Giveaways, when done right, are a key component of any social media management strategy, a great way to grow your social media following, and an ideal way to build your newsletter subscriber list. But they also involve a lot of behind-the-scenes work, with many moving parts to keep track of and many participating individuals to wrangle. If you’re not careful, it’s easy to let a detail slip through the cracks. We’ve compiled our top tips for making the most of your giveaways.
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #1: Think About Your Goals
Giveaways typically fall under one of two categories: social media giveaways or newsletter giveaways. If your primary goal is to build your social media following, boost your social media engagement, and leverage your social media marketing, consider running a social media giveaway. Though you can certainly publicize a giveaway across many digital platforms, pick a particular social platform (most commonly, Instagram) on which to actually host the giveaway. To enter, require participants to follow all giveaway partners, leave a comment, tag a friend, or a combination of all three.
However, if your primary goal is to build your newsletter base, grow a particular audience segment, and leverage your email marketing, consider running a newsletter giveaway instead. Again, though you can certainly publicize the giveaway across many digital platforms, pick a particular e-commerce platform (like a landing page created through an email marketing service or an embedded form hosted on your company’s blog) on which to actually host the giveaway. To enter the giveaway, require participants to enter their name and email address to be added to all participating brands or influencers’ email lists.
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #2: Choose Giveaway Partners Carefully
Consider limiting your list of giveaway partners to three to four brands, especially if you plan to ask participants to follow all participating brands on social or subscribe to all participating brands’ email lists. While it may be tempting to get as many brands on board as possible, the more brands are on board, the higher the barrier to entry. As a social media management agency, we’ve found three to four brands to be a sweet spot. So how do you go about picking the right partners?
- Pick a theme: Here at Darby, we like to center a giveaway around a particular theme, whether the theme is location-based (like this Asheville-centered giveaway we organized for Diamond Brand Gear), event-based (like this 50th anniversary-themed giveaway we organized for Wildwater), or interest-based (like this paddling-focused giveaway we organized for Appalachian Gear Company).
- Make sure you’re aligned: Think about the audience you want to reach (i.e. women who hike, sustainably-minded overlanders, or US-based climbers), and then make sure any potential partner will actually reach that audience. Further, make sure your brands’ missions and ethos are aligned. If you run a cottage outdoor brand with a focus on sustainability, don’t partner with an outdoor juggernaut that sells only synthetics — their followers won’t be likely to stick around long after the giveaway.
- Don’t forget about influencers: Brands aren’t the only ideal giveaway partners; influencers make great giveaway partners, too. Consider partnering with an athlete, ambassador, or influencer on a giveaway that centers around their sport, activity, or upcoming trip (like this thru-hiking giveaway we organized with Appalachian Gear Company and Triple Crowner Ben Vaughan). Giveaways like these are a great way to leverage an influencer’s large yet highly targeted audience.
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #3: Get Started Early
As we mentioned, giveaways can be a ton of behind-the-scenes work, with many moving parts to keep track of and many participating individuals to wrangle. That’s why giveaways can take a loooong time to plan. As a social media management agency, we’ve found that it’s best to start planning at least two months in advance. This gives your giveaway partners time to work the giveaway into their busy social content calendars and gives you time to replace potential partners who decline or don’t respond. (Need help organizing your social content? Grab your free social calendar guide and social calendar template here).
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #4: Nail The Outreach
Alright, you’ve set your theme and compiled your list of highly aligned potential partners. Now it’s time to nail the outreach. Even if your social media following is relatively small, that doesn’t mean that brands with larger social media followings won’t want to be a part of your giveaway. You can flaunt your targeted, niche audience and what that brings to the table for them. Keep the initial outreach email short and sweet, outlining the giveaway objective, suggested timeline, and why your brand would make an ideal partner. (Boost your social media management and grow your social media following by jumping on these four 2021 social media marketing trends).
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #5: Organize Your Assets
There are many ways to present your giveaway: you can put together a collage of all the giveaway prizes, have a photographer do a photoshoot, put together a carousel post, place brand logos on top of accompanying giveaway images, and more (social media management agency insider tip: remember that images without a lot of text tend to perform better in the Instagram algorithm). Consider organizing all assets into easily accessible folders, drafting suggested social or newsletter copy, and creating highly shareable Instagram Stories. Make it as easy as possible for your giveaway partners to promote the giveaway to their platforms.
Social Media Giveaway Management Tip #6: Lay Down The Law
Unfortunately, giveaways aren’t all fun prizes, awesome partners, and creative assets. Like many aspects of social media management, there are also a number of laws that you must follow to keep your promotion legal. Make sure all giveaway rules and regulations can be found on your company website, and link back to these giveaway rules and regulations in all giveaway-related posts, newsletters, or landing pages. Also, make sure you select your winners randomly. Here at Darby, we like to use a free service like random.org’s True Random Number Service to make this easy. Once you’ve selected your winners, reach out to them via email or direct message to collect all info needed (including shipping addresses, sizing, color preferences, etc.).
Do you not have the time and need someone else to handle the behind-the-scenes and nitty-gritty of organizing and managing your giveaways? Learn how the Darby team can improve your social media management strategy, make the most of your giveaways, and grow your social media following, by dropping us a line HERE. You can also visit our Case Studies to learn more about our successes in both outdoor public relations and outdoor digital marketing.