Who doesn’t love winning? Even if the reward is something as seemingly simple as being recognized on a “Fan Wall,” it feels good to be a winner. That’s exactly why social media giveaways and contests are a great way to get your fans hyped up and talking about your brand.
When done right, social media contests–especially ones involving an attractive prize–can be perfect for engaging your audience and boosting your reach. Let’s find out how to use social media giveaways and other contests to increase your reach.
9 Social Media Giveaways and Other Contests to Increase Your Reach:
What Are Social Media Giveaways?
As the name suggests, social media giveaways involve brands or influencers giving their fans a chance to win something. During the giveaway, people are encouraged to complete a specific task such as liking and sharing a post or tagging their friends in the comments. The winners are then selected randomly, making it a fair game for everyone participating.
What Are Social Media Contests?
Even with social media contests, participants still win a prize. However, they’re slightly more competitive than giveaways. Participants are asked to take on a challenge such as submitting caption ideas, sharing their best photos, or giving their best answers. Winners are selected based on performance, so this type of challenge relies less on luck and more on creativity, talent, or effort.
Who wants a contest? Win a box of stuff from us; owoball plush, embroidery, sticker packs! Take this picture and make it more awesome! Use any photomanipulation, digital editing, effect drawing, background change as you want! 1/2 #contest #furryfandom #fursuit pic.twitter.com/m75iKoTFgr
— Raptor’s Den🦖 (@RaptorsDen) August 30, 2022
Why Do You Need Social Media Giveaways and Contests?
Organizing a giveaway or contest on social media is no walk in the park. So, you may be wondering–why have them at all? What’s in it for you that you should host giveaways and contests for your fans? Here’s your answer:
- They have the power to boost engagement immensely. The chance to win a prize will entice many people to participate, compelling them to engage with your posts or account. This is particularly true for giveaways in which participants are required to like, share, or comment on your post.
- If you’re partnering with other brands or influencers for the contest or giveaway, you could significantly amplify your reach. It allows you to tap into the audiences of your giveaway or contest partners, getting your brand in front of potential new followers.
- Organizing contests and giveaways regularly will help you win the loyalty of your followers. People will naturally want to keep following you, so they don’t miss out on the chance to win in the future.
- Depending on the type of contest or giveaway you’re running, you could also grow your leads and mailing lists. You may require participants to complete a form and/or enter their email address to submit their entry. This is one of the easiest and most effective ways to turn your followers into leads.
9 Social Media Giveaway and Contest Ideas to Grow Your Reach
Now that you know just how big of an impact that giveaways and contests can make, it’s time to put them into practice. Not sure how to organize one? We have nine awesome ideas for social media giveaways and contests that will help you grow your reach. Let’s dive in.
1. Ask fans to share their stories
Fan story submissions are one of the best ways to keep your social media contest fair for everyone who participates. This type of contest isn’t based on skills, talents, or capabilities alone. Instead, participants get to share their personal stories using the prompt you’ve provided. Winners are then selected based on who shared the best story that aligns with the theme and the brand’s values.
For example, you could ask them to share stories about how your product changed their lives or helped them fix a problem. Alternatively, the story could focus on why they need to win the prize to overcome a certain challenge in their lives.
For the Canva Create Community Awards, the brand asked their community to share stories of why they’re a Canva champion. Creators could take the opportunity to talk about how Canva has helped them achieve their goals. In return, they could win exciting prizes such as exclusive Canva swag, mentorship training, and many more.
— Canva (@canva) August 16, 2022
2. Reward winners with unique experiences
The chance to enjoy unique experiences could make your giveaway or contest even more exciting for participants. Whether it’s something extravagant such as a free trip to a dream destination or a bit simpler such as a free meal–these are all experiences that people would love to win.
For example, Maguro Bar partnered with a food influencer to promote a giveaway dinner. People could get the chance to win a free uramaki platter by following their two accounts, liking and saving the post, commenting their favorite emoji, and tagging their friend in the comments. The influencer “sold” the appeal of the experience by sharing an Instagram Reel that focused on the mouth-watering sushi platters.
3. Create brand partnership bundles
One of the best ways to make your prize more attractive while simultaneously tapping into a new audience is by creating brand partnership bundles. In this type of contest or giveaway, you partner with another brand to offer a prize that includes both of your products. You then promote the giveaway in front of both your audiences to drive more participation.
Most brand partnership giveaways require participants to follow both brand accounts for their entry to be considered. This allows you to significantly grow your following overnight.
You could even create an Instagram Collab post, which would show up in the feeds of both your followers. That way, you can tap into the other brand’s audience while they tap into yours–it’s a win-win for both parties.
To promote the new Glow Recipe x OLAPLEX Skin & Hair Reset Kit, the two brands created a giveaway in which they bundled the best-selling products from both brands. They promoted the giveaway through an Instagram Collab post and highlighted the opportunity to win over $300 worth of products.
4. Let your fans get creative
If your brand’s big on creativity, you could channel that when creating your social media contest. Give your fans the opportunity to show off their creative side for a chance to win an exciting prize. This may involve drawing something, designing something, photographing something, or even coming up with a funny caption for your post.
To make it easier to judge the submissions, give them a prompt or theme they need to follow. For example, your photo contest may require participants to photograph something that makes them feel at home.
For example, GoPro partnered with Hyperice, a portable percussion massager, to create a contest in which participants had to submit video edits. They challenged fans to get creative with their edits by incorporating the theme of Hyperice’s “connected wellness technology” into the video.
5. Host a giveaway to celebrate a milestone
If you’re not sure when to host a giveaway, you could start by using it to celebrate a milestone. For instance, you could celebrate having hit 10k followers to show your appreciation for them. This is a great way to reward your existing followers and earn their loyalty.
