Brands, Community Approach, Customer Marketing, Influencer Marketing, Micro Influencers, Social Marketing

Social Media Marketing Ideas #3: Contests, Raffles & Giveaways Ideas

Giveaways are limited-time promotions in which brands promise to give away a product or service to one (or more) entrants according to a specified set of contest criteria.

If there’s one thing that brands and customers love, it’s giveaways and social media contests. Branded competitions, or raffles – no matter which form they take, giveaways carry a certain value both for companies and their consumers.

You’ve likely seen many e-commerce brands hosting giveaways on Instagram, Facebook or TikTok. If you have, it’s for a good reason: Social media giveaways can help brands collect any type of information, engage visitors, and lead them in any direction they want.

giveaway ideas campaign

And the best part is, as a marketer, you can collect highly interested leads that you cannot easily do on social media.

So, what are giveaways?

Typically, when you host a giveaway, you offer freebies to your audience, and (depending on your goal) ask them to do one or more of the following things:

  • Like and / or share your post
  • Use your branded hashtags
  • Tag their friends in the comments section
  • Follow your social media accounts

You can also make your social media contest more engaging by introducing a competitive element to it. For instance, you could ask participants to upload a selfie featuring your product. Or participants could be required to take part in a poll in order to be eligible to win. Or the best comment wins.

Why you should do social media contests?

There are people who might be keeping track of your social media activities without actually hitting the “follow” button. When you encourage them to hit that button in exchange for certain incentives, you can grow your audience effectively.

Also, if people can get freebies just by tagging their friends, they are more likely to do so. And people who get tagged on your post immediately receive a notification.

social media contest

This, in turn, widens your reach by helping your brand connect with a new audience that may have been previously unaware of your existence. These people might further be motivated to participate in the giveaway by tagging their friends. Which enhances brand visibility and gets more people talking about your brand.

This is the key for a successful campaign. For example, according to Tailwind, hosting giveaways on Instagram can help you grow your followers 70% faster. Also, their research study shows that Instagram contests get 3.5 times as many likes and 64 times more comments on average than regular posts.

Giveaways with Influencers and Brand Advocates

Your social media contests do not need to be limited to your current base of followers and customers. Influencers love giving something to their audience as it increases their engagement. Brands, through them, get to access to an expanded audience, reach new potential customers and benefit from positive exposure.

giveaway campaign with influencer

Giveaways also provide access to user-generated content. For instance, when you run a selfie contest, you can easily repurpose these contest entries on your own Instagram, TikTok or Facebook page. People who win a contest or giveaway and get featured on your social media, feel valued. This, in turn, reinforces loyalty by encouraging them to become genuine brand advocates.

How to plan a giveaway campaign – 6 steps

While giveaways might seem quite simple, executing a successful contest campaign needs some planning. You need to ensure that your giveaway announcement actually reaches your target audience and meet your business goals. Also, you need to be cautious so that the giveaway doesn’t land you in any kind of legal trouble. Here are essential steps for you to plan successfully your social media contest:

#1 – Follow the rules

First things first: Make sure you won’t be breaking any legal term of the social media platforms with your campaign. Depending on the platform you choose, there are certain rules you need to make sure to adhere to if you don’t want to see your campaign kicked off that platform. What’s ok on e.g. YouTube might violate Instagram’s platform policy.

Give them a quick read first:

Now that you know what you can and cannot do, you need to define a goal for your contest. For instance, you might want to:

  • Generate more engagement on your posts.
  • Grow your social media following.
  • Get more people to sign up for your email list and visit your website
  • Get user-generated content (UGC).

In general, contests are a great way to grow your audience and expand your reach. When using contest requirements such as “tag a friend in the comments,” your existing audience does the work of sharing your content with their friends. And if their friends have similar interests and like your contest, they’ll enter and tag their friends too. Your follower count then grows exponentially.

If you’re launching a new product or service, a giveaway on Instagram or TikTok can be a resourceful way to create excitement and interest. For product-based businesses, UGC is a powerful way to generate fresh content and gain a new perspective about how your product is being used.

Social media contests will usually boost your post engagement, resulting in multiple benefits in relation to the Instagram algorithm for example. With your post performing well, it may rank higher in hashtag searches, allowing new audiences to find your content.

#3 – Select the Winning Prize or Incentive to Participate

Prizes are the main reason why people participate in giveaways. But, as a brand, that’s not an easy decision. Choose a prize too common, and you won’t grab much attention. But choose a prize too big, and chances are you’ll attract freebie-seekers.

As tempting as it sounds, offering a car or the newest iphone in your giveaway will do little good for you. Why? Because attractive but irrelevant prizes are spam magnets.

You’ll most likely end up with an email list full of uninterested leads who are only in for the prize. Instead, keep your prize relevant to your products and your value proposition.

While planning the giveaway, make sure the prize serves your contest goals. If your purpose is to grow your email list, an Instagram contest where users tag their friends won’t help you.

Remember, a good giveaway doesn’t speak to everyone. Rather, it speaks to your buyer persona.

