As social media continues to demand more and more of our time, brands and agencies must adapt their marketing strategies to include effective social media campaigns. Simply put, social media isn’t going anywhere, and is in fact growing more dominant than ever, with TikTok surpassing Google as the preferred search engine for Gen Z.
Seriously, a social media platform has surpassed the OG King of search engines as the number 1 search engine. If that doesn’t tell signify the growing importance of properly utilizing social media, we’re not sure what will.
A social media sweepstakes is a proven tactic for your brand to increase engagement, gain new followers, drive traffic, and much more. Not only that, but a social media sweepstakes allows your brand to meet your target audience where they already are, building stronger relationships with them increasing the likelihood of conversion.
Naturally, similar to many marketing initiatives, social media sweepstakes come with a multitude of intricacies and factors to keep in consideration. One mistake here or there can result in costly fines, legal penalties, and have negative effects on your brand’s image.
Our team of dedicated sweepstakes administrators has nearly 30 years of experience helping brands get the most out of their promotional campaigns while protecting their image. In that time, we’ve perfected and refined our process of social media sweepstakes administration. We provide a high-level outline of it below.
Social Media Sweepstakes Legal Administration
Before we ever launch a social media sweepstakes or giveaway, our team’s first task is to consider any applicable laws and regulations. Yes, there are laws regulating sweepstakes and giveaways. Believe it or not, there are even more laws and regulations specific to social media sweepstakes administration.
Social media campaigns must also beware of the Federal Trade Commission’s guidelines as well. The FTC regulates social media advertisements and promotions very closely. In short, the FTC mandates that all “endorsements must be honest and not misleading.”
Social Media Sweepstakes Administration Rules Writing
With that in mind, our team starts by writing your social media sweepstakes’ official and abbreviated rules. Consider these the “rules of the road” for your social media sweepstakes.
To begin, we first determine which social media platform your sweepstakes will be run or shared on. While this may seem like a no-brainer, our team never overlooks this step. Different social media platforms have different rules and regulations when it comes to social media sweepstakes administration, making it critical to first define which platforms will be utilized.
After that, our team is sure that any campaign we administer on social media abides by the following regulations:
- Adequate Disclosures- A social media sweepstakes must state that it’s a sponsored giveaway. Hashtags like “#sweepstakes” or “#contest” will do the trick here.
- Use of Proper Vocabulary- You may not refer to your social media giveaway as a “lottery”
- No Copyrighted Content- Your campaign (and all of its submissions) must NOT use any copyrighted content, including music.
From there, your social media sweepstakes official rules will generally vary from campaign to campaign. Social media sweepstakes rules must be tailored to your specific campaign, which is why we always suggest hiring a trusted sweepstakes administrator to ensure total compliance.
Sweepstakes Data Privacy Protection
Data privacy is crucial in any context where personal information is collected, stored, or shared. In the case of a social media sweepstakes, it is particularly important because participants are likely to share sensitive information such as their name, email address, phone number, and even their location. Depending on the nature of your campaign, they may even share deeper, more personal information.
As we continue to spend more and more of our time online, consumers are, naturally, more and more concerned with the privacy and safety of their personal information. As a social media sweepstakes sponsor, it’s your responsibility to handle the data you collect both legally and with care.
Participants have a right to know how their personal information will be used, who will have access to it, and how it will be protected. If their data is mishandled or misused, your brand may face hefty legal fines and penalties.
Eligibility, Prize Values, and Winner Selection
A final critical element of social media sweepstakes legal administration is to determine and clearly state eligibility, prize value, and winner selection and verification details.
These elements will be included in your giveaway’s official rules, but we feel they’re important enough to call out on their own for the sake of this article.
Prior to launch, our team will always ensure that we have clearly and in plain language laid out the “terms” of the giveaway. Just as important as making sure your users understand these details is making sure they can find them.
Our team always outlines what is a valid entry to a social media sweepstakes, as well as what is not a valid entry. Can your users enter by sharing your post or do they need to create an original post of their own to enter?
On top of this, we also carefully define what makes an eligible winner. Sponsors may determine winner eligibility based on several factors including age and location of the entrant. However, there are certain criteria for which you may not disqualify an eligible winner. These include:
- Race, gender, religion, or other protected characteristics: You may not disqualify a winner based on their race, gender, religion, or any other protected characteristics.