Similarly, you can keep creating these giveaways when you hit a major milestone such as 100k followers or even 1 million. That way, you could even attract new followers who’d love the opportunity to win something at your next giveaway.
For example, the following tattoo artist hosted a free tattoo giveaway to celebrate 10k followers. To be eligible for the giveaway, participants had to follow the account, like and save the post, and tag two friends in the comments.
This giveaway allowed the artist to reward existing followers with an exciting opportunity. Moreover, within a week of hosting the giveaway, the artist had already amassed about 5k more followers as one of the rules required participants to tag their friends and boost the account’s visibility.
6. Turn it into a fun guessing game
Contests can be a fun opportunity to engage your fans and get them to interact with your brand. So, make your contests more interactive by turning them into a fun guessing game. All they have to do is make a guess and the participant with the closest guess wins.
For example, you could get them to guess how many candies are in a jar. Or you could get more brand specific by asking them to guess how many products are inside the bag. Feel free to get as creative as you want, with the goal of making things fun and interactive for your followers.
Bravery Buddies hosted an Instagram contest in which participants had to guess how much a jar of lollies weighed. The closest guess to the correct answer wins the game. In return, they’ll get the entire jar of lollies along with one of their latest Bravery Buddies.
7. Get them to invite their friends
One of the best ways to bring more visibility to your giveaway (and subsequently, your brand) is by encouraging participants to invite their friends. You could create giveaway rules requiring participants to tag their friends in the comments or share it with their followers for a bonus entry. That way, you can get your giveaway in front of more people, which will drive more engagement and participation.
This type of giveaway rule is particularly useful if you’re using it to promote a future event such as a new TV show release, a new product launch, or a sporting event. For example, Major League Soccer partnered with Target to promote their MLS All Star week through a giveaway contest. One of the rules was to tag two friends in the comments along with the hashtags #mlssweepstakes.
8. Create opportunities to give back
Tap into the charitable nature of your audience by rewarding them with the opportunity to give back. Perhaps there’s a cause that’s close to their hearts but haven’t been able to support due to financial constraints. Or maybe they’ve wanted to do something special for certain people in their lives. Whatever the situation is, your contest or giveaway could give them the gift of giving back.
Challenge them to complete a task so they could get a chance to donate to a cause of their choice or reward the people they’ve nominated. For example, to celebrate Teacher’s Day in India, Canva India challenged students to create designs for their teachers. The best designs were then printed and sent to the winners’ favorite teachers.
9. Let influencers host your giveaways
There’s a reason influencer marketing is so popular–it’s effective, engaging, and influential. It allows you to tap into the hundreds of thousands (if not millions) of followers that the influencer has amassed. That way, you can get your brand in front of a new audience and boost your visibility.
Similarly, even when promoting your products through a giveaway, partnering with an influencer is an effective way to boost visibility. You could let influencers host your product giveaway so they can reward their followers while you get publicity for your brand and products. This is a particularly effective idea when promoting new products or upcoming events.
For example, OLENS partnered with beauty content creator Jooshica to promote their line of BLACKPINK contact lenses through a giveaway. The influencer chose two variations of contacts from the collection and created two unique looks based on two members from BLACKPINK. This helped the brand tap into the influencer’s 295k followers on Instagram.
Steps to Run a Giveaway or Contest on Social Media
Now that you have some ideas to inspire you, it’s time to plan your social media giveaway or contest. Here are the steps to get started.
Decide on your goal and giveaway/contest type
First, have a clear idea of what you want to achieve from this. Do you want to use it to promote something? Or perhaps you just want to gain new followers and grow your account. Having a clear idea of your goal will help you understand what type of giveaway or contest to run and how to create the rules.
For example, if brand awareness is your goal, you should consider brand partnership bundles and influencer partnerships. These allow you to tap into your brand partner or influencer’s followers and bring your brand in front of a new audience.
Decide on the prize
Next, think of how you’ll reward the winners. Will you give them free brand swag and products? Or will you reward them with unique experiences? Perhaps you might even want to reward them with gift cards to spend at your store.
Make sure the prize is attractive enough to drive tons of participation. However, you should also be strategic about it so that you’re not exceeding your budget. Besides the cost of the prize, you’ll also have to consider additional costs such as advertising or influencer promotions.
Choose the platform
Once your contest or giveaway type and prizes are settled, you can decide which social media platform would be best for running the campaign. This largely depends on the audience you want to reach and the platforms they frequent. Additionally, the goal of your campaign is also crucial.
For example, if your goal is to grow your visibility on TikTok, then you’ll obviously want to focus on TikTok. Or if you want to promote new products or upcoming events, you may also want to run cross-platform campaigns to get the contest or giveaway in front of more people.
Define the rules
Now it’s time to come up with the rules for entry. This will depend on several factors such as the goal you want to achieve and the platform’s giveaway and contest guidelines. Keep in mind that each platform will have a different set of guidelines for running a giveaway or contest.
It’s important to clearly specify all the rules while keeping these factors in mind. Plus, make sure the rules are easy enough to follow so people don’t have to go through multiple steps to participate.
Execute and measure
Finally, it’s time to run your giveaway or contest. Make sure you have a specific timeline set up and follow it accurately. You’ll also need to plan a content calendar for creating and distributing all the promotional materials for the campaign.
Once your campaign goes live and the contest or giveaway has ended, don’t forget to measure the results. Look at the numbers to see how well the campaign performed and whether you managed to achieve your goals.
Make the most of Giveaways and Contests
Social media giveaways and contests are perfect for driving visibility and boosting engagement. However, they must be executed strategically so that they can contribute toward your goal. Make the most of the steps and ideas we’ve provided above to run successful social media giveaways and contests to grow your reach.