No matter what industry you operate in, running a giveaway is always an outstanding strategy for anyone looking to reach a new audience, engage their fans, generate leads and drive an essentially endless array of powerful actions which will help you achieve growth and reach your business goals.
In this post we're going to take you through some of our favourite ideas for running a contest or giveaway.
Social Media Giveaways
Running a giveaway directly on social media is one of the quickest and easiest ways for you to run a giveaway. Social media giveaways are outstanding for engaging your audience, encouraging the social sharing of your brand and growing your online following.
Depending on what platform you decide to run your giveaway on, there will be different actions you can incentivise and different types of giveaways you can run. Let's take a look at some of your best options.
Run a Twitter Giveaway
When it comes to running contests on social media there may not be a better platform than Twitter. Twitter makes it easy for content to be shared around via tweets and retweets, which makes the platform perfect running giveaways which will help you reach new audiences, grow your following and drive engagement.
Follow & Retweet to Win
The simplest type of giveaway you can run on Twitter is one which allows users to enter by following you on Twitter and Retweeting your giveaway post.
All you need to do is post a tweet offering up a prize and let users know that they can enter the draw to win the prize by retweeting and following you. You can also ask them to like the post as well for good measure.
Asking users to retweet and follow you is a powerful combination to use in your giveaway. By getting users to retweet your post you will be able to expose yourself to a wide new audience, and by getting them to follow you, you will be able to convert this boosted exposure into an expanded following which will give your immediate and future promotional efforts a boost.
Tweet to Win
A particularly powerful type of giveaway that you can easily run on Twitter are tweet-to-win giveaways. All you have to do is get users to send out a tweet adorened with a designated hashtag and draw a random winner from everyone who sent out a tweet following your requirements.
Using a unique hashtag or getting users to tag you in the post will make it much easier for you to separate legitimate entries from inadvertent hashtag use.
You can use these types of giveaways to ask engaging questions, conduct some quick consumer research or encourage users to send out tweets sharing your giveaway or promoting your products.
Another engaging type of hashtag giveaway you can run on Twitter is a photo contest.
Photo contests are perfect for generating user-content which will help promote your brand by exposing it to a new audience in an authentic and engaging way.
You can ask users to post photos of themselves with your product, or doing something related to your product or audience. This is a great way to start conversations about your brand and get people thinking about your offerings.
An awesome bonus of running photo contests is that you will be able to get your hands on a tonne of awesome content which you can incorporate into your ongoing marketing efforts.
Ask For Ideas
You can run quick, fun and engaging giveaways by asking your Twitter following for new ideas, getting them to reply to your tweet with their ideas, and picking out your favourite as the winner.
You can get users to submit new product ideas, product names or anything else you like. You can make your queries as legitimate or trivial as you would like. These giveaways are friendly, fun, great for getting people talking about your brand and who knows, you might even find your next big idea.
Run an In-App Giveaway
A powerful alternative to running your giveaway directly on Twitter is hosting your giveaway on a 3rd-party app like Gleam and using Twitter to drive traffic to the campaign.
Take a look at our demo giveaway below and get a feel for what your own Twitter campaign could look like with Gleam:
This is a highly effective giveaway strategy as you can use a Gleam giveaway to not only drive powerful Twitter actions such as follows, tweets, retweets and photo submissions, but you will also be able to use your campaign to drive actions on other social media platforms and beyond. Plus we'll automatically administer and monitor all entries for you.
You can easily promote these types of giveaways on Twitter by tweeting about it with a link to the campaign or even including the link in your Twitter bio.
Run an Instagram Giveaway
Instagram is another platform which is outstanding for running giveaways which will engage your audience and promote your offering.
Follow, Like & Tag to Win
The most straightforward type of giveaway you can run on Instagram is one which users can enter by liking your post, following you on Instagram and tagging their friends in a comment. These are all great ways to boost engagement, grow your following and of course, expose your brand to a wider audience.
Repost to Win
You can run giveaways on Instagram which require users to repost your giveaway announcement on their own feed. Just make sure you get them to add a designated hashtag and tag you in the post so you can monitor entries.
