How to Organize a Successful Social Media Giveaway

Learn why you should create an awesome social media giveaway in part one. In our experience, the easiest way to create a giveaway is to plan everything in advance. I'll show you how we split the process into 5 stages:

Stage 1: The Questions

If you're going to do anything, it's important to know why you're doing it. By applying this logic to giveaways, it's simple to come up with a few key questions that you need to ask yourself:

  • What is the goal of the event? Every aspect of the project will depend on the answer. Set a clear target and always keep it in mind.
  • How will you measure results? There are many metrics you can look at. Likes, shares, email addresses, and so on. Find what's relevant and start observing.
  • Where will it be held? You've got plenty of channels to choose from. Your safest bet is to pick the one with the biggest and most active audience.
  • How long will the giveaway last? Set a timetable and stay organized. A small giveaway can last for a week or two, but a large one should take three or even four weeks. Make sure you have time to reach your goals.
  • What will the prizes be? You can't just offer random stuff and expect people to care. Choose the rewards carefully. Offer something attractive that will also represent your brand well.
  • How are you going to promote the giveaway? Such an event needs a lot of marketing to get the best results. Decide where and how often you'll talk about the giveaway. If you'll spend money on ads, set a budget and some keywords.
  • How will you pick the winners? Will you do it randomly or under certain conditions? If you pick winners according to certain criteria, be as clear and transparent as possible. Being accused of rigging the giveaway is the last thing you want.

Once you've answered all these questions, your job will become a lot easier. Make sure everything is written down for reference.

Stage 2: Pre-Launch Promotion

If the social media giveaway just springs up overnight, the results will be modest at best. You have to start hyping it up early. At launch, you should already have more buzz than a beehive.

My advice is to stick to free marketing methods for now. There's not much of a point to buy ads if people can't sign up yet. Your goal is to raise awareness.

Start posting about the giveaway on social media. You should focus mostly on the channel you'll use but show your other accounts some love as well. Use all your social media marketing skills for this, don't hold back.

Our giveaway is being held on Twitter, and you know how it goes. You have to post often and include loads of cool images or gifs.

Another important matter is what you'll talk about. Empty reminders won't do. Here are the relevant topics:

  • The Reason Behind the Giveaway
  • When It Starts
  • How to Join
  • The Prizes - this should be your primary focus

Don't be afraid to be silly or make jokes. A social media giveaway is a fun event, not a formal meeting.

Stage 3: Blastoff!

After plenty of teasing and hype, it's time to start. Your number one objective at this point is to be active on the platform. Post like there's no tomorrow and get as many people as possible to share.

If you've chosen Twitter as a home-base, don't let the character limit discourage you. We've found that posting Tweets in quick succession as part of a "speech" works quite well. You're making your point clearly while also making sure your audience hears you.

Post a sticky about the giveaway on your profile. This way, anyone who visits it will hear about the event. At this point, you can also let your ads loose, so you get even more people on board.

Stage 4: Post-Launch Promotion

Talk about the giveaway at least once a day from launch until its end. As time passes, traffic will decrease, and your goal is to keep that from happening.

This stage is the perfect moment to get some outside help. Contact influencers in your industry and get them to spread the news. Look for collaboration or guest post opportunities and promote further.

Don't assume that all the participants know and understand all the prizes. Present them in detail, link to product descriptions and reviews if possible.

Show the people who already entered the contest some love. Keep them up-to-date with any giveaway-related news. Thank them for showing their interest and support.

Stage 5: The Wrap-Up and the Evaluation

Once you're ready, it's time to announce the winner. Do it by emailing everyone who got a piece of the action. Personalize your emails to make the recipients feel truly special.

Take time to ask them if they'd be OK with being featured on your website. Most people will be thrilled with the idea. Others might value their privacy, so you should respect their wishes.

But what about the ones who didn't win anything? They don't necessarily have to leave empty-handed. If you have the possibility, here are some suggestions:

  • Offer them a gift card for a modicum of money
  • Offer a price reduction for any purchases made through your store. Make it sound "exclusive".

When it's time to post on your web page, thank everyone involved in the process:

  • The participants, most of all
  • The influencers who helped you with the giveaway
  • Your staff and friends for being there through it all

You shouldn't stop the buzz train here. Generate more traffic by creating content based on your reward announcements.

After you've exhausted your bag of content, gather all the metrics involved and compare them to the initial ones. If you did everything right, you should see an increase.

It should also give you an idea of what you need to improve for the next giveaway - because there totally needs to be a "next time".

Conclusion

Giveaways are a win-win situation: Your audience has some fun, gets some prizes. You gain popularity and some information. Doesn't that sound great?

Hopefully, this will encourage you to start your very own contest. After all, who doesn't like winning?

While you're at it, why not enter Squirrly's very own giveaway? Get a chance to become a #bettermarketer and win some great stuff.

Get it while it's hot - the giveaway lasts only until the 16th of October! It's super-easy (2 steps!) to sign up for free goodies.