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By Meghan Metzner
Posted on August 9, 2016
Filed under: Public Relations, Social Media

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Harness the Power of the Giveaway

Is your Facebook page or Twitter feed so quiet you could count on one hand the new followers you’ve gained in the last two months? We can all get stuck in social media stagnancy, but there are ways to up the ante to increase your following and engagement on these platforms: give people something!

We love the idea of free. People are more likely to take a gamble on something they are unsure of if they don’t have to pay for it. So let’s leverage this mentality.

The Platinum PR team’s go-to solution is a social media contest. There are a number of factors to consider when crafting this kind of fun, but the most important thing to remember is that your giveaway is your business’ product or service. Or, it should be closely related to your organization.

So How Does a Giveaway Work?

Typically, a social media contest begins with brainstorming a few promotional ideas. Once you’ve decided what your giveaway will be, it’s time to nail down how your social media followers will win the prize. Will you ask them to share your post?  Will you ask them to post something to your page? Depending on the circumstances, the winner could be chosen based on their creativity or level or participation in the contest. We’ll leave these decisions up to you. 🙂 Once these guidelines have been set, it’s best to identify the winner by randomly selecting their name from a “raffle.”

It’s important to remember that the contest isn’t over once the winner has been selected. This is your time to really leverage on the engagement from the contest. Encourage your winner to have their picture taken so you can share on social media to let your audience know there was a winner and you stood by your promise as a reputable business. And, to show you appreciation for everyone’s participation.

Want a Real Life Example?

We work with Orr’s, a local farm market, that is in knee-deep in the middle of its busiest season. They have been promoting their various crops that are available on a “pick-your-own” basis. At the beginning of peak strawberry season, we worked with the client to set up a Facebook contest. We asked Orr’s farm market followers to simply share the promotional Facebook post in order to be entered into a drawing. The winner would receive a 6-quart tray of strawberries, four sodas and a pie of their choice for free.

The Results

  • Over 64,070 were reached
  • Over 1,000 likes
  • 3,562 shares
  • 394 comments

We were thrilled with the results. Here was the beauty of the giveaway:

  1. We were able to promote and highlight Orr’s products as the prize.
  2. The contest spread the brand’s exposure across a wider audience of social media space.
  3. We kept the promotion simple. (Participants were only required to share the post.)
  4. It was easy to track data and results

So why is social media a great place to get giving?

Builds community. Promotions and giveaways get people talking to their friends and family. This word of mouth interaction plays a huge role in greater brand awareness while fostering a greater appreciation for the work you do.

For example, if a local insurance company hosts a social media contest and the grand prize is a free car detailing at one of its commercial client accounts, they are raising awareness of their brand as well as bringing an element of supporting community business to the table.

Gets people to follow your social networks. When you lead a social media contest, often people have to follow you to participate. And the more actively you are doing something interesting, the more people you will attract. Plus, a social media contest or giveaway usually involves a good deal of sharing posts. The more shares you have, the more awareness is created of your social platforms.

Build awareness about a specific product. Do you have a special product or new service you’re ready to start promoting? Before you buy a print ad or create a commercial, consider creating a giveaway of that product or service.  In the event you would like to add a little paid advertising to the mix, you could use Facebook ads to raise awareness of your particular product or service.

 

Helps to get more subscribers to email newsletters. Capitalize on the hype of the contest. Ask your followers to subscribe to your newsletter if they want to participate in future promotions. You could also include an email opt-in requirement to taking part in the giveaway, so that you’re building your list during the contest, too!

 

Increase sales. An exciting promotion that gains traction helps to convert business leads to purchases. And that’s what successful marketing is all about, right?

 

Increase engagement. Naturally, a promotion will boost likes, comments and shares. A successful social media giveaway is an easy way to gain a larger following.

When plotting your big splash on social media, try to avoid these mistakes when planning and implementing your promotion:

Mistake # 1. Making it too difficult to participate. People don’t want to jump through hoops. Try to keep your barriers of entry into the contest relatively low. We suggest asking people to simply “like” and share a post.

Mistake # 2. Giving unclear directions. Lay it all out for participants. Make sure you’re crystal clear with directions in order to maximize participation in your promotion.

Mistake # 3. Neglecting to have a promotion game plan. Don’t just rely on followers and fans to get the word out. Strategize the best time, place and social space for your promotion.

Mistake # 4. Not collecting the data. You always want to measure your results! A social media giveaway is no different. Be sure to note how many followers you had pre-promotion and post-promotion. Understanding the data will help you better prepare for your next big social media event.

The power of giving is apparent on and off line. People like to get stuff especially when the opportunity is presented in a clear, concise and effortless format. Remember to create a giveaway with purpose and your prize should ALWAYS relate to your business.  Don’t forget to leverage the excitement of your winner. Good luck and get giving!

If you would like to take your social media game to the next level, set up a free 60-minute consultation with Platinum PR.  Email Sandy Sponaugle at sandy@platinumpr.com to inquire about available meeting slots.

Photo licensed under CC BY 2.0  

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