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BBB Business Tip: How to run a social media giveaway

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CAPE GIRARDEAU, MO (BBB) -- Social media giveaways are a great way to promote your business. With the average adult in the United States spending more than two hours a day scrolling through social media, a well-run giveaway will help build brand awareness and grow your online following.

However, running a successful giveaway isn’t as simple as posting on your social platform of choice. It’s important to consider your audience and business strategy, follow the applicable laws, and plan out logistics in advance. To make a success of your social media giveaway, BBB recommends the following tips:

Tips for Hosting a Social Media Giveaway

  • Have specific goals in mind. First, consider your reasons for hosting the giveaway. Ask yourself, what is my goal? Do I want to increase followers, generate leads, or increase brand awareness? If your goal is to increase followers, ask entrants to like or follow your page. If your goal is to generate leads, direct people to a landing page where they can give you contact information to enter.
  • Know your audience. Think about your potential customer. What is their age, gender, and preferred social media network? Where do they live? What would they be willing to do to enter a contest or giveaway? The answers to these questions can help you keep your contest promotions, rules, and prizes as relevant as possible.
  • Choose worthy prizes. Remember, the goal is to attract entrants that will eventually convert to customers. Be sure to keep that in mind when setting a prize. Consider what type of prize your target customers want – not just what will get you a lot of traffic. The best prizes are related to your business and of high enough value that people will consider it worth the effort to enter. 
  • Consider partnering with an influencer or like-minded brand. Partnering with popular businesses in a similar niche or with an influencer can significantly extend the reach of your giveaway. Some businesses choose to hire an agency to help them find and connect with giveaway partners.
  • Respect giveaway laws. Keep things legal by clearly stating that your contest does not require entrants to purchase anything or pay for entries, which would constitute an illegal lottery. Clearly explain the methods of entry, the dates winners will be announced, and how winners will claim their prizes. In the United States, don’t forget to check state-by-state exceptions to make sure your contest is within the law as well. If you are being paid to promote a specific product, be sure you understand what disclosures you are required to make and how you should make them. For Canadian businesses, check out this article for social media sweepstakes rules.  
  • Respect platform-specific contest guidelines. TwitterFacebookPinterest, and Instagram all have their own set of promotion guidelines. Check with your social media network of choice ahead of time to make sure your giveaway sticks to the rules.
  • Give clear instructions and don’t make it too complicated. Be sure to iron out the details as to when and how your contest will run. Then, communicate the rules clearly and concisely to entrants. Entry requirements that are too complicated will make it difficult for you to pick a winner fairly. These also can be the sign of a scam and discourage potential customers from entering.
  • Use quality images and video to promote your giveaway. Social media is all about visual appeal, meaning low-quality images or videos will reflect poorly on your brand. Use only the highest-quality images and videos available to you to promote your giveaway through social media posts, stories, emails, and any other channels you use to communicate with customers.
  • Take advantage of hashtags. Forbes recommends using hashtags in your giveaway posts to extend the reach of your content. Use hashtags specific to your business and customers as well as more general hashtags, such as #contest or #giveaway.
  • Measure results. After the winner has been announced and the prize has been handed over, measure your results. The results you measure will depend on your original goal. If you wanted to increase your followers, look at the number of new followers you acquired. If you wanted to increase brand awareness, look at your engagement rates and reach. The results will allow you to see how you can improve giveaways in the future as you leverage social media to reach your business goals.
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Dave Davis

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