How to Run a Giveaway on Social Media (7 Simple Steps)

In this guide, you'll learn how to run a giveaway on social media wit the top simple steps and host a successful contest

Updated on September 28, 2023
How to Run a Giveaway on Social Media (7 Simple Steps)

Hosting a successful giveaway on any social media platform can be taxing. However, the benefits you reap can make it worth every effort and penny spent. In this guide, you’ll learn how to run a giveaway on social media wit the top simple steps and host a successful contest.

A giveaway is one efficient way to bring awareness to your brand, drive traffic to your website, increase your social media followers and engagement, and possibly boost sales. Giveaways have a conversion rate of almost 34%. That’s higher than any other type of content.

Although these contests can help your brand grow, you still need to run them the right way. Don’t worry. With this article, you’ll learn how to run a giveaway on social media.

But first:

What Is a Giveaway and Why Is It Important?

A giveaway is a gamified marketing tactic run by brands. In a giveaway, users of a particular social media platform engage in specific tasks to stand a chance at winning prizes. The brand promises to give out these prizes to one or more lucky winners once the tasks have been completed following specific rules. In this guide, you’ll learn how to run a giveaway on social media wit the top simple steps and host a successful contest.

As a business owner, you can use giveaways to achieve your online marketing goals. Statistics show that over 34% of new brand fans are gained through contests. People love free stuff, so those who ordinarily wouldn’t be interested in your product or service may find the giveaway incentives hard to resist. Besides, some giveaway contests require entrant referrals that enable your audience base to grow. 

For example, this giveaway contest held by Simmi Shoes required their entrants to like, follow, and tag a bestie to participate.

As you reach more people, you increase your chances for conversions. The result is that you achieve overall brand growth.

7 Steps for Running Giveaways

Giveaways are some of the best gamification marketing techniques to build brand awareness while entertaining potential customers. How do you run them?

Here are seven steps you should follow to run a giveaway on social media: In this guide, you’ll learn how to run a giveaway on social media wit the top simple steps and host a successful contest.

1. Know Your Goals

Whether it’s part of your eCommerce or SaaS marketing strategy, you need to determine what you want to accomplish with your giveaway contest beforehand. This will help you determine the appropriate giveaway strategy.                      

Your giveaway goals could be to:

  • Boost brand awareness: Giveaways can help ensure more people know about your brand. They can also help you introduce your new product in the market.
  • Increase brand engagement: A juicy giveaway will get people interacting with your brand.
  • Make sales: Giving away a few new products may help you gain more customers. The giveaway winners may come back for more if your product is good and will be more than happy to share reviews that will attract even more customers.
  • Increase website traffic: Giveaways can help you drive more traffic to your website. You can use them for lead generation by sending that traffic to a specific and optimized landing page.

Once you’ve chosen your giveaway goal, determine the metrics that will help you evaluate whether the giveaway was a success. So, if you want your contest to increase brand awareness, your metrics could be the number of new followers you gain or social mentions. If it’s to boost brand engagement, your metrics could be likes, shares, or retweets, for example.

2. Set the Giveaway Period

Giveaways usually only last for a given period. Pick a duration that’s just enough for you to accomplish your giveaway goal.

For instance, if your goal is to gain 100 followers to increase brand awareness, running your giveaway for, say a month, is probably enough time. In this guide, you’ll learn how to run a giveaway on social media wit the top simple steps and host a successful contest.

If you target audiences in different time zones, make sure to specify the days and hours the giveaway will run and the applicable time zone. You want to ensure you and the entrants are on the same page about when the giveaway officially starts and ends.

See how specific Dollar Shave Club is in this giveaway post. It said its contest runs from 10:00 a.m. PT on June 17, 2019 to 9:59 p.m. PT on June 15, 2019. 

Deadlines could also be extended for unforeseen events, so keep your entrants up to date with any adjustments. 

If you opt for a long period for your giveaway, note, though, that it will require more effort on your part to ensure the contest doesn’t lose steam. You would need to consistently promote it and encourage more entries.

A good idea would be to announce one or two giveaway winners every week. The awareness that anybody could stand a chance will encourage more entries. 

3. Choose the Prizes to Offer: Successful Social Media Contest

Giveaways with attractive prizes will always yield a higher participation level. But don’t just offer any prize. You have to make sure it’s relevant to what your brand represents. When you do this, you also ensure entrants are introduced to your product offerings. This helps you increase your chances for sales, too. 

So, if you’re selling shoes, for instance, don’t offer an iPhone as your prize. Instead, offer a $25 discount card winners can use in your shoe store, for example. Even when they avail of the discount if they win, they’re more likely to buy some of your other products in your store if something catches their eye.

Of course, you also have to make sure you’re offering something your target audience loves. At the end of the day, the prize is the only reason people would want to participate in a giveaway in the first place. 

