Anytime you run a luck-based promotional giveaway it's important that you have a reliable and effective system for picking winners ready to go when it's time to wrap things up.
Figuring out a good way to randomly select winners can be a bit of a challenge, especially as you start to rack up more and more entries. The method you choose will depend on how you're collecting entries.
Some of the easiest ways to get users to enter a giveaway are by posting your giveaway on social media and allowing users to enter by interacting with you or your post in various ways. This can include likes, shares, follows, replies, comments, shares, retweets and much more.
However you're going about collecting entries, you'll need to find a way to generate random winners. To help you start effectively picking winners we're going to take you through all the best ways you can randomly choose winners for your giveaway.
Random Number Generators
If your giveaway is already underway and you to pick a winner from your entries then one approach you can take is allocating every entry a number, using a random number generator to select a number within the appropriate range, and matching that number up with an entry to determine a winner.
For example, if you're running a giveaway where users have to retweet one of your posts to enter then you can randomly generate a number between 1 and the total amount of retweets. You then count down the list of retweets until you reach the randomly generated number.
If you randomly generate the number 10, then you select the 10th retweet down as the winner.
This an effective approach that can work for giveaways that collect entries through likes, comments, shares, retweets, and even ones that award prizes to a random follower or subscriber on any platform.
Counting down through all your entries to find the winning number can be a hassle, but unless you have an effective way of automatically recording entries in real time then picking random winners once your giveaway has ended will often be quite time consuming.
Random List Pickers
Another effective approach you can take to randomly generating winners if you've already started driving entries is using an online random list picker, such as those provided by MiniWebtool or Comment Picker.
Online list pickers allow you to generate random winners by manually entering all of your entrants, and the tool will pick a winner at random for you.
Manually entering every single entrant into a list picker takes more effort upfront than using a random number generator, but it will save you the hassle of having to count through your entries to find the entry that matches your random number. Plus, if you're already recording entries into a spreadsheet you will be able to easily copy over the entrants.
This approach can be useful if you want users to be able to enter in a few different ways, just be prepared to spend a lot of time recording entries and watching out for duplicates.
Using online list pickers and random number generators are the best ways you can pick winners for an online giveaway that you're already running, but these approaches still require you to manually count and collect all the entries yourself. This is far more effort than is actually necessary.
If you run your giveaway with a 3rd party app you will be able to automatically record every entry and instantly generate random winners. Plus, you'll be able to drive a wide range of powerful actions that will help you get as much value as possible from your giveaway.
We'll show you how you can use 3rd party apps to run powerful giveaways soon, but first we're going to take a quick look at some super easy ways to pick random winners from Twitter giveaways and social media comments.
Picking Winners For Twitter Giveaways
If you're running a giveaway on Twitter then Tweetdraw is a fantastic free tool for drawing winners.
With Tweetdraw you can easily select random winners from people who retweet a certain post, follow you on Twitter, or even use a designated hashtag.
Drawing winners is easy as entering the URL of your tweet, the name of your profile or your hashtag and clicking go.
Picking Winners From Facebook Comments
If you're running a giveaway which awards entries to anyone who comments on a Facebook post them randomly picking a winner is a walk in the park with Comment Picker's Facebook tool.
All you have to do is log into your Facebook account, select your giveaway post and click Start.
You'll then get a random commenter chosen as your winner. You can even choose whether or not you want to allow users to enter multiple times with multiple comments.
Picking Winners From Instagram Comments
Just like the Facebook tool above, Comment Picker also has a tool for generating random winners from Instagram Comments. You just have to log in, choose your giveaway post and generate a winner. It's that easy.
Picking Winners From YouTube Comments
If you have a YouTube channel and want to run a quick giveaway a good option is getting viewers to comment on the video for a chance to win. You can then draw random winners from the comments with tool such as Comment Picker, YouTube RCP, Sandra Cires YouTube Random Comment Picker.
However, these tools have some significant limitations including difficulties preventing spam entries, inability to validate entries, and not allowing you to maintain a record of your entry collection and winner drawing process.
Luckily there is a better option which you can learn all about here:
Picking Winners From YouTube Comments
Take a look at the best way you can run effective YouTube giveaways and easily pick random winners!Get Started
Running An Opt-In Giveaway
While all these methods will allow you to randomly generate winners for your giveaway, they generally require more effort than necessary, or put stict limitations on the actions your giveaway can drive.
Collecting entries, drawing winners and driving meaningful actions becomes a lot easier when you run an opt-in giveaway where users enter your campaign directly instead of via social media.
You can do this with a 3rd party tool like Gleam's Competitions app which you an use to quickly and easily create powerful giveaways that will automatically collect, validate and record entries, and generate random winners for you once your campaign has finished.
You can run your Gleam giveaway on your own website, or on one of our stylish hosted landed pages. All you need to do is maximise participation by driving traffic to your giveaway through your various online channels, and your Gleam campaign will handle the rest.
As well as taking all the manual labour out of drawing random winners, running a giveaway with Gleam also gives you the opportunity to drive a far wider range of meaningful actions. You can even drive multiple actions in the same giveaway and award more entries to users who complete more actions.
With Gleam you can create giveaways ranging from simple sign-up forms:
To more powerful campaigns that award entries to users who subscribe to your mailing list, retweet or follow you on Twitter, visit your webpage and other social media profiles, share your giveaway with friends and a whole lot more.
Learn More About Running Sweepstakes & Contests
- The Best Ideas For Your Next Giveaway
- The Difference Between Sweepstakes & Contests
- Everything You Need To Know About Online Sweepstakes
- Everything You Need To Know About Contests
- How to Run a Successful Online Giveaway
- Choosing the Perfect Prize For Your Giveaway
- How to Promote Your Giveaway
- Driving Sales From Giveaway Entrants
- Using Contests to Collect User-Generated Content
- How to Grow Your Business With Gleam