#4 – Define the steps for your users to participate

How will your users enter the contest? Some possibilities are to follow your account, like the post, @mention one or more other users, post something with a hashtag, go to your website, and so on. Entry requirements can be one or any combination of these criteria.

The key is to make it easy for users to participate: try to limit the entry requirements to no more two or three steps.

Perhaps, the most effective tactic to ask your audience to do is requiring contest participants to create content as an entry requirement. This ensures you’ll acquire new sources of user generated-content. Also, when your audience is out there creating content about your brand and posting it to their own profiles, their followers are seeing it and you get added exposure at no cost.

giveaway steps to participate

#5 – Pick your hashtags

Your campaign hashtag is the key for promoting your contest and sourcing content shared as entries in the contest, as well as tracking your success and analytics. Choose a hashtag that’s related to the campaign, theme, product or service, and/or your business.

Hashtags for campaigns can be longer than usual but should be easy to recognize and spell. Also, it should be exclusive to that individual campaign, and make sure no one other brand is using it.

#6 – How will you choose and announce the Winner 

When planning your campaign, you also need to decide how winners will be chosen and how you’ll notify them. Will you use a random generator tool (free online tools are available) or will entries be judged? Will you email the winners or DM them on Instagram? Or use another method?

Make sure you actually announce the winner of your giveaway on the stipulated date and time. By delivering on your promise, you can create the image of a brand that is transparent and true to your potential customers. This can help reinforce the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.

How to Promote Giveaways on Instagram, TikTok and other Social Media

Just having great giveaway ideas won’t guarantee results. In fact, even the best giveaways on Instagram and TikTok might fail to achieve the desired reach and engagement in the absence of adequate promotion.

You need to ensure that your giveaway announcement grabs the attention of your target audience.

influencer profile analysis

In order to solicit maximum participation, you should promote your contest in all social media platforms. Use popular hashtags such as #contestalert, #giveaway, etc. in your giveaway description. This is extremely useful to increase the visibility of your post. You can also use other relevant and trending hashtags in order to maximize reach.

In addition, you can collaborate with  influencers and content creators to promote your content. Ask them to post your giveaway announcement on their own profile. This will help you tap into the loyal and engaged fan base of the influencer which, in turn, expands your reach even further.

What seems obvious but is nonetheless often forgotten is that your contest should appeal to potential customers of yours, not just entrants to the sweepstake. Using VoxFeed will help you make sure that the audiences of the influencers are aligned with your target. 

voxfeed platform

Some Giveaways Ideas & Social Media Contests

Social media contests ideas can range from something as simple as asking the participants to like a post to encouraging the creation of user-generated content. It depends on the end goals you want to achieve through the campaign. And it also depends on the budget you have for the reward of the giveaway.

To give you some inspiration for your campaigns, here are some examples of giveaways campaigns:

#1 – Follow to Win

A basic yet effetive giveaway campaing is a follow to win contest. This one requires participants to follow your social media profile to enter to win the prize. Needless to say, this is a great way to grow your follower count and build brand awareness. It is often used in combination with other giveaway ideas such as “like and share” or “tag a friend”.

You can grow your audience further by encouraging users to like and follow your other social media profiles as well.

giveaway campaign follow

#2 – Like and Share 

Also, one of the simplest giveaway ideas is to encourage participants to like your post and share it on their own profiles. You can even ask them to use your unique branded hashtag while reposting the announcement. By getting your content shared, you will be able to increase brand awareness and attract more people to your social media profiles.

#3 – Refer or Tag Friends

This is one of the most effective giveaway ideas to grow your audience. The concept is simple – participants need to tag one or more of their friends in the comments section to be eligible to win the prize.

The users who have been tagged can further tag their friends to participate in the giveaway. This is an effective way of expanding your reach in a fast manner.

When people get tagged in your post, they will take notice of your giveaway announcement and your brand. This enables you to reach an audience that may not have been accessed via other modes of communication.

giveaway campaign tag a friend

A slight variation of the tag-a-friend giveaway is to ask participants to nominate their friends for a prize. Instead of winning the prize for themselves, participants can indirectly reward their friends with your freebies. 

#4 – Write a Caption

Another idea is to post content on your social media and ask your followers to post their own captions in the comments section.

The winner (the most voted caption for instance), in turn, is rewarded with freebies. In addition, you can also edit the posts to showcase the winning caption.

#5 – Content Contest

People upload content (pictures, selfies, and videos) on social media regularly. You can incentivize this behavior for your own benefit by encouraging them to upload a picture showcasing your product/brand. 

user generated content

When participants upload pictures with your branded hashtag on their profiles, their network of followers and friends becomes aware of your brand. With the right incentive, you can even encourage some people from this extended network to take part in the giveaway.

Another reason why this is one of the most popular giveaways ideas is that it presents you with an endless pool of user-generated content for future posts.

#6 – Vote to Win

People love to have their say. Create a contest where a vote counts as an entry. Ask users to vote in the comment section of a post, or create a poll.

vote to win

You can submit to voting a newer version of your logo, ask your audience to pick their favourite product, or something that is relevant to your business. This is a quick and easy way to collect feedback from your audience on something important to you.

Get free access to influencers and content creators for your giveaways campaigns