Are you looking for a powerful way to grow your small business? If so, you may want to consider hosting a social media giveaway.
From a consumer point of view, contests are an exciting way to engage with businesses online. People will happily share posts, leave comments, join your email list, and more if there’s a chance they could win something of value like your product or service.
Social media sites like YouTube, Instagram, and Twitter are great places to promote your giveaways because you can reach over 4.55 billion people. Most experts agree that this number will continue to climb in the years ahead.
The thing is, creating a contest from scratch can prove challenging for newcomers. Many business leaders aren’t sure where to begin, so they eventually scrap the idea. Today, my goal is to shed some light on social media giveaways by showing you several actionable tips you can use to make your next event a success.
Let’s dive in!
Develop Contests with Customer Segments in Mind
If you want to host a highly-engaging contest, I suggest keeping customer segments in mind during the planning and design phase of your journey. Customer segments are the various groups of people who visit your website and buy your products.
For example, virtual pet stores break their segments down by the type of animals each person owns. People who own cats are one segment, dog owners fall into another group, etc. This strategy is crucial because it allows you to personalize your content and marketing efforts for each group.
The marketing team behind this pet store wouldn’t want to send offers for cat food to dog owners and vice versa.
When it comes to your contest, your segments will determine the prizes you pick and how you promote your event. Choose rewards and marketing language that resonates with your intended audience, and there’s a good chance you’ll see a surge of entries.
Folks who need help segmenting their audience should fill out a buyer persona template to determine the needs, pain points, and goals of their customers.
Create a Giveaway Landing Page
It’s possible to dramatically improve contest participation by creating a giveaway landing page on your website.
Your landing page should include essential details about your event, such as the prize, start date, end date, and entry methods. I also suggest making it easy for visitors to get from your landing page to your social media account.
The best part about creating a landing page for your event is you can really ‘sell’ your prize and brand. Users will see your brand name, the blurb included with your contest, and entry methods on social media.
But on your website, you can go into a little more detail. I like to include genuine user reviews from our prize and add them to the landing page. This strategy makes sense because an impressive 85% of people say they trust consumer reviews.
It turns out that when a product is free, people still want to know if participating is worth their time and energy. Testimonials from people who paid for your product and were happy with their decision can help you win over visitors who find their way to your giveaway landing page.
Show Multiple Entry Methods
Now, let’s talk about the various ways people can enter your contest. I recommend using multiple entry methods so you can grow multiple marketing channels at the same time.
Here are a few entry criteria I’ve used over the last several years:
- Ask users to sign up for your newsletter. You can use this technique to grow your email list and nurture new subscribers.
- Encourage users to share your giveaway. This strategy will help amplify brand awareness and can lead to more participants.
- Allow user-generated content (UGC) in the form of photos or videos. When other people promote your brand in this way, they can help build social proof and encourage new users to trust your company.
- Give users the option to leave a comment. Comments send a positive signal to the algorithm, which could result in your post appearing prominently on users’ social media feeds.
You can choose other entry methods based on your goals, audience size, and product selection. The most important thing to remember about this part of the process is participating in your event should be fun and engaging for your audience.
Choose an Appropriate Time Frame
The timing of your giveaway could directly impact engagement. You have to find the line between an event that’s too long and not long enough. If you let your contest go on for a long time, people may forget they entered, which isn’t ideal for building rapport.
On the other hand, if your event is too short, most people won’t have time to participate. You don’t want to shrug off a large percentage of people who otherwise would have entered.
I found the perfect balance for a giveaway is about two weeks. This time frame gives you plenty of time to promote your event, reach out to existing subscribers, and answer questions. Two weeks is also an appropriate time frame to build FOMO (also known as Fear of Missing Out).
FOMO is an excellent way to encourage people to enter your giveaway. The idea behind FOMO is people are willing to take action if they see they have a limited time to take advantage of an offer or event. For example, shoppers are far more likely to pull out their debit cards if one of their favorite websites has a flash sale. People don’t want to miss out on special offers and value propositions, so they feel compelled to participate.
Research shows that about 69% of millennials experience FOMO daily. You can add this element to your giveaway by including a countdown timer directly on the entry form. Odds are, someone will see that they only have a few days to enter, which will cause them to take action.
Partner with Relevant Influencers
Finally, let’s talk about why you should partner with relevant influencers. Social media influencers are creators that have a consistent audience who regularly tune in to their content. These people usually have accounts on YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, and a website.
You can partner with influencers across these different platforms to promote your giveaway. The key is to find content creators with an audience that’s very similar to your own.
For instance, a footwear company may decide to partner with a fashion and beauty influencer. These influencers are known to promote clothing, makeup, and helpful home gadgets. Their audience is likely interested in seeing new shoes, so this partnership makes sense.
If you’re wondering about the impact of influencers on audience engagement, consider this; a jaw-dropping 130 million Instagram users click on sponsored posts (like giveaways) every month.
For those who don’t have access to a feature-rich giveaway tool, you can hold a giveaway through individual influencers. So, the footwear company we mentioned earlier may decide to give their influencer of choice a pair of shoes that they can raffle to their audience. This strategy is a little less hands-on, but it can help build brand awareness and improve website traffic just as much as a self-hosted giveaway.
Back to You
It’s easy to see that there are plenty of ways to improve your next social media giveaway. The tips offered here can help you generate more engagement and grow your small business.
My final piece of advice to you is this; track your contests over time and figure out what works. Every business is different. You may find that one or two entry methods account for 90% of your entries. Perhaps you’ll discover that your customers are really into one specific prize on your website. Gather data and fine-tune your process over time, and you’ll have no problem making product giveaways a pillar of your social media marketing strategy.