This is a great way to introduce your brand and contest to a wider audience, build awareness and kickstart consumer relationships. The downside of this type of giveaway is that constant reposts can seem a but spammy, and Instagram doesn't actually offer a native way to repost images. We can help you overcome that last challenge though, just check out our helpful guide on easily reposting images on Instagram.
Instagram is a highly visual platform which makes it perfect for incentivising the creation of user-generated content with contests or giveaways.
You can run giveaways which get users to submit hashtagged photos following a set criteria, and you can choose winners at random or based on the merit of their submission.
This type of giveaway is highly engaging. It will help strengthen your consumer relationships and generate a tonne of powerful branded content which will be shared across social media, exposing your brand and products to a wide new audience in a highly authentic and engaging way.
You can use hashtag contests to collect a wide range of content including photos of customers with your product, videos of your product in use, or other photos related to your audience or the theme of your giveaway. For example, if you're giving away travel gear of some sort you could simply ask users to submit their favourite travel photos.
If you ask for the right kind of content you will be able to have a huge amount of high-quality branded content shared around Instagram by your giveaway entrants. Plus, you also have the option of collecting image submissions and incorporating them into your own marketing activity.
Asking questions on social media and giving a small prize to the first person to get it right is another quick and easy way to engage your audience and foster positive consumer relationships. Just remember to keep things focused on your brand to maximise the effectiveness of your giveaway.
If you want to get some quick feedback or just boost engagement you can try uploading a collection of images to Instagram and have users vote on their favourite in the comments for a chance to win a small prize.
You can get your audience to vote on something directly related to your brand such as their favourite product or variation, or something more abstract like a preferred holiday destination or favourite meal.
Run a Giveaway Inside Your Instagram Stories
Another quick and easy giveaway you can run on Instagram is a giveaway inside your Instagram Story. You can use your stories to announce your giveaway and link off to a page or post where users can easily enter it.
You can also ask a question inside your story which users can answer for their chance to win. When you run this type of giveaway you can ask users just about anything to collect entries. One good approach is offering a voucher and get entrants to enter the draw to win it by telling you which of your products they would use it on.
Run an In-App Giveaway
The main drawbacks of running giveaways directly on Instagram are that you are limited to driving actions on Instagram, and validating and monitoring entries can be a hassle.
You can overcome these hurdles and more by using a contest app such as Gleam to run your next giveaway. When you use a contest app to run a giveaway you can house your campaign on your own website or a hosted landing page and use Instagram (as well as all of your other promotional channels) to drive traffic to the giveaway. You can then use the giveaway to drive powerful Instagram actions such as visits, views and photo submissions.
Take a look at the demo below to see how you can use Gleam to drive powerful Instagram actions:
As well as driving actions on Instagram you can also use your Gleam giveaway to build an email list, grow your Twitter following and much, much more. This is an outstanding way to cross-pollinate all of your online audiences and drive multi-faceted growth.
Instagram prohibits users from including links in posts, so a good appraoch to promoting your giveaway from inside Instagram is including the link to your giveaway in your bio and using your posts to announce the campaign and let users know how they can access it.
If you have a verified account you also have the option of including a link to your giveaway inside your Instagram story which gives you the highly engaging option of using your story to promote the campaign.
Run a Facebook Giveaway
Facebook is a powerful platform for reaching new audiences, building a community around your brand and promoting your products. If you're looking to increase your presence on Facebook then it can be a good idea to run a giveaway directly on your Facebook timeline.
When you run a giveaway on your timeline, Facebook doesn't allow you to ask users to share or tag friends in posts, but this doesn't mean there aren't plenty of other powerful actions you can drive.
Like to Win
The most basic type of giveaway you can run on Facebook is one which simply asks users to like a post on Facebook to enter the draw to win a prize. This is an easy way to engage your followers and expose your brand to a new audience with minimal effort required.
Remember, more likes means more potential exposure to your entrant's friends.
Comment to Win
Another easy type of giveaway you can run on Facebook is one where users can comment on your post for a chance to win.
There are countless possibilities for what you can do with comment to win giveaways. You can ask users why they want to win, generate product ideas, ask trivia questions, or get users to caption an image. What matters most is that you're asking something engaging enough to drive participation and boost exposure.
It's generally a good idea to get users to like your post as well while you're at it, and remember, Facebook doesn't permit you to require users to tag their friends in a comment, but if your giveaway is engaging enough they often will anyway.
