How To Grow Your Social Following With A Giveaway

By March 29th, 2017


Businesses owners and marketers are always looking for new ways to grow their social audience. When you have a strong group of followers, fans and friends on social media, you have a direct line of communication to a group of interested clients and customers. One of the best ways to expand your brand awareness and get your audience engaged with your company is through a giveaway.

It is no secret that everyone loves free stuff. Promising to give away something special to a participating individual is sure to get people interested in what you have to offer. But your goal isn’t to give something away without getting anything in return. You want to create a community of engaged, responsive and interested individuals.

So how can you actually run a giveaway that increases brand awareness and gets you new social followers? Here are some tips.

Giveaway Laws & TOS Regulations

Before you can get started with your giveaway, you need to understand the laws and regulations related to giving away something for free. While you may think you should be able to run your giveaway however you want to, this unfortunately isn’t the case.

Giveaways, also called sweepstakes, involve giving away a prize without requiring the participant to make a purchase. When running a giveaway, it is actually illegal to make participants purchase an item or contribute money if they would like to win. This means you cannot select your giveaway winner from a pool of customers or purchasers.

In order to make your giveaway legal, you need to select your winner from a pool of participants who perform a particular action or activity that doesn’t include spending money. However, you must also ensure the action complies with the terms of service for the social media platform you’re running the promotion on.

Finally, each state may have specific laws about how a social media giveaway can be performed in that area. If you’re running a nationwide giveaway or a giveaway local to a specific area, make sure you’re following all the area-specific rules. This is, in fact, why so many sweepstakes exclude Quebec.

After you’ve considered all the relevant laws, there is still the issue of terms of service (TOS) regulations. Most social networks do not allow you to require entrants to follow your business to enter a giveaway. Be sure to check the specific rules of each social network you plan to include in your giveaway to be sure your giveaway complies with their rules.

Setting Yourself up for Success

When running a social media giveaway, you want to create a landing page specific to that promotion. This landing page will give your visitors all the information they need to enter the sweepstakes right in one place.

Be sure to include all the basic details about the giveaway, as well as links that will point them in the direction of more information. Your text should be easy to read, with appropriate headers and sections.

Don’t be afraid to let your visitors know what the giveaway is worth. When people know the deal they could be getting, they will be more likely to sign up. Be sure you’re letting them know when the promotion ends, highlighting the urgency to input their information before it is too late.

Keep your sign-up instructions simple. If you try to make your audience jump through too many hoops, they’re less likely to follow through.

Announcing the Giveaway

Once you have your giveaway details in place, you’re ready to make an announcement. The more buzz you can get around your giveaway, the higher your response will be.

To get your audience motivated about your giveaway, spend at least a week before your launch building up some excitement. Encourage them to alert their friends that a giveaway is coming and remind them when to tune in for more details.

Promoting the Giveaway the Right Way

Promoting your giveaway is just as important as announcing it. If you’re not doing the right kind of promotion, you’re not going to get the right people signing up to participate.

Make sure whatever bloggers or influencers you’re working with know when the promotion will go live and where they should be directing their audiences. Using influencer marketing is one of the best ways to promote a giveaway, because you’re reaching an already-trusting audience directly.

You should also remind your own followers or customers that your giveaway is about to launch. While your goal for the giveaway may be to attract new customers and clients, giving your existing customers a heads up shows that their business is still important to you and reminds them to share the information with friends and family.

Here are a few other giveaway promotion tips:

Remember to stay active during the entire length of your giveaway, especially if it lasts a few days. Give updates about the prizes being offered, how much time is left or even just reminders that the promotion is running.

Create an urgency around your giveaway to really push your audience to engage. If they feel like they’re going to miss out if they don’t sign up as soon as possible, then they may continue to put it off until they completely forget to sign up at all.

When promoting your giveaway, stay away from generic tactics or using non-descriptive hashtags like #giveaway. While these can get a high number of sign ups, they typically won’t be within your target market. If you’re looking to create lasting relationships with your audience, this isn’t the way to go. Make sure you’re promoting in areas where it’s easy to find your target market, such as relevant Facebook groups, Twitter chats, or subreddits.

You can also set your promotion up for success with the right audience by choosing the right prize. The best prizes for a targeted promotion are highly targeted themselves; for example, $30,000 would be an attractive prize for anyone, and would likely attract a bunch of junk entries. However, a $30,000 healthy playground makeover, like this playground equipment company is currently offering, appeals only to their target audience of schools, communities, and military bases.


Finding the Right Balance

It can take a bit of trial and error to really get your giveaway strategy down. With each giveaway you run, you should assess what worked well, what didn’t work the way you hoped, and what you would like to change the next time around. Take what you learn, combined with these tips, and you’ll get better results each time.


* Adapted lead image:  Public Domain, via

About the Author: Adrienne Erin

Adrienne Erin is a freelance writer and blogger who specializes in social media marketing.

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