How to do a Giveaway for Your Business

Vlogger conducting giveaway on his channel

Learning how to do a giveaway is more straightforward than it may first appear. Whether you choose to promote your business on Instagram, Facebook, or any other social media platform, it's an excellent way to grow your brand recognition while simultaneously encouraging people to talk about what it is that you have to offer them.

It's not just a case of picking one of your products and posting to your page, though. Therefore, here are five steps to better understand how to run a contest to remember.

1. Decide what you want to gain from the upcoming giveaway.

The potential reasons for hosting a contest are numerous, but all serve the higher purpose of promoting your business. Determining why you want to host a giveaway is critical to deciding on how it will manifest in the virtual world. For example, are you planning to increase your follower count, or is the goal to grow your email list? Is it to boost overall brand awareness, or to let potential customers know about an amazing new product that you are offering?

When you have established the purpose, you can work towards adjusting the structure of the contest. Be it encouraging comments, likes, or subscriptions, knowing your end goal for the content allows you to cater to your exact needs and drive engagement to where you want it to be.

2. Choose an eye-catching prize.

Of course, as with any competition, potential participants need to be enticed by the prize. Not only is it an incentive for contestants to enter, but it can also encourage them to spread the word to friends and family.

Therefore, you need to select something that attracts interest, but which you can afford to give away. This could be an offering of your new items (perhaps even a sneak peek at an unreleased product), or an assortment of both new things and old favourites. Similarly, if you provide a service, you can give away premium memberships for a set time or a bundle of one-off services.

For influencers seeking to grow their following and traction in the online world, putting together an assortment of trending products is the way to go, inciting followers to engage with you in hopes of winning the big prize. After all, the bottom line is to attract contestants.

Screenshot of a product giveaway on InstagramBirchbox via InstagramExample of an Instagram giveaway

3. Determine how a contestant can enter, including all necessary rules.

Again, as with any competition, there has to be a set of clear rules that contestants must follow for their entry to be deemed valid. This could be accomplished by having people follow or 'like' your account, having existing followers tag their friends and family in the comment section to gain entries, or asking them to share their thoughts and feelings on a given subject. However you want them to enter, you must be clear and definitive with your instructions.

You must disclose the fact that the contest is unaffiliated with the platform you are hosting the competition on (such as Facebook or Instagram), unless, of course, it is. You also need to identify if the promotion is co-sponsored with another brand. Be clear on any entrant restrictions, such as if it is limited to a particular country or if contestants have to be above a specific age. Define a definite start and end date, too, including exact times (and time zones), as well as letting contestants know when and how the winner will be announced and notified. 

4. Launch and share your giveaway on social media!

After putting in all the effort to plan and organise your giveaway, it's time to launch it to the world! In preparation for the big reveal, you can make mention of your giveaway before it happens, either as a post, in your stories, or even by sending an email announcement.

Once it launches, begin by selecting a unique hashtag for the campaign – preferably one that uses your company's name. There is also some value to be found in inserting additional generic hashtags such as #giveaway or #winitwednesday, as some users deliberately seek out terms like this.

Meanwhile, in order to spread the word of your giveaway, you should consider three ways of how to run it. First and foremost, you can post the contest on your chosen social media account (or even accounts, although it is usually best to restrict each giveaway to one particular platform), and then allow your followers to take over. Other options include paying for an advertisement to broadcast to your niche market or sharing the post on online groups filled with audiences that you know would be interested. 

5. Pick a winner.

The final step is perhaps the easiest. When the moment for decision making arrives, you must pick the winner of the giveaway. You can select a winner at random by scrolling through the comment section and putting your finger down on a single user. However, you can also compile a spreadsheet of the names of all entrants who entered successfully, place their names in a random name selector, and choose a victor in that manner. Regardless of how you decide to pick your winner, be sure that you are doing so fairly and in an unbiased way.

Once you have selected the lucky prize winner, reach out to them in the way described within the contest rules. This is typically accomplished via direct message or email. Afterwards, announce the name of the champion in the comment section of your contest post, as well as on your social media stories, so that your followers can see who won.

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The power of digital marketing is undeniable, and hosting an exciting giveaway on social media is a clever way to boost your brand identity and online presence. By referring to the steps outlined above, you should be able to run an effective and appealing giveaway smoothly, enabling your audience to do the rest.

Have you run a social media giveaway before? What went well, and what would you improve next time? Let us know your experiences in the comment section below!