Just like Twitter and Instagram, Facebook can be a great place to run giveaways with the aim of generating and spreading fan-made content.
Running a giveaway which tasks users with uploading hashtagged photos relevant to your brand is a highly effective way to generate natural and authentic content which will promote your brand to a new audience by encouraging your fans to create branded content and share it with their social circles.
Run a Giveaway in a Facebook Tab
If you want to run a giveaway on Facebook that drives more powerful actions and engages audiences on a deeper level then you may want to consider running a giveaway from within a tab on your Facebook page with Gleam.
You can use this type of giveaway to encourage your Facebook fans to visit your website, follow and visit your other social media accounts, or complete a wide range of other actions tailored to your goals.
Running a giveaway from within a Facebook tab means you can drive a huge array of awesome actions without having to redirect users away from Facebook, which will reduce barriers to entry and help maximise participation.
Run an In-App Contest
Social media networks are arguably the best place for brands to connect with customers and promote their offerings, and giveaways provide you with the perfect opportunity to both engage your existing social media audience and reach out and connect with a new one.
Running giveaways directly on social media posts is quick, easy, and a great way to drive some action and boost engagement. However, if you want to run a truly powerful giveaway that can drive a multitude of high-value actions across numerous platforms then you should consider using a 3rd-party app such as Gleam.
The biggest limitation of running a giveaway directly on social media is that you can only drive a highly-limited number of actions, and your audience is limited to that particular platform.
When you run an in-app contest you will be able to run your giveaway from your own website or a customisable hosted landing page and use all of your social media platforms to drive traffic to the giveaway. This will help you reach a far larger audience and maximise the impact of your giveaway.
You will also be able to use your giveaway to drive action across a multitude of platforms which will greatly increase the value you are able to get from your giveaway.
3rd-party apps will also administer all of your entries for you so you don't have to waste your time individually validating and monitoring every entry you receive. Have a look at our demo giveaway below to get a feel for how our platform works.
Running a giveaway which promotes all of your social channels is perfect as it gives you the opportunity to drive traffic from a variety of social media platforms to reach new audiences and cross-pollinate your followings. For example, you can use a giveaway to convert your Facebook followers into YouTube subscribers, or your Twitter followers into Instagram fans. On top of this you will also be able to pull in hordes of entirely new followers, fans and customers.
Generating Collaborative Content
Giveaways can be used to drive a lot of valuable actions, but there may be none which are quite as effective as the generation of fan-made content. There are many types of content that can give your promotional efforts a boost, let's take a look at some of the best ways you can use giveaways to generate and collect.
We've already mentioned how you can use hashtag contests to collect user-generated content across platforms such as Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. If you use a 3rd party app you can take these giveaways to the next level by collecting images from all of these sources at once and automatically awarding entries to the users who submit them. This takes the hassle out of running photo contests and let's you easily gather more content from more users.
If you run a photo contest with Gleam you will even be able to use our import actions to automatically collect hashtagged images as entries without users ever having to interact with your widget, reducing friction and maximising submissions. All you have to do is ask users to submit hashtagged images to a social media platform of your choice and let the submissions roll in.
Ask Your Audience For Ideas
If you're looking for a fun way to engage your fans try running a giveaway which gives your audience the chance to win a prize by coming up with new ideas for your brand. A popular type of giveaway amongst food producers are those which task users with creating their own flavour.
This is an idea which brands like Oreo and Lays have used to engage their audience, get people talking about their brand and generate some awesome new ideas.
You can even get people to vote for their favorite idea which will add an extra layer of engagement and encourage people to share their idea (and your brand) around their own circles.
Aside from getting users to come up with product ideas you could also get them to come up with a name for something new, a creative way to use your products or anything else you think will be engaging and exciting.
You can easily run these giveaways on social media by tracking hashtags, or you can use a platform like Gleam to monitor and collect entries across multiple platforms for you.
As well as sourcing ideas for new offerings, giveaways also present you with a good opportunity to get some insightful feedback on your existing products.
The incentive a giveaway provides will help you generate useful feedback which you can use to improve your offering and show your customers that they're valued.
