social media giveaways

[Ideas Examples] How to Run a Social Media Giveaway

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Written by Diana

Content Writer

Spoiler alert: Yes social media giveaways still matter. In fact, giveaways are budget-friendly practices that can take your social media marketing strategy to new heights.

Don’t believe us? Then stay tuned as we talk about:

  • The benefits of social media giveaways
  • How to organize and run giveaways
  • Insightful giveaway statistics
  • Giveaway ideas and real-life examples

Let’s get started!

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What Is a Social Media Giveaway? 

Social media giveaways are short-term promotional practices that rely on providing an incentive (the prize) to the public in exchange for an action from their part (e.g. interact with the post, make a purchase, send a story, etc) in order to:

  • Create buzz around a brand
  • Increase social media reach and engagement
  • Generate new leads
  • Boost sales

By running giveaways, businesses get to benefit from immediate results because the audience has a good reason to participate (winning the prize). Depending on the conditions they set for the giveaway, brands can achieve certain marketing objectives, like the ones presented above.

Social media contests or giveaways are easy to organize, don’t require a large budget, and are an effective way to get people engaged. 

Social Media Giveaway Rules

The rules you set for your social media sweepstakes should help you achieve your marketing goals. So, think of what you want your audience to do to help you grow your business and motivate them to do it by offering them an appealing prize.

Here is how you can be strategic about setting your giveaway rules by aligning your goals with the rules of your giveaway:

  • Increase brand awareness – Page shares, user tags
  • Increase social media reach and engagement – Likes, comments, shares
  • Generate new leads – Email addresses as a form of entry
  • Boost sales – Purchases as a form of entry
  • Gather user-generated content – Reviews, product images, customer stories

Keep in mind that it’s usually recommended to stick to only a few rules per giveaway. For example, following your socials, liking your social media post, and tagging a friend in the comments are enough demands for one giveaway. 

Avoid being too demanding because your followers might get discouraged and not even attempt to enter the giveaway.

How Can You Choose a Giveaway Winner?

A quick and simple way to pick a winner is to use a randomizer tool. However, this works only when your contestants have to do something simple like comment or share your post.

In more complex cases where a contestant has to submit an assignment, you have to assign people from your team to evaluate their work and pick a winner.

Pro Tip: A giveaway is also subject to promotional terms and conditions, depending on the platform it takes place on. So, make sure to check out the promotional guidelines of each platform before running a giveaway.

What to Include in a Social Media Giveaway Post?

After taking a look at the terms and conditions, you might want to include some details in your contest post or giveaway post. These details are: 

  • The start and end date of the giveaway
  • Any qualifying rules that can make your giveaway entrants eligible to win (age or country)
  • How the winner will be selected and the rules for entering the giveaway
  • When and how the winners will be announced
  • Prize details – the number of prizes and what the giveaway prize includes

Are Social Media Giveaways Still Worth It?

Social media giveaways are quick and effective practices that can help brands get the attention of their audiences. Using a giveaway app is also a convenient and efficient way for brands to engage their audience, capturing their attention swiftly and effectively.

However, that’s not the only reason why social media giveaways are still worth it.

We’ll quickly go through some benefits that will convince you to include them in your next marketing campaigns

1. Giveaways Increase Reach and Engagement Levels

Hosting a giveaway is a great way to increase engagement. All you have to do is know how to make it happen by setting the right rules.

By allowing your followers to like, comment, and share your posts, you will increase the interaction between your business and your target audience.

The best part is that it will help your future post perform better since engagement is a factor that the algorithm considers when boosting content on user feeds. Not to mention that the more users interact with a page or social media account, the more they will see their content.

2. Giveaways Raise Brand Awareness

Giveaway posts are also used to raise brand awareness, as they lead to more people finding out about a brand.  

The easiest way to achieve this is by setting a giveaway rule such as tagging friends or sharing the giveaway on a story, or your profile. 

When a user notices that they’ve been tagged in a post, they get curious and end up being involved in the giveaway even if they didn’t interact with your brand before. And just like that, a simple post tag can lead to more and more people checking out a brand and becoming aware of it and its products, giving you the chance to highlight your unique selling point

Moreover, a share can work wonders for brand awareness too. By getting your current followers to share your posts you get to reach a wider audience that still is part of your target market.

3. Giveaways Are Great for Promotion

Let’s not forget that giveaways are still promotional activities

While you can gain a significant amount of reach and engagement, your products and services also get their moment to shine. After all, your giveaway should be created around them.

The increased exposure you get as a result of running a giveaway is a great opportunity to spread the word about what you have to offer. 

