How to Use Facebook Giveaways as a Marketing Toolby Paige Schlichte
Contests and giveaways on Facebook are fun. After all, who doesn’t love winning free stuff? You can enter during your nightly social media scroll, without ever leaving your bed. Piece of cake.
There are a lot of terms that can be used to describe a giveaway. Exciting. Competitive. One term most people might not think of is “strategic.” From a business standpoint, giveaways can also serve as a useful marketing tool.
Why a Giveaway?
With 2.3 billion active users, Facebook is the most popular social media platform among American adults. As the site continues to grow, it becomes harder and harder for brands to stand out. It’s important to create interactive content that helps your posts—and your brand—catch the eye of consumers.
Here are a few of the ways a Facebook giveaway can help you achieve that:
- It’s great for building your following. Most giveaways require participants to do some combination of liking, sharing, and commenting on the post or your company’s page itself. All of this grows your following and expands your reach and impressions. Like we said, rise above the noise.
- It’s a fun way to give back to your followers. Aside from pulling in new clients, giveaways are a great way to reward your existing followers. Everyone loves to feel appreciated, and your customers are no different. Nothing says, “Thanks for sticking with us!” like the opportunity to win some free stuff.
- It’s relatively inexpensive. The only expenses associated with a giveaway are the price of the prize itself, the time spent managing the contest, and the advertising dollars you put behind the post to promote it (if any). If paid advertising isn’t in the budget, a giveaway is an affordable alternative.
- It’s a chance for product exposure. Launching a product or service? A giveaway is a great way to draw attention to a launch, especially if it gives the winner access to that thing before the rest of the public. Although the prize doesn’t have to be a product from your company, it should be something related to the services your company provides (more on that later).
- The barrier for entry is low. Thanks to the smartphone, entering a contest has never been easier. Do you have a Facebook account? Yes. Can you follow the rules and meet the requirements of the contest? If the answer is also yes, then you’re in! Followers can enter without lifting a finger. Well, okay, they have to lift a finger to type, but still…
How do you conduct a giveaway?
Okay, so we’ve convinced you that a giveaway is a good idea. But how do you go about actually hosting one?
1. Pick the prize.
It seems like a no-brainer, but this step is critical. If the prize isn’t one of your own products or services, make sure it’s something directly related to your business or your community. An AirPod giveaway may seem like a great idea (headphones with cords are so last year), but it will only generate interest in the AirPods themselves. There’s nothing to stop people from unfollowing your page once the giveaway is over. By choosing something that’s relevant to your industry, you ensure participants are there because of a legitimate interest in the industry—and therefore, they’re much more likely to buy your product/service in the future.
The size of the prize is also important. The easiest course of action is for consumers to do nothing but keep on scrolling. The prize has to be something desirable enough to be worth the cost of entry. If the desirability of the product is high (free concert tickets, for example), then people need to invest a little more effort to enter than they would for say, a t-shirt giveaway. It’s like Goldilocks—not too big, not too small. It needs to be just right.
2. Relate the giveaway to something timely.
Is there a holiday or an important company anniversary you can link it to, or maybe a special occasion happening in the community? A theme helps tie things together and give a ‘why now’ element to the contest.
3. Create the rules and requirements.
The goal of these requirements is to improve engagement with your brand and your brand’s Facebook page. Liking, sharing, and commenting are all common stipulations of a social media giveaway. Just be sure you’re not breaking Facebook’s rules in the process (see the Know Facebook’s Rules section below). If you’re using a form to better organize entries, there are several free, easy, and secure options available online (Google Forms, Survey Monkey, etc.).
4. Create the post.
Like everything else that goes out on your social media, the post should be on-brand. Visuals are a must—people want to see what they’re signing up to win. Make sure the rules of entry are clearly explained in the caption, as well as the end date for the contest. Include an explanation for how a winner will be chosen to ensure people know the contest is being run fairly. And remember: giveaways are supposed to be fun. Use upbeat language while making sure not to stray too far from your usual voice.
5. Choose and announce the winner!
Just like everything else in your company, it’s important to deliver on your word in a timely manner. Many contests list an official date that winners will be announced so participants know when to expect results.
And once you’ve chosen a winner – show them off! Reach out to the person first via email or phone to make sure you have permission to announce their name publicly. This also gives you an opportunity to double check that they fit the criteria for the giveaway. If possible, post a photo of the winner and their prize on your social channels. People want to know that a winner was actually chosen, and how. Not doing so could discourage them from participating in any future giveaways.
6. Follow up with everyone who entered.
Even after a winner has been selected, you can still maximize the drawing by reaching out to people that didn’t win via email or direct message. This is a great way to personally thank them for participating and to establish a dialogue with a potential future customer.
Know Facebook’s Rules
We all agree to the terms of service when we create a Facebook page, but the great majority of us never actually read the fine print. Be mindful of Facebook’s rules when hosting a giveaway. For example, we’ve all seen those contests that say “Tag two friends in the comments to enter!” That’s actually not allowed, according to this section of Facebook’s policies:
Promotions may be administered on Pages, Groups, Events, or within apps on Facebook. Personal Timelines and friend connections must not be used to administer promotions (ex: “share on your Timeline to enter” or “share on your friend’s Timeline to get additional entries”, and “tag your friends in this post to enter” are not permitted).
It’s also up to you to make sure you’re conducting the contest legally, both at the state and federal level.
The Bottom Line
In a world where people are bombarded constantly with media and ads, there’s one surefire way to stand out: free stuff. When done correctly (and legally), a Facebook giveaway is a great way to promote your brand, grow your business, and generate excitement around a new product.
If your business would like to do a Facebook giveaway but you still aren’t quite sure how, get in touch. We can help make sure your contest is on-brand and doing the most to expand your brand’s social media reach.