When you run a giveaway to procure customer feedback you will generally want to keep things off social media and other public forums as this has the potential to seriously backfire. Try emailing out an incentivised questionnaire to your customers or using Gleam to create a survey within a contest.
Leave a Review to Win
Having a strong collection of positive reviews can give your brand a significant boost. Often a strong track record of reviews is all it will take to push a potential customer from unsure to certain.
A clever way to incentivise the creation of positive reviews and reward your customers at the same time is by running a giveaway which asks your customers to leave a review for the chance to win a prize. You can do this by sending your mailing list and social media following to a review platform of your choice and randomly drawing a winner from everyone who submitted a review in the allotted time frame.
You can also use Gleam's Submit URL to easily collect reviews as giveaway entries.
Using giveaways to generate feedback doesn't have to be high-energy affair. You also engage your audience and hear their opinions by running a simple voting contest where you present several options to your audience and have them pick their favourite for a chance to win.
You can do this to determine product preferences, conduct some market research for future offerings or just get a feel for your audience's taste.
There are several easy ways you can run voting contests. You can post your voting selections on Facebook or Instagram and have users comment their vote, tweet out the options and have users reply with their favourite, or use Gleam's Question actions to collect answers.
Themed Giveaway Ideas
Wherever you run your giveaway, and whatever actions you drive, it's often a good idea to run it around a special event, or give it a particular theme. This will help you boost engagement and capture people's attention.
Here are a few ideas for some special types of giveaways you can run.
Every industry has it's own peak season. Christmas is the busiest time of year for a lot of e-commerce retailers, Easter sees a huge uptick in chocolate sales, and Mother's Day and Valentine's Day are popular for florists.
If there's a holiday that coincides with elevated interest in your product then running a giveaway is a brilliant way to capitalise on the heightened interest to draw attention to your product and drive action.
Running a well-timed holiday giveaway can help you convert customers and drive revenue by getting people to talk and think about your brand and product at a time when you're offering exactly what they need.
Adore Me was able to substantially grow their social following and drive significant revenue by running a Valentine's Day giveaway and capitalising on the heightened interest in lingerie that accompanies the holiday.
Even if there isn't a particular holiday that perfectly fits your brand running a holiday giveaway can still help you boost engagement and drive action. Christmas perfectly lends itself to giving out prizes, so try running a festive giveaway to attract attention and drive engagement.
Product Launch Giveaways
Launching a new product presents you with the perfect opportunity to run a giveaway which will raise awareness and get people talking about your new offering.
You can get users to enter the draw to win your new product by retweeting a post promoting the product, following you on social media or sharing the giveaway with their friends.
You can easily run this type directly on social media, but if you want to make the most of it and drive more action then you should try running your giveaway with Gleam.
Sales Promotion Campaigns
When you run a giveaway you will be able to reach a sizable new audience and draw massive amounts of attention to your brand. This in itself is fantastic, but if you really want to capitalise on all this attention then you should consider aligning your giveaway with another special promotion such as a storewide sale.
This will add a level of excitement to your campaign and help you drive further action from giveaway participants. If you're using your giveaway to drive traffic to your website or just get people to check out your products, they will be a lot more inclined to make a purchase if you're offering up a discount.
Running contests and giveaways is a consistently excellent strategy for anyone looking to drive engagement and grow their online following. An outstanding way to capitalise on this consistency is by running regular giveaways on a monthly, fortnightly, or even weekly basis.
When you run giveaways on a regular basis you will be able to drive consistent engagement and growth without any diminishing returns. Weekly giveaways are perfect for rewarding you loyal following and keeping your fans interested, engaged and excited about your brand.
In addition to helping you build and maintain positive relationships with your existing audience, running regular contests will also help you constantly generate leads and grow your following through social referrals and other actions. This will give your customer acquisition a serious boost and help you achieve consistent, meaningful growth.
Announcing a partnership with other brands and running collaborative giveaways is a stellar way to build excitement, reach a huge and relevant audience, boost your brand awareness and drive action.
Partner giveaways are a great way to engage and enthral not only your existing audience, but also your partner's audience. This is perfect for exposing your brand to wide new audiences who are highly likely to take an interest in your brand and products.
