Winning at Social Media Giveaways

If you’re involved in any social media networks, you’ve probably seen companies giving things away on their pages.  You may have even won something through one of them.  More times than not, they are a complete waste of time and money for the business.  With the information that we’ll cover here, you’ll be prepared and informed to avoid the common mistakes that separate  a bad giveaway from a Viral Marketing Masterpiece.

  1.  Do not include 100% of the promotion on social media channels.  The end goal of a giveaway should be to increase your brand awareness and convert sales.  Allowing people to complete their entry without visiting your site ensures that most people won’t go to your site and see what you have to offer.
    • As an example, a requirement for entry could be that they must subscribe to your email list through your website.
  2. Do reward users for sharing your contest with friends.  The average Facebook user has 328 friends.  If your follower shares your post, many of those 328 will see it and take enter.  They’ll also share with their 328 friends… and so on and so forth.  Rather than spending money for Facebook to share your contest with a few thousand people, your post can snowball into huge numbers by design.
  3. Do build some following before you bother doing a giveaway.  Even if it’s only 50 people and they’re mostly your friends and family, you need a “snowball” to start rolling.  Otherwise, you’ll need to boost and promote your posts to get them started.  (If you’re too embarrassed of your business to ask your friends and family to help, they will be too.)
  4. Do not give something away that is unrelated to your product.  I don’t know how many times I’ve seen people give away an iPad even though their product is totally unrelated.  While you do want to attract as many people as possible, you want them to be people who are interested in what you offer.  It can be as simple as one of your products, a $XXX shopping spree on your site, a free session of your services or an accessory to your main product.
  5. Do notify and reward the losers.  1 lucky person will win whatever you’re giving away.  Many more people just let you know that they want what you have to offer.  Send out an email letting them know that “John Doe Won this month’s giveaway of X”  but thank them for entering and offer a special discount to everyone who entered.  Many people may fall in love with your brand but not buy right away because they are hoping to win your product for free.  This email is your reminder to them and a call to action.
  6. Do take advantage of multiple social media platforms.  You should have already determined which platforms are best for your business.  Spread the love on all of them to ensure you’re reaching as many people as possible.  Reward contestants with extra entries for each platform they follow you on.  It may not be fair to people who only have one or two platforms but generally, people with multiple platforms are more active and will be able to spread your message further.
  7. Do make the contest rules and dates clear.  Ambiguous rules and dates will discourage people from entering in the first place.

What do’s and do not’s would you add?  Comment and let us know.  Are you planning a social media giveaway and need some guidance?

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