There’s a lot of information shared on social media. So, your message and your contest needs to stand out in a crowd to be successful. In a webinar hosted by SEMRush, social media experts highlighted key points to consider before, during, and after you launch a giveaway on social media.

1. Do it well.

A good giveaway involves more than just getting a “like” or a “follow”. A good giveaway actively involves your social media audience. Invite them to do something interactive such as take a selfie with your product or share a story. This is called user-generated content, and it is social gold.

2. Have realistic goals from the beginning.

Your first step is to determine what you want your giveaway to do for you. A good goal could be to attract like-minded followers who will convert to a purchase or another business goal. Another good goal might be to drive more traffic to your website. A not-so-good goal is to simply get more followers. Hosting a contest for the sole purpose of getting more followers is like the kid on the playground who hands out candy to get other kids to play with him. These kinds of followers are not quality followers; they’ll leave as soon as the candy/giveaway is gone. By the way, you can expect about 25% of your new followers to unlike and unfollow you after the contest is over. This is normal.

3. Use the right social network.

The members of the SEMRush webinar panel agreed that Instagram is the current hot platform for hosting a giveaway. Facebook is also a good platform… if you can work around its many rules for running a contest.
Once you choose your platform, use all your other social media to promote it and drive traffic to your main platform of choice.

4. Make a marketing plan.

Determine the goals of your giveaway.
Map out the tactics to carry out the giveaway.
Set benchmarks to measure how well the giveaway is progressing.

5. Don’t drag it out too long.

Google says two weeks is a good length of time for a standard social media giveaway. The SEMRush panelists agreed a contest that lasts for several months is too long, however, they also agree that a longer contest that creates user engagement (see #1 on this list) are far better than a short, one-off giveaway.

Other helpful tips for a successful social media contest:

  • Once your contest begins and entries start rolling in, share the user-generated content (social gold!) in your on-going promotion of the giveaway.
  • Follow up on your giveaway. Let your contestants know that a prize was actually awarded. Post a picture or video of the winner accepting the prize. Done well, the contestants who won nothing will still get a positive experience watching someone else be happy.

More Social Media Marketing Tips:

5 Things to Consider Before Publishing New Content
Integrate Email Marketing with Your Social Media
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