Running a partner giveaway can be particularly effective for new and emerging businesses who are yet to establish an online presence or audience. This was certainly the case for Flyte Socks who used Gleam to run a partner giveaway which drove enormous amounts of awareness and helped them smash their funding goals on Kickstarter.
If you decide to run a partner giveaway you need to remember to team up with brands who offer complementary products, not competing ones. This will ensure that you're connecting with a relevant audience whilst minimising the risk of getting outshined by your partner.
Teaming up with a prominent social media influencer to run a special collaborative giveaway is a fantastic way to put yourself in front of a massive new audience and drive action from relevant new users which will give your promotional efforts an immediate and long-term boost.
You can reach out to influencers who operate within your niche and ask them to promote your giveaway in exchange for money, the interesting content, or some dedicated actions in the giveaway.
You can use this type of giveaway to reach out to a huge new audience and get them to check out your brand and follow you on social media. This is perfect for connecting with a new audience, promoting your products and hopefully finding some new customers.
As well as being a powerful way to spread awareness and drive actions, giveaways are also fantastic for simply engaging your audience and strengthening your relationship with your consumers.
One particularly fun and engaging type of contest you can run is a treasure hunt which tasks users with searching through your website or blog for answers which will help them win a prize.
Not only is this a fantastic way to engage your audience and foster positive associations, it's also a perfect chance for you to promote your content and products by having users navigate through blog posts, product pages, sales events and more in order to find your clues and enter your giveway.
Fun Diet Food Finds, a popular food blog, had success with their treasure hunt which had users searching through recipes and food tips for images of jack-o-lanterns which they had to find to enter the giveaway.
Running a treasure hunt is made incredibly easy with Gleam's Secret Code action which allows you to award giveaway entries to anyone who successfully enters your code. All you need to do is scatter the codes across the content you want to draw attention to and point your audience in the right direction.
Jane.com had tremendous success when they ran an easter themed treasure hunt with Gleam engaged their audience and got a huge pool of users to check out all of their latest products and deals.
You can add instructions to all of your secret code actions to provide users with clues to help them find all of your hidden treasure.
One of the most powerful actions you can drive with giveaways is social referrals.
You can incentivise social referrals by running contests which allow users to earn entries by referring their friends to the contest and having them enter. For these contests to work you need to have a baseline action which is used to determine successful referrals.
We recommend getting entrants to sign up with their email, as this is not only a quick and easy way for people to enter, it will also grow your mailing list which will give you a massive promotional advantage down the line.
Gleam's Viral Share action makes running your own referral campaign a breeze,. You can choose to make social referrals the focal point of your entire campaign, or you can simply include them as one of many powerful actions in your giveaway.
Platform Specific Giveaways
For people operating in most industries, particularly e-commerce, focusing your giveaways on social media growth is one of the best approaches you can take. However, if there is another platform or area which you primarily operate on then it's worth focusing your giveaways on these platforms.
Grow Your Pre-Launch Mailing List
If you're starting a new business then running a giveaway before you go live is an excellent way to raise awareness, build an audience and get the ball rolling on your marketing efforts before your official launch.
When you run a pre-launch giveaway it's a good idea to keep things focused on building excitement and growing your online following. If you can build a strong email list and social media presence before you launch you will be an outstanding position to promote your brand and drive sales the second you go live.
Harry's did an amazing job of pre-launching their shaving brand by running a referral campaign which give away prizes to users who got their friends to sign up to their mailing list. This helped Harry's grow their following so that when they launched, they were launching to a crowd.
Pre-launch giveaways aren't only powerful for new brands. If you're releasing a new product or line then giveaways can be an awesome way to raise awareness for your new offering and kickstart your new endeavour.
Promote Your Music
If you're a musician then running a giveaway can help you reach a wide new audience and promote your work.
When winning an exciting prize is on the table, people will generally be eager and willing to do what you ask of them, as long as it isn't completely unreasonable. With that in mind, you should have no issues asking users to listen to a song, follow you on SoundCloud or Spotify, or check you out on social media in order to enter your giveaway.
Follow to Win
A simple way to use giveaways to promote your music is by announcing your giveaway on social media and awarding entries to anyone who follows you on SoundCloud or Spotify. Twitter is a great place to announce these giveaways as it gives you the option of requiring entrants to retweet your giveaway announcement which will help you reach a wider audience.
