The Art of the Giveaway: Making It Work on Any Platform

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Bag of money with dollar sign on it

Everyone likes free stuff, right? But not every business will create the perfect giveaway, the one where everyone wants to participate. So what sets the great giveaways apart from the mediocre ones and how do you successfully create a giveaway each time? Not to mention, how do you make a giveaway work no matter what platform you use?

  • The Prize—First off, the prize needs to be something people actually want. It doesn’t matter if you have the most creative theme or if you share your giveaway all the time, if people don’t want what you are giving away. So choose your most popular service or product. If you don’t really have one of those, pick a trendy product from a different company that is in keeping with what your company does. For example, if you are a manufacturer of engine parts, consider offering a giveaway of free oil changes or a gift card to an auto supply store.
  • The Theme—Make sure to choose an eyecatching theme and choose great photos of your prize (even if it’s just cash, maybe get one of those really big checks.) The goal is to get people to notice what you have to offer so a plain text description and blurry photos are not going to cut it. If you are creating the giveaway on social media, create a custom hashtag for people to use that is unique to your company and your giveaway.
  • How to Enter—You want this to be as simple as possible. If you are doing an Instagram giveaway, don’t ask people to like the photo, comment, AND follow. Pick one of them and roll with it; same with Facebook. If you are sending the giveaway out through your email, create a link where people can enter their names/email and have your subscribers forward it for more chances to win. You also want to make the giveaway mobile-friendly, so entrants don’t have to slog through a non-mobile website.
  • The Rules—When you are running a giveaway on social media, be sure to follow the guidelines established. Facebook has them and so does Instagram. You also need to establish a time period for people to enter and be clear about when it’s closing so as to avoid hurt feelings. If there are any restrictions regarding who can win your giveaway, if you were giving away alcohol for example, that needs to be clear up front as well.
  • The Winner—When the giveaway has ended, announce the winner quickly across all platforms to avoid confusion. You can also put the start date of your next giveaway to encourage people to come back.

If you haven’t had much luck with giveaways in the past, go back and review what you did. It