will help you reach your goals
One of the many benefits of executing a promotional campaign on social media is its ease to consumers. Social media giveaways are, in general, accessible and easy to enter. Because of this, your brand must carefully designate what is and is not a valid entry.
Remember that goal you set before you planned any other parts of your giveaway? Keep that in mind as we help you choose your method of entry.
For example, if your brand is choosing to run a social media giveaway primarily to collect user-generated content, be sure you actually require that entrants submit the type of content your brand wants and needs. Furthermore, if your brand’s primary objective is simply to expand its reach and grow its audience, you may want to consider methods of entry that will help that, like requiring to share a post on Instagram or Twitter for a submission.
Whatever your goal, our team can suggest the perfect social media giveaway method of entry to help meet it.
What method of entry your users will actually use
Another critically important element to consider when selecting valid methods of entry is whether or not your users will actually want to participate.
Consider this. You’re an emerging brand hoping to grow your audience and spread the word about your new products or services. You’ve identified through your research (you smart marketer, you) that your target market tends to be in the 55+ age bracket, mostly located in say, the Southwest. When trying to reach this particular audience, try to consider where they spend their time online, and what they prefer to do. Perhaps a Facebook campaign would make more sense than a TikTok campaign, despite TikTok’s rapid growth.
Write Your Social Media Giveaway’s Rules
The next step in planning your social media giveaway is, according to some folks on our team, arguably the most important step of all. In fact, our team wrote an entire article on just this topic alone, how to write your social media giveaway rules.
Social media giveaways must abide by any and all applicable state or federal laws regarding promotional campaigns. This is your relatively standard set of sweepstakes and contest laws by state (another handy guide available on our site).
However, social media giveaways must also follow a particular set of guidelines and rules, specifically for campaigns executed or shared on a social platform. These additional rules for social media giveaways are regulated by the Federal Trade Commission or the social media platform itself.
While we highly recommend you explore our full guide on the topic linked above, we’ll briefly share what we think are the most important tips for how to write your social media giveaway rules.
- You must state that your social media giveaway is a promotional campaign
- You must include a disclosure about and disqualify copyrighted content
- Keep an eye out for Facebook’s additional rules
Of course, this is simply a high-level overview of the important social media giveaway rules your brand must abide by. Protect your brand and its image and delegate the task of writing your social media giveaway rules to an agency that’s been around longer than social media has existed.
Develop Your Social Media Giveaway’s Supplemental Assets
No successful marketing campaign, social media giveaways included, live on an island. That is to say, your team must incorporate your giveaway into your greater marketing strategy and efforts, remaining as consistent as possible throughout the process.
When our award-winning team works to develop a social media giveaway we take a look at the following assets, and determine which of them will support the upcoming campaign. Sometimes we use all of the items on the list below, sometimes we pick and choose. Ultimately, the opportunities for your brand are endless.
- Graphics and videos
- A unique campaign hashtag
- An entry submission form
- A campaign landing page
- A mobile app
In our experience, the more integrated your campaign is, the higher its performance in nearly all KPIs. Of course, your giveaway may require additional assets not listed above, or maybe it only needs one or two of them. There’s no one-size-fits-all recipe for success with promotional marketing. Instead, our team leverages years of knowledge and experience running countless campaigns.
Finalize Prize Fulfillment
One final recommendation from our team to yours is to carefully consider prize fulfillment strategies in regard to your brand’s social media giveaway.
What type of prize will you reward? A physical gift or a digital reward? If you opt for something tangible, how will it be delivered to winners? Or, will you require winners to pick it up themselves? Furthermore, how many prizes will be awarded throughout the campaign? How will you keep track of winners and their prizes? Speaking of winners, how will you verify that a “winner” is actually eligible?
As you can see, prize fulfillment, though perhaps the most fun aspect of a campaign for your users, presents quite a challenge for your brand. Not only is selecting the right prize a challenge, but actually ensuring the right people receive it at the right time can be a nightmare.
Depending on the size and scale of your social media giveaway, your brand may be able to get away with tracking and managing prize fulfillment in-house. However, in our experience, we’ve seen most brands turn to automation and the help of a trusted promotional administrator to manage the finer details of their social media promotional campaigns.
Our team has seen clients, time and time again, underestimate both the cost and effort required to effectively manage their prize fulfillment. Especially as we continue to stare in the face of economic uncertainty and an impending recession, costs like shipping and handling and ensuring only eligible winners receive your prize, continue to rise.
Your Social Media Giveaway’s Trusted Partner
Knowing how to run a social media giveaway is half the battle. Designing, executing it, and then analyzing the results presents a whole different, complex challenge for brands. While a social media giveaway is an excellent tool to build brand and product awareness, expand your reach, increase sales, and more, they require significant planning and effort to execute effectively.
Over the last 30 years, our team has helped some of the largest brands in the world reach their marketing goals through a targeted and effective social media giveaway. No matter where you are in the process, we’re here to help.