If you want to use your giveaway to promote particular pieces of content or drive action across multiple platforms your best option is to use a platform like Gleam.
Take a look at this demo we put together to see how you can use Gleam to promote your music and grow your following.
This type of campaign can be extra effective if you offer users additional entries for sharing your giveaway (and content) around via referral links.
Run a YouTube Giveaway
If you run are YouTube channel and are looking for ways to engage your audience, grow you following or drive an array of other actions then running a giveaway can get you there.
A simple but effective type of YouTube giveaway you can run is one which simply tasks entrants with subscribing to your YouTube channel. This is a great way to grow your following and reward your loyal visitors, and it's easy to promote from within your videos and on your social media channels. When promoting this type of giveaway on social media it's worth encouraging users to share your message around. This will help you reach new users and expose your channel to a wider audience.
Comment Below to Win
A great way to engage your audience and help drive lots of views is by running a giveaway within a video and getting viewers to enter by commenting on the video.
You can ask users to comment anything from answers to questions you pose in the video to ideas for future content they would like to see from you.
If you want to grow your YouTube channel with giveaways then the optimal strategy is using an app to run a campaign which will drive an array of powerful actions including YouTube views and subscriptions as well as social media interaction across all of your platforms.
This will allow you to incentivise the completion of an array of powerful actions and direct traffic to your giveaway from a multitude of sources which will help you drive action from users outside of your pre-existing fanbase.
Run a Twitch Giveaway
If you're a Twitch streamer then running a giveaway can help you find new viewers and elevate your relationship with your existing audience.
Follow to Enter
Running a giveaway to promote your Twitch channel can be something as simple as entering all of your followers or subscribers into the draw to win a prize, and announcing the giveaway on social media and your stream. This will help strengthen your relationship with existing followers and subscribers while also incentivising other viewers to follow or subscribe to your channel.
Social Media Giveaways
Running a social media contest can also be a great way to promote your Twitch channel. For example, you can tweet about your giveaway and award entries to anyone who follows you and retweets the post. This can help you gain awareness, build an audience and draw attention to your stream. Just remember to link off to your Twitch stream from the tweet, this will encourage users to check you out and help you find new fans.
If you want to use your giveaway to incentivise users to complete several actions across Twitch, social media and more then your best option is using an app like Gleam to run your campaign.
With Gleam you can put together a Twitch campaign like this one below and drive some seriously good results.
Rewarding Your Participants
When you run a giveaway, offering a special reward like a coupon to everyone who enters is a highly effective way to not only make entry that little bit more enticing, but also to drive further action once your giveaway has concluded.
Give Out Coupons to Giveaway Entrants
Running a giveaway where every entrant receives a discount code to use at your store is an outstanding way to give users some extra incentive to enter your campaign and encourage them to make a purchase in the aftermath of your giveaway.
You can easily do this by sending out an email once your campaign concludes announcing the winner and providing participants with a discount code to redeem at your store. This will help you re-engage your audience and convert users into customers.
If you're using your giveaway as a customer acquisition tool this is an outstanding way to convert new users into customers.
Use Your Giveaway to Offer Discounts
If you use Gleam to run your giveaway you can use our Coupon action to give users discount codes once they have completed a designated number of actions in your campaign.
As well as helping boost sales, this approach has the added advantage of maximising the number of actions you drive, as you have the option of locking your coupon code until users have completed every action in your campaign which will give them some extra incentive to complete more actions.
Take a look at this demo we put together to see how this type of giveaway works:
Run a Rewards Campaign
If you like the idea of offering some kind of reward to everyone who enters your campaign then you may be interested in running a rewards campaign with Gleam. With Gleam's Rewards app you can run powerful campaigns which offer discount codes and other rewards to users who completed a set amount of actions chosen by you.
This is an outstanding way to drive valuable actions and encourage users to make purchases by offering up discounts.
Picking the Perfect Prize
Now that you've the countless types of giveaways you can run you should be feeling ready to get out there and run your own powerful campaign which will generate leads and drive meaningful action.
There is, however, one more important decision you will need to make: Choosing a prize to give away.
If you want to check out an enormous selection of awesome prize ideas then you should take a look at our comprehensive guide. 👇