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Tips for Running Successful Giveaways on Social Media

By Mar 12, 2014 July 8th, 2014 24 Comments

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Whether you’re a blogger, online retailer, designer, you name it, your online presence is everything these days and engaging with your followers is key. A great way to excite your existing fan base and attract new followers is to offer giveaways on your site–I mean who doesn’t love a freebie!?

But, having successful giveaways is a little trickier and way more complex than just putting up a post.

how to run giveaways

 How to Run Successful Giveaways on Social Media

Don’t know where to start? We’ve compiled a few simple dos and don’ts to make sure your giveaways will be successful… and maybe even go viral!

DO Read The Rules; DON’T Ignore Them

Whether you’re using Facebook, Twitter or Instagram for your giveaways, you first need to read up on the platform’s basic rules and regulations. You don’t want to get shut down for a violation, and you want to make sure that your readers don’t do anything to hurt their own online reputations either. For example, Twitter asks that you remind users to not create a slew of new accounts to increase their chances of winning–that can actually get them suspended from the site, which could definitely lead to some “un-follows” in your future.

DO Set Your Goals; DON’T Do This All For Nothing

Whether you’re looking to boost your email subscriber list, or bump up your Twitter following, you need to make sure you’re channeling all this attention in the right place. Definitely don’t just wing it–you need to think deeply about what it is you actually want to get out of your giveaways, before you do a whole lot of work that ends up doing you no good.

DO Know Your Audience; DON’T Ignore What They Love

Think about what your audience wants, and how to best reach them. If you run, say, a successful high-fashion blog, your audience might not be all that excited to win a pair of tickets to an upcoming sporting event. If you’re teaming up with another blogger or brand, make sure the collaboration makes sense and it will be something your followers would actually enjoy.

DO Promote; DON’T Be Annoying

Nobody’s going to enter giveaways if they don’t know about it in the first place. Similarly, it’s important to make sure all aspects of your contest are easy to share. Send reminders when there are only a few days (or even hours) left to enter, but don’t spam any inboxes or clog up your own page’s feed. And, if you’re teaming up with a big-name brand, don’t forget to have them promote you and the contest on their own social media pages–that’s a gold mine you definitely don’t want to miss out on!

DO Analyze The Results; DON’T Forget The Other Entrants

How much did your audience grow? How many entries were there throughout the duration of the contest? How engaged are your readers and followers since the contest ended? If things didn’t go as planned, were the rules a bit unclear? Think about what you did right and what you could have done differently, and learn from it! Also, don’t forget about the people who didn’t win. See if you can offer them a coupon or discount code of some sort, and don’t forget to let them know about the awesome promotions you’ll have in the future. Now that you’ve got them hooked, make them keep coming back for more!

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About the Author: 

Susan Bodack is the Social Media Marketing Manager at InStyleSwimwear.com – a Philadelphia-based online retailer specializing in stylish designer swimwear, beachwear and accessories.

24 Comments

  • Charlotte says:

    Really really great tips! I’m trying to get sponsorship for a giveaway on my blog and love reading some of these dos and don’ts (I don’t want to be an unintentional offender!).

    Would also love to know what works best for you all in terms of driving traffic to your giveaways and have you ever used Rafflecopter?

    Thanks, all!

  • agusputra says:

    My favorite is “don’t be annoying.” Nothing more annoying than cluttering up people’s news feeds. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  • Awesome tips, and very timely. I’m participating in my first giveaway right now 🙂

  • Meg says:

    How often would you suggest mentioning a contest? Daily? Daily on each platform? A couple times a day? I’m worried about being spammy AND about missing people.

  • Jacqueline says:

    My favorite is “don’t be annoying.” Nothing more annoying than cluttering up people’s news feeds. Thanks for the helpful tips!

  • Lori Hil says:

    Great Do’s and Don’ts!

  • Laina Turner says:

    Great tips…..I can definitely use them.

  • Great ideas- I also joined a few bloggers groups on Facebook and we co-promote each other. Nothing like taking advantage of other people’s fans:)

  • I recently posted a similar topic on Secrets to Hosting Fabulous giveaways. I was going to submit it to your blog as a contributor. I second guessed myself and am now kicking myself!!

    http://homespunelegance.blogspot.com/2014/03/steps-to-hosting-fabulous-giveaway.html

    I’d love your feedback!

    Jessica

  • this is very amazing posted !!
    i hope this will help me to win some giveaway :p
    thank you !
    I’m a Beauty & Lifestyle Blogger:
    if you want to follow my GFC (Google Friend Connect).. i will follow you back as the return .. thank you 🙂

  • very nice information, it’s more useful to me. Please keep posting like this.

    Thanks&Regards

    A-Care

  • Ivey G says:

    This is what I needed. I need to change a couple of things, and I definitely would like my readers to come back for more. These are great tips thanks for sharing them:)

  • Thank you so much for the information! I’ve seen many ladies in my niche running them but I wasn’t convinced. I might try it sometime in the new future.

  • This is a post topic I haven’t yet read on and I’m so glad you posted. Giveaways will be in our future and we’re definitely going to keep this info on file!
    Cheer 🙂

  • Great tips! I’m not at the point of doing giveaways yet, but this is such a great resource, thanks!

  • Georgia says:

    I liked this also. Being a blog follower professional 😉 I know what really puts me off of contests and what I really like. When they offer some love to everyone and acknowledge them and also when it’s an easy process to sign up I’m all over it. I don’t have time for complicated.

    Now that I’m actually trying to switch from follower only to doer it somehow seems hard to remember what is so clear when you’re in the audience.
    Thanks for this!
    Georgia

  • Jessica says:

    Good tips! I’m actually running a giveaway right now and was curious how to get the word out without seeming pushy.

  • kathyj333 says:

    I’ve tried giveaways in the past. Thank you for these tips. I think they will help me be more successful.

  • Great tips – I so enjoy coming to the SITS blog everyday! SO MUCH TO LEARN!!!

  • Great tips, Kristi! I love the part about doing something with the peeps that entered and didn’t win. Also, I’ve been noticing about FB, is it against the rules to actually ask your followers to LIKE your page? (I see others using that tactic.) I’ve just always stayed to the rules and played it safe, just asking them to LIKE the post and/or comment in a round robin giveaway. Even G+ is strict when running a giveaway on your blog. It’s a really great idea to always be in the know. Thank you for sharing! 🙂

  • Jonealle says:

    This was awesome to read. I actually have a giveaway coming up on my blog with Spicy Subscriptions so thank you for this!

  • Thanks. This post caught my attention because I thought a contest might bring some of my newsletter readers to my Facebook page. So I’ll have to check out the FB ruled in advance.

  • Nicki Lewis says:

    Thanks for these great tips. I have wanted to do a giveaway but not sure how to get started

  • Thanks for the tips, Kristi. I especially like the last one about not forgetting about the entrants who didn’t win. While everyone can’t be a winner, everyone who took the time to enter your contest should feel that they are appreciated.