All that said, apart from a store discount, here are other prizes you could offer:

  • A product from your newly launched collection
  • Your limited-edition products
  • Your brand’s gift card

Want to be absolutely sure you’re offering something your audience loves? Send them surveys and ask them directly about their ideal prizes before you launch your giveaway campaign.

4. Plan Giveaway Rules

To run an effective giveaway contest, it’s important to determine the rules participants must adhere to beforehand. Don’t make these guidelines too rigid, though. You don’t want to discourage your audience from participating in simple steps to giveaway.

Your rules should be very specific. Will one piece of user-generated content related to your brand count as an entry? Or is one referral one entry? Also, can one person submit as many entries as possible? What hashtag will they use for every piece of content they submit? The more detailed your guidelines, the better. 

You should also determine if certain actions will disqualify entrants from the contest or if there are participation restrictions like location or age. 

Finally, specify how winners will be selected. Determine how and when you’ll announce the winners, too. Again, if your entrants are from different parts of the world, you’ll need to be specific, not just about the day and time, but also about the time zone that applies.

Plan Giveaway Rules

All that said, see above an example of very specific giveaway rules. If you don’t have time to write your guidelines for your reference later on, use artificial intelligence tools. A generative AI guide can teach you how to use these tools that can help you save a lot of time.

5. Select the Right Giveaway Platform: Run Giveaway Social Media

There are several social media platforms you can use for your giveaway. Offhand, you have Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Facebook, and LinkedIn. You’ll have to choose the platform that best aligns with your goals.

For instance, if you want to boost brand engagement, then Instagram and TikTok are probably good options. Quality content on these platforms can easily go viral. On the other hand, if you want to boost brand awareness on Facebook, then Facebook should be your giveaway platform on simple steps for a giveaway creation.

Of course, you’ll also need to consider where your target audience is. It’s no use running a giveaway on Instagram, for instance, if the people you want to join your contest don’t even frequent the platform. 

6. Announce Your Contest

Once you know your giveaway rules, prizes, and social channel, you can announce the conduct of your contest. That can be as simple as telling your audience about it on your social media platform. You’ll have to complement your copy with excellent visuals, though. You’ll need to catch your audience’s attention.

Check out this excellent example from Mintapp: 

Announce Your Contest

If you don’t have enough space to explain your giveaway rules, don’t worry. You can just embed a link in your social media caption that will bring aspiring entrants to a landing page on your site. This is where they should be able to find everything else they need to know on simple steps for a giveaway creation.

What if you’re using Instagram, which doesn’t allow links in its regular captions? Well, just direct your target audience to your bio where they can find your website link. See how Upwork does it:

upwork contest giveaway example social media

You don’t have to shoulder all the burden of promoting your giveaway. If you have the budget, why not leverage influencer marketing? Influencers have hundreds if not thousands or millions of loyal followers. So, if they promote your giveaway, their many followers will also know about it. That’s a lot of potential entrants you can tap into.

7. Notify and Announce Winners: Run Giveaway Social Media

Your giveaway campaign doesn’t really come to an official close until you announce a winner. You need to officially inform entrants that someone has already won the prize. Otherwise, they’ll just keep on sending you entries, thinking that the prize is still up for grabs. 

Announcing the winner of your giveaway doesn’t have to be that complicated.

You can just announce the names on your chosen social media channel like Autobrush did:

Notify and Announce Winners

Although, technically, you can also detail how the winners can claim their prizes in the same social media post, this isn’t recommended for security purposes. Just send the winners a separate email giving them specific instructions on simple steps for a giveaway creation.

Make sure you verify email addresses, though. You wouldn’t want the email to fall into the wrong hands. In your social media post, you can just ask the winners to check their inbox, just like Autobrush did above.

You also have the option of sending non-winners emails, by the way. This is an excellent way of nurturing your relationship with them. Thank them for participating in the giveaway. If you can, give them an incentive—maybe a discount—to show your appreciation. See how Just Live does it:

You don’t have to always announce your giveaway winner on social media, though. 

You can also do it on your website. Why not write a blog post or create a pop-up with the names of your winners? The good thing about this strategy is that you can also boost website traffic. Only opt for this tactic, though, if you informed your audience way beforehand that this is how you’ll announce the winners of your contest.

Run Giveaway Social Media In Conclusion

A giveaway contest remains an important part of any marketing strategy. Giveaways can help you expand your reach and increase brand awareness. With giveaways, you can even boost sales. Ultimately, these contests can help your brand grow if you run them the right way.

In this article, you learned how to run a giveaway on social media. Just know your goals, set a deadline for your giveaway, and choose your prizes. Plan your rules for entering your contest, select the right giveaway, then announce the conduct of your contest. You’ll need to notify your winners and announce them as well, of course.

Follow these tips on how to run a giveaway on social media, and like the many other brands before you, you’ll see excellent results. All the best!