So, don’t forget to post appealing product visuals and shortly mention the benefits your products and services have to offer. Thus, you will spark even more curiosity and interest among your audience.

Also, giveaways work wonders for promoting a new product or service and can set the tone for your future marketing campaigns.

For example, if you’ve just launched a new series of products that haven’t hit the shelves yet, you can host a giveaway and give your audience exclusive access to your new line of products, all while boosting engagement and increasing sales. 

4. Giveaways Can Help You Grow Your Email List

Just because you run a giveaway on social media platforms, it doesn’t mean that it should be the only channel you use to engage with your audience.

Since social media is a great place to gain exposure and interact with your prospect and email marketing is a practice that allows brands to nurture and convert leads, you can use both to make the most out of your giveaway.

But how can you do that? Simple. Offer your followers the opportunity to enter your giveaway by providing their email addresses. 

As a result, you will reach more people through social media, and convert them through your email marketing campaigns—two wins with one giveaway.

5. Giveaways Are a Great Way to Collect User-Generated Content

There is a reason why user-generated content is so used by brands. It helps your audience see your brand from the experience of other customers.

UGC serves as social proof, and it helps brands gain more credibility while also demonstrating the quality of their products. 

This type of content is more effective for one simple reason: it’s organic and honest. Customers are not paid to promote brands, they do that when they have a pleasant experience with a brand—a true testament that a business is worth checking out.

So, if you want to get your hands on user-generated content, don’t wait around, create giveaways that will help you in that manner.

For instance, let’s say that you own a clothing brand and you are planning to create an Instagram giveaway to create buzz around your brand and gain UGC.

You could offer a consistent voucher or give away a few items from your newest collection. To participate, your followers would have to post a photo of them wearing one of your clothing items and tag your brand in the post.

This way, you get to promote your products and generate word-of-mouth publicity all at once.

How To Organize and Run Social Media Giveaways

Here is how to create a social media giveaway in 10 simple steps:

  1. Establish Your Giveaway Goals
  2. Know What Your Audience Wants
  3. Choose the Giveaway Type
  4. Establish Your Prizes
  5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms
  6. Create Giveaway Posts
  7. Create a Branded Hashtag for Your Giveaway
  8. Schedule Your Posts with a Social Media Management Tool
  9. Promote Your Giveaway
  10. Measure Your Results

To get the benefits mentioned above, you have to focus on creating an effective giveaway strategy. So, without further ado, let’s dissect the step-by-step process of running a giveaway the right way. 

1. Establish Your Giveaway Goals

As we mentioned before, setting goals will help you identify the right rules for your giveaway.

So before you come up with your giveaway structure, answer the following questions:

  • What are the three main things you want to accomplish?
  • What does your audience have to do to help you achieve the goals mentioned above?
  • How can you motivate your followers to get involved in your giveaway?

Your answers will give you the information you need to create an effective giveaway campaign that will help you achieve your goals.

2. Know What Your Audience Wants

Knowing what your audience wants will give you a clear idea of what prizes you can offer and what type of giveaway you should run. 

The prize you’re offering has to be in tune with the interests of your audience. Otherwise, they will not be compelled to enter the giveaway, and your entire initiative to promote your brand will be compromised.

If you’re not sure what your audience would be interested in, the easiest way to find out is by asking them directly. You can discover what content your audience wants through a survey or a poll, for example.

Another trick to finding the best giveaway prize is to identify your bestsellers and use them as an incentive. Don’t risk it! Your strengths are your best bet.

3. Choose the Giveaway Type

Based on your goals and target audience, you have to find the best giveaway format that suits your needs.

Here are the main five types of social media giveaways brands use to promote their brand:

  1. Sales giveaways: Brands plan sales giveaways they want to boost their sales for a short time frame.
  2. Brand awareness giveaways: This type of giveaway is meant to spread the word about your brand.
  3. Holiday Giveaways: These giveaways are meant to boost sales during the holiday season.
  4. Celebratory giveaways: Brands usually run giveaways and promotions when celebrating milestones in their business journey (e.g. 10-year anniversary).
  5. New product/service launch giveaways: To get people interested, brands usually hold giveaways to boost sales and share the exciting news.

When planning your giveaway strategy, you can go for a simple approach and share a post with an engaging visual and a caption that contains all the details about it, or you can elaborate a larger campaign that spreads across multiple social media channels and requires creating multiple promotional posts.

To decide the way you are going to approach this, you have to consider the following three essential elements:

  • Advantages: What strengths can you use to boost your results? Maybe you are very popular on a certain social platform.
  • Shortages: Are there any limitations that hold you back? What is the next best alternative for you?
  • Opportunities: What external factors can improve your results? Maybe you have a good relationship with certain influencers or brands that will help you turn your giveaway into a team effort.
  • Resources: Do you have any internal resources (e.g. brand ambassadors, affiliates, a promotional budget, etc) that can benefit your giveaway?

Based on these aspects, you can find a way to make the most out of your giveaway with what you have at your disposal.

Also, there are more things you have to establish about your giveaway, such as timeline, rules, content plan, and how to choose a winner.

4. Establish Your Prizes

The first step is to think of while choosing your prize is to discover what works best for your audience. However, there are more aspects you need to consider before choosing a prize.

For example, your budget is another essential factor that will determine your options. 

You also have to decide if you will give away only one prize or if you will choose multiple winners for your giveaway.

Keep in mind that giving away a prize also comes with certain requirements, such as shipping and other elements that add friction to the exchange between your brand and the winners.

In some cases, there are legal aspects you need to figure out before you decide on a prize, especially if it’s something of higher value, like a car, for example.

Here are some simple and budget-friendly prize ideas you can easily give away to your winners:

  • Branded items
  • Gift baskets
  • Vouchers & Discounts
  • Tickets to popular events
  • Items from your most popular or newest collection

5. Choose the Right Social Media Platforms

To make sure your giveaway gets the exposure it deserves, choose your platforms carefully.

First, find out what social network your audience uses the most. Then look at your social media analytics and discover which social media platform provided the best results for you until now.

You could also create a few test posts and monitor:

  • How they perform on each platform
  • Which post format worked best
  • What were the best times to share content
Pro Tip: Giveaways are very popular on Instagram. So consider holding your giveaways there and using product tags/branded hashtags to boost your results. Also, make sure you experiment with all content formats to spread the word about your giveaway, such as feed posts, reels, and stories. 

6. Create Giveaway Posts

Now that you have decided on the best social media platforms for your giveaway, it’s time to brainstorm post ideas, and create the content you will use during this campaign.

Since videos drive a higher engagement, you should consider a short, engaging clip to post on social media. 

Also, consider branching out and experimenting with other post types rather than sticking with the classic feed post. For instance, by posting on stories, you make sure your audience sees your giveaway posts and avoid having them get lost in the crowd. 

Furthermore, pay close attention to the way you structure your captions. The goal is to make them visually appealing and give them a readable structure—feel free to use emojis to guide the eye towards valuable information.

Remember to keep the sentences short and straight to the point. After all, you want your followers to understand the rules of the giveaway just by reading them once.

Pro tip:  Look through your best-performing posts and use them as templates for your giveaway content to ensure the best results.

7. Create a Branded Hashtag for Your Giveaway

If you want to measure the results of your giveaway, a simple way to do so is by creating a specific branded hashtag for it. You will be able to see how many people have used it and track the general sentiment towards your initiative.

You can include the use of your branded hashtags in the rules of your giveaway as a way to discover user-generated content.

8. Schedule Your Posts with a Social Media Management Tool

To ensure you make the most out of your giveaway posts, you have to plan your content strategically. And by this, we mean scheduling them on the right platform at the right time. Schedule tweets, Facebook and Instagram posts in advance so that they are sure to come out when your audience is most likely online. 

So, look at your analytics and find out when your audience is usually online or check the general best posting times recommendations and schedule your giveaway content accordingly to get the most reach and engagement possible. 

Using a social media management tool will help you maintain a consistent posting system without the hassle of having to switch between platforms to post your content. Such tools centralize your work in one place (not only the content management part of things but also the content monitoring and evaluation tasks).

This is exactly what SocialBee is best at—it saves you valuable time and effort by allowing you to create, edit, schedule, and post all your content from one user-friendly dashboard.

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9. Promote Your Giveaway

Now that you have your strategy figured out, it’s time to start off your giveaway by establishing some promotional tactics to make sure your giveaway gets the attention it deserves.

To promote your giveaway, you can:

  1. Use all your social media channels to spread the word
  2. Announce it on your website by adding a pop-up 
  3. Create a blog post dedicated to your giveaway
  4. Send out a newsletter and include the news about your giveaway
  5. Run ads to boost your visibility

10. Measure Your Results

Monitoring your social media performance is an essential part of your strategy. Without it, you wouldn’t be able to improve your work.

Keeping an eye on your analytics makes it easy for you to discover what works and what doesn’t in real-time. 

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Evaluate your social media analytics and adjust your future content based on the data you gathered. Also, don’t forget about the objectives you set in the first step of the process. 

Here are five questions you should answer to evaluate your giveaway performance:

  • Did you manage to reach your objectives? 
  • Could you have done something different to optimize your results? 
  • What were the strengths of your campaign?
  • What were the weaknesses of your campaign?
  • What social media channels had the most impact?

Social Media Giveaways Statistics

Now that you know how to create a successful social media giveaway, let’s see what practice has revealed over the years by looking at some insightful giveaway statistics: 

  • 45.5% of marketers prefer to pair up Instagram and Facebook for their giveaways, rather than using the platforms alone.
  • In terms of how often a brand organizes a giveaway, 32.5% organize them once a month. 
  • 64.81% of marketing professionals use giveaways to increase the follower count on social media. Raising brand awareness ranks second place, according to 62.17% of the respondents.
  • A giveaway is usually available for approximately 7 days.
  • Videos are the preferred format, the numbers standing at 59%.
  • The average view on a giveaway listing stands at 331 average per listing. The range is 58-1,355 views.
  • The giveaway participants are older than 18, while the average age stands at 30 years old. 
  • In terms of participants, on average 53% are males, while the rest 47% are females.

Giveaway Ideas and Examples

We talked enough about the theory. Let’s see some concrete examples of successful social media contests and explore some ideas worth trying!

Like/Comment/Share to Win

This is the classic giveaway format that works every time. The rules are simple and easy to follow and they provide value to the creator: more visibility, reach, and engagement.

Also, pay attention to the way this creator structures their post:

  • They start the post by announcing this is a giveaway
  • The visual highlights the prize 
  • They use emojis to emphasize the term “giveaway” and to add structure to the rules list

Tag a Friend

Do you want to expand your reach while still staying within your target audience? There is a simple solution to that: tag a friend giveaways.

Give your followers the chance to win a prize just by recommending your brand to their online friends. It takes a few seconds to do, and people will be more compelled to participate. 

Our next example is a successful Instagram giveaway run by Sephora that gathered thousands of likes and comments.

Tag a friend social media giveaway

This is a great example of how you can gain amazing results with a very limited budget. Who knew that a $100 gift card could evoke such a response?

Best Photo Caption

Social media contest rules can be fun.

Why limit yourself to a like and a tag when you can make your giveaway more appealing by turning it into a creative exercise. Besides, your followers will be more inclined to participate when they are presented with a fun challenge.

Our next example is one of our favorites Instagram giveaways (and we think you will like it too). 

Best photo caption giveaway

By requesting funny photo captions, this Instagram account managed to increase its engagement and interact with its current following, all while having a laugh.

User-Generated Content

User-generated content can help brands increase brand awareness and gain credibility on the market. Giveaways are great practices that can help businesses gather UGC fast and easy with the help of social media.

Take for example National Geographic’s #Wanderlust campaign relied on UGC to boost brand awareness that gained more than 70,000 submissions.

This giveaway allowed their followers to showcase their skills while giving them a chance to win a 7-day photo expedition to Yosemite National Park. 

Influencer Partnerships

By organizing a giveaway together with a popular influencer from your niche, you can drastically improve your social media results as well as increase your profits.

Such influencer collaborations allow you to expose your brand to a new audience, associate your business with a positive role model and gain the trust of their followers.

Influencer partnership giveaway

Holiday-Themed Giveaways

Do you have some upcoming holidays coming up? Perfect, here is your chance to engage with your audience by running a fun social media giveaway.

9gag partnered with Gameeapp as well as a popular TikTok creator to create an interactive Instagram contest that urges their followers to upload a prank video to TikTok with their branded hashtag.

Holiday-themed giveaway

The objective of this campaign was to benefit from TikTok’s popularity, stay relevant as a provider of entertaining content, and expose their platform to a younger audience they haven’t reached before.

These Instagram giveaway ideas can be used on any social media platform. Just make sure you choose the networks where your audience is active most of the time.

Get Started with Social Media Giveaways

Social media giveaways should not be overlooked, as they work wonders for your business when they’re used properly. 

Without a doubt, social media giveaways are still worth it. That is because they create hype around a product or brand and improve visibility. Not to mention that they are simple and effective ways to reach your goals in a short time frame. 

So, follow the steps mentioned above and put our giveaway ideas to the test while creating your next giveaway. Also, you might want to make sure that you use the right tools to plan, share and monitor your giveaway posts with the right social media tool.

Luckily for you, SocialBee offers a 14-day free trial which allows you to take advantage of all the amazing content creation and scheduling features that will help your giveaway posts stand out on any platform.

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