- Political beliefs: You may not disqualify a winner based on their political beliefs.
- Personal biases or preferences: You may not disqualify a winner based on personal biases or preferences.
Launching a Social Media Sweepstakes
Now that it’s time for launch, our team’s social media sweepstakes administration doesn’t end. Instead, our team continually monitors the progression of a campaign, ready to make adjustments to any necessary elements.
Social Media Scraping and Winner Verification
One hugely important element of our team’s ongoing social media sweepstakes administration is monitoring and tracking the entries through the process of ‘social media scraping.” Social media scraping is simply the process of using tools, usually automated, to help you collect particular data from social platforms.
With an average of about 829,094,400 tweets per day, you’ll want to rely on social scraping to narrow your view and only collect the data that you’re looking for. In this case, sweepstakes entries.
Further, our team cross-references the data we extract with the sweepstakes’ pre-determined eligibility criteria. As part of our winner verification process, this relieves brands of the tedious task of having to verify winners on their own.
*It’s important to note that social media scraping may be subject to legal and ethical considerations, including data privacy laws and terms of service agreements with social media platforms.*
Social Media Giveaway Customer Service
Where there’s smoke, there’s a fire, and where there’s a sweepstakes, there’s a billion questions and consumer needs to meet. Over the last nearly 30 years, our team has responded to millions of customer service inquiries related to the campaigns we administer.
No matter how detail-oriented or prepared you are, something will always arise. Inevitably, eager participants will flood your brand’s DMs and inbox with any number of questions or requests related to your social media sweepstakes.
Our dedicated team of promotional marketers handles each of these incoming requests with ease. As experts on the program, we’ll know the ins and outs of your campaign and provide your consumers with any additional information or support they’ll need throughout the life of the campaign.
Post Campaign Social Media Sweepstakes Administration
After we’ve completed the duration of the campaign, it’s time to complete the last steps of our social media sweepstakes administration process.
In our opinion, the effort we put in after the campaign has finished is just as, if not more important than the rest of the campaign itself.
Sweepstakes Data Collection and Sharing
Immediately after the campaign ends, our team begins analyzing all of the data we’ve collected for your brand. We identify any important patterns or anomalies and use this information to make suggestions and improvements for your next campaign.
In a continuous effort to best serve our clients, our team shares a proprietary real-time data dashboard to ensure adequate collection of critical campaign data throughout the program. Oftentimes, we look for things like:
- Pageviews– both total and unique pageviews
- Time spent on site
- Region of visitors
- Demographic information– age, gender, device, browser, etc.
Sweepstakes Winner Notification and Prize Fulfillment
Finally, at the conclusion of any campaign, our team takes on the responsibility of notifying the eligible winners and fulfilling whatever prizes or rewards need to be fulfilled.
Once eligibility has been confirmed, our team notifies the proper winners. This may be done via email, phone, or postal mail, depending on the contact information provided by the entrant. If we can’t reach the winners immediately, we’ll exhaust all options (including a few creative ones) trying to reach out to them. If, after a pre-determined amount of time (typically 24 hours) we still cannot make contact with the winners, we’ll move on to the next alternate winner.
Depending on the value of the prize and the specific requirements of the sweepstakes, the winner may be required to complete additional paperwork. For example, prizes over $600 require a completed W-9 form. Additionally, if the prize involves travel or other unique experiences, additional paperwork and legal agreements may be necessary to ensure that the winner is aware of any restrictions, liabilities, or other conditions associated with the prize.
Your Brand’s Social Media Sweepstakes Administration
As you can see, administering an engaging social media sweepstakes requires careful planning and attention to detail. From selecting the right platform and creating compelling content to ensuring compliance with legal regulations and fulfilling prizes, there are many factors to consider when running a sweepstakes on social media.
However, with the right strategies and tools in place, social media sweepstakes can be an effective way to engage with your audience, increase brand awareness, and grow your online presence. By following the best practices outlined in this blog, you can maximize the impact of your sweepstakes and create a positive and memorable experience for your followers.
No matter where you are in the process of planning your own social media sweepstakes, get in touch with our team to ensure you get the most out of your campaign.