Social Media Marketing, Social Media Strategy & Social Media Services

March 29, 2017

The Complete Guide for Holding a Giveaway

Let’s say your company has just begun using social media tactics and you have already started engaging your consumers.  Now let’s take that engagement to the next level by holding successful giveaways. Here are some strategies to keep in mind:

1.        Rules and Regulations

The first step to holding a giveaway is to create a list of rules for participants to follow but make sure that you follow these rules as well. This will give you the control in the case that your giveaway unexpectedly fails. Now you have a reason to say—“I’m sorry, but according to the rules…” This way no one will be able to get away with anything and everyone has an equal chance of winning.

2.       The Concept

Many companies often focus on how giveaways can bring traffic to their website and they stop there.  However, the point of the giveaway is to engage your audience and bring in new loyal consumers, too. Simply letting your participants enter their email addresses will not achieve the goal unless you’re objective is to build up your email marketing lists.

Remember, when creating the giveaway just try to target a niche audience in a simple manner. The giveaway doesn’t have to be addressed to everyone. For example, for Analog Bar we held a giveaway where the participants had to come up with a five line rap that described the bar. The most creative rap won a gift certificate to the restaurant. We had over thirty participants for this newly opened bar. It would be useful to have a narrow giveaway, but it should focus on what your audience cares about the most. In other words, think of a giveaway that is easy to enter and yet specific enough to get user generated content to use after the giveaway is completed.  After Analog’s giveaway was done, the winner gave us a video to add to the Analog Bar YouTube channel, and his rap was featured in Analog Bar.

3.       The Prize

If the prize is right, more and more participants will be thrilled to join. So, the better the prize the harder the participant will work for it. Creative people are not willing to pass over great content that can be valuable to your brand.  People want a good reason to enter and money is a great incentive to get people to do that. In addition, something that is worth a lot is a great incentive as well, such a vacation getaway. Whatever you decide to choose, make sure it is enticing enough for them to enter and invite other people, such as their  family members and friends to enter as well.

4.       Sharing is Caring

Include sharing options on the landing page of the giveaway so that participants are able to share it with their social networks. This will make it easier for them to share it with their friends and family members, bringing traffic to your website. In addition, it will increase your reach and participation in your giveaway for your brand. Now it is your turn, make it easy to spread the word and get votes for their entries. This will make the participants more excited to become representatives   for your company.

5.        Communication

No matter how well you plan your giveaway, problems can always occur  that can even lead participants to complain or even raise questions about it.  In this case, save yourself by coming up with messaging with proper responses, tone, and referencing back to your rules. This will help you launch your giveaway in a sane manner, and make it easier to respond to contestant complaints in a professional way.

Now that I went over must-haves for the  giveaway, let’s get into some tips for executing the giveaway.

1.        Planning

This is the most important part of running a successful giveaway.  To have an effective planning, the following will help:

·         Focus on setting goals—What do you want to get out of this giveaway? Followers, buzz, etc. What will determine the success of this giveaway?

·         Have a timeline—when do you plan to execute your giveaway? When will it end? This will help you keep everything organized and on track.

·         Creative ideas—will the giveaway take place on your website? Will there be a microsite? Will it be held on a landing tab within Facebook? Or will you use a third party or company?

·         Outreach—Who will help you spread the word about the giveaway? Will they be bloggers, social networks, press releases? Remember to find the audience you want to target, and then create a database so you can plan ahead and get in touch with them.

2.       Preparing for the Launch

The launching process is the longest part of the giveaway. Take this time to collaborate and put the pieces into place and consider the following:

·         Remember to have the five “must haves” ready where you can find them

·         Creative—Let’s go back to those creative ideas you had and execute them. This will include doing anything you needed to do to run the giveaway.

·         Outreach—This is the step where you send out those emails and notices that you are holding a giveaway.

·         Crafted Messaging—Don’t forget to take the time to think about all the questions the participants might have, and add them to the FAQ after you have created responses to them.  In addition, think about all the problems that may occur and have questions and answers for those as well.

·         Micro-blogging Push—Let your fans and followers know about your giveaway.  These are the people that are pre-qualified to be interested right away in what you have to say and will more likely participate.

3.       Ready, Set, GO!

You have planned, launched, and now it is time to get things going. The giveaway will come to life at this point in time. Now, here are the steps to follow:

·         Launch the giveaway—Already should have happened!

·         Remember to answer any questions or concerns—This will happen so make sure you have your messaging ready to go.

·         There may be a thousand people interested in your giveaway, but what if you don’t see anything? Make sure you have a plan B, in the case of this happening.

·         Remember, to keep the buzz going. Don’t be afraid to contact your database again, after you launch the giveaway. In addition, keep the excitement going through your social networks. An idea could be to provide an incentive for the participants to share the giveaway. Maybe make this as a rule for the giveaway.

·         Be prepared to end—What are you going to do after the giveaway ends? How can you leverage from the participants you received for the giveaway? Will you make a big announcement for the winner?

·         Monitor your progress—Remember to watch the entry numbers. Don’t wait until the end of the giveaway to monitor your progress and change things. This will ensure your objective has been reached.

4.       The After

Now you have entrants, votes, and you are done with the giveaway, congratulations! You only have a little bit of work left to do.

·         Now announce the winners and share them within your social networks and database of people.

·         Remember to leverage the content, show your fans and followers what the winning piece looks like. Share the good content with the world because content is king!

·         Review your giveaway. Were you able to meet your goals? What worked for you? What didn’t work for you? Take some notes so your next giveaway will be better.

Use these steps and you will have all the necessities covered for running the online giveaway. Don’t go for participation, but aim for admiration as well! 

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