New customers, fresh user-generated content, more emails, increased audience engagement… the benefits of social giveaways go on and on, but how do you develop a giveaway that actually works for your brand? Even the most creative social media giveaway idea will fall flat without a thorough strategy. Here are the top 5 tips you can’t miss as you plan your next social giveaway:
Know Your Strategy
Why do you want to run a social contest? Are you looking for increased brand awareness, extra lead captures, more conversions? Before you begin to develop your contest make sure you develop your key performance indicators. Know exactly what you want to get out of your contest and the rest of the strategy will follow.
Once you develop your KPIs it is time to decide how and where to run your contest. A simple contest can be ran directly through a social post, where a more built out contest can utilize a 3rd party tool like WooBox or OfferPop. You’ll also want to think of what network would make the most sense; hashtag related contests work excellently on Twitter and Instagram, where Facebook is a great outlet to incentivize user engagement. Wherever you run your contest, make sure your strategy matches your brand voice and personality.
Here’s a secret… not all social contests need to be hosted directly on social! You can increase social engagement by hosting a sharing based contest on-site. Be sure to promote heavily on your social networks though!
Know Your Audience
Think of the brands that you enjoy and engage with socially – why do you like them so much? Chances are it’s because they are aligned with your beliefs, wants, and interests. It is important to make sure your contest will meet the interests of your audience. You’ll also want to keep your audience’s current engagement level in mind. If you have an extremely inactive following, then your giveaway needs to be quick and simple, no reward will make someone want to publically talk about something embarrassing or private to them. If your audience is actively engaged and vocal then a multi-step giveaway that puts more responsibility on your customers may be the way to go.
Now it’s time to settle on what reward will incentive your customers. A gift card works best for product based brands and a free month or year is a great option for subscription companies, but if your brand doesn’t offer a product or service that can be given for free then you may need to get creative. Sites like Tango allow you to buy an e-giftcard to a store of your choice to be used as a reward, or you can partner with a relative product-based company to develop a prize package. When deciding on the prize, keep your KPIs in mind. Make sure your return from the contest will be well worth the cost.
Define Your Goals
Make sure you go into your contest with a clear vision of what success means to you. There is no way to judge whether or not your giveaway is successful unless you predefine what good results look like. Know your benchmarks and where you’d like to see those numbers by the end of the sweepstakes. Look back to your KPIs when developing your end goals and be realistic.
If you notice that the progress of your contest isn’t on track with your goals, you may need to reevaluate your promotional strategy… which brings us to tip 4…
Promote it Thoroughly
Promotion of your giveaway needs to begin before the contest even launches. Start dropping small hints of an approaching giveaway that have an element of surprise. You can simply send an email blast to your current audience alerting of a “secret upcoming giveaway” where you mention the prize package – tell you audience to check your you social channels daily for more information.
Now that you have extra eyes on your social, start strongly promoting! Never rely on one channel to cover all your sweepstakes promotional needs. Even if your contest is hosted on only one channel, utilize your other channels to build awareness. The same people are not following your brand on every channel. If your goal is to increase traffic to your social pages, then you can’t promote it only to your current audience! Depending on your budget, social or Google ads might be a great opportunity to promote the contest as well. If you’re looking for free options, updating your homepage banner, personally reaching out to top influencers in your industry through social, and email blasts are a great way to drive engagement.
Make sure to promote your sweepstakes daily. As you near the end, use time-sensitivity as a major selling point. “Last Day” or “Last Chance” to win is a great way to get a surge of traffic near the end. Including a physical contest countdown in your emails or homepage is always a great way to remind your customers to get involved before it’s too late.
Track All Results
Developing the perfect strategy, setting confident goals, outlining your promotions, and having the best reward in the world won’t mean anything without a way to track your results. There are many ways to track your results. Understanding your starting point and average interaction levels is a good way to gauge engagement. If you’re pushing traffic back to your site from your contest, make sure you tie it to a UTM so that you can track your contest specific traffic in Google Analytics. We offer a UTM builder to help you do this flawlessly. Make sure you record these results so that you can put meaning to the spike in traffic and have a benchmark for your next contest.
Outside of the specific contest results, pay close attention to your analytics and demographics during this time. Did the audience you expected to participate get engaged? Did you notice a change in your audience during this time? Contests are such a great way to learn about your audience, so make sure you’re looking into all the available data.
After you run your social contest, be sure you don’t lose your momentum! You’re going to have a lot of extra eyes on your social channels during this time so make sure you are providing valuable content to keep your audience excited. It’s a great time to push promotional content and links back to your site.