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How To Do a Giveaway on Social Media for Your Business

A social media contest is a great way to boost engagement and conversions. Learn how to run a giveaway and what to do when it's over.

Learning how to do a giveaway on social media can be a great way to increase brand awareness, boost engagement, grow your email list, and drive traffic to your website. Plus, you can promote your latest products while increasing your following on social platforms.

Conducting a social media giveaway is also easy and cost-effective, so any business can host one. But while anybody can hold a contest, the key to a successful giveaway is the strategy behind it.

Fortunately, we’ll provide step-by-step instructions on how to run a giveaway on social media and what you should do when it’s over to help you get started.

What is a social media giveaway?

A social media giveaway is a type of contest businesses, influencers, and other entities run in order to boost brand exposure and promote new services or products. You can also work with other brands or content creators to make a giveaway that benefits both parties.

When a person participates in a giveaway, they often have to complete specific tasks to validate their entry. For example, you may require individuals to follow your Instagram account, subscribe to your youtube channel, comment on your post, and join your email list to be eligible. Once you stop accepting entries, you can select a winner.

How can giveaways benefit your business?

There are various benefits of social media giveaways. If you’re unsure about conducting a giveaway, here are a few advantages that may sway you.

  • Improve social media metrics. One of the most significant benefits of an online contest or giveaway is that you can greatly improve your social media metrics, including follower count and engagement rate.
  • Expand your reach. A giveaway makes reaching users you may have yet to contact easier.
  • Generate more sales. With new people looking at your brand and products, the opportunity to increase sales rises. If you ask existing customers to refer a friend in order to enter the giveaway, they may refer someone with similar interests and who is likely to make a purchase.
  • Boost brand awareness. Not everyone knows about your business. However, a giveaway can increase brand awareness and help people recognize your organization.
  • Grow your email list. You can collect email addresses during the giveaway, allowing you to send marketing emails and newsletters to those who sign up. However, make sure contacts consent to receive promotional materials before sending them messages.

How to have a giveaway

There are many ways to have a giveaway, which is why it’s essential to think carefully about your strategy. Use the steps below to help you learn how to do a giveaway.

Determine your goals

Your goals will influence the length of your giveaway, how you’ll promote it, and the number of resources and money you can spend to make it successful.

Ideally, you want your giveaway and goal to supplement or support your marketing efforts. For instance, an online giveaway may be beneficial if you want to build anticipation before opening a new brick-and-mortar location.

Outlining your objectives can also help you determine which social channels to use for your giveaway. A few of the most popular options include:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • LinkedIn
  • TikTok
  • Twitter

Several social media platforms are available, and you can select more than one for your giveaway. For instance, you can host a Facebook and Instagram giveaway. However, keep in mind that your audience may only be active on some of them.

Another factor you should think about is the length of your giveaway campaign. Most say a couple of weeks is plenty of time for a Facebook or Instagram contest, and some run contests over just a couple of days. Investing in some boosted social media posts typically pays off and results in more entries.

Plan ahead

Create contest materials for your Facebook or Instagram giveaway post in advance so you’re efficient with time and consistent with messaging. If you’re partnering with others, you may want to take the lead on creating visuals, email content, posts, and a schedule.

Make sure to get the partnership finalized and scheduled early if you’re considering working with a media partner who can feature your contest on their site or in their newsletter.

Decide the giveaway rules

Be sure your terms and official contest rules are easy to understand, and be clear about what people are opting in to receive from you—weekly newsletters, daily emails, or contest information only.

For example, if your goal is to grow your mailing list and obtain more qualified leads, you may ask giveaway participants to provide their email addresses. Or, if you wish to promote your brand, you can ask people to share your contest post or tag their friends.

Choose a prize

Choose a giveaway prize your target audience will care about, and communicate the value, not just the dollar amount. Maybe it’s something people can’t easily get on their own or something they wouldn’t normally buy for themselves. Ultimately, you want the right people entering the contest—those who are interested in your brand, not just folks who want to cash in.

Manage entries

While you can manage giveaway entries manually, you may struggle to keep track of participants if engagement is high. Consider using an app to help collect and manage entries. An array of social media tools are available to make managing entries easier, so make sure to review each one to determine if it meets your needs.

Pick a contest winner

It’s time to learn how to pick a winner for a giveaway now that it’s over. In most cases, the winner of the Facebook or Instagram contest is chosen randomly, and you can use an app to randomly select a winner based on the rules you set.

Once you choose a winner, you can make an announcement on social media and via email. At this step, it’s a good idea to thank everyone for participating and encourage users to continue following your brand to stay informed about your next Instagram giveaway.

What to do after your social media giveaway

You’ve done a lot of work to build a new list of emails, and your gut might tell you, “Quick! Get these into your Mailchimp list!” But you should consider keeping these new contest subscribers in a separate contest list—at least temporarily.

A good idea is to segment those who subscribed to your contest in order to join the giveaway and run a separate campaign. You can send a few emails and clean out anyone on the contest list who doesn’t engage before merging them into the main list.

You might even consider making the unsubscribe button more noticeable for the first couple of emails to the new contest list. This makes it easier for people to opt-out rather than make a complaint. No one likes to see unsubscribes, but abuse complaints can create real problems.

By waiting and giving contest subscribers a few chances to unsubscribe, you can add people who are truly interested in your brand.

The other big decision you’ll need to make is when to start communicating with these new contest subscribers: as soon as they enter or at the end of the contest. By emailing sooner rather than later, there’s a better chance they’ll remember entering (and who you are), especially if the contest lasts a few weeks.

By waiting, you avoid coming on too strong, and you can offer a consolation prize—like a discount or credit—to those who didn’t win. You might even consider splitting your contest list in half, and A/B testing both approaches to see which works best for your business.

Tips for running a giveaway

To help you run a giveaway/contest, here are a few useful tips:

  • Follow the rules of the social networking platform you’re using. Every social media network has its own rules and guidelines regarding Facebook or Instagram giveaways.
  • Review your results and improve your strategy. This most likely won’t be the last giveaway you host, so it’s important to learn about what worked well and didn’t to make your next contest even better.
  • Promote your giveaway on other channels. Even if you’re only using one social media platform for your giveaway, you can use different channels to promote it and encourage followers to join.
  • Ensure the rules are simple. The easier your giveaway rules are to follow, the more likely users are to complete them.
  • Be fair and honest. It may be tempting to select a winner based on their following or engagement with your brand. However, picking a winner in a fair manner can increase trust among your followers and your organization’s credibility.

Positive customer interactions are the key to engagement

Giveaways and contests can take up a significant amount of time, so if you try it, craft one that will fit within your workflow and be worth it for you—and your subscribers. Doing so can deepen the relationship between you and your target audience and create positive customer interactions. Use the steps outlined above to build a giveaway that aligns with your marketing and overall business goals.

If you’re looking for a tool to amplify your giveaway, Mailchimp's social media marketing tools can help. Use Mailchimp to plan and schedule your posts and run targeted ads to increase your reach. Whatever your goals, check out our marketing software and learn how we can support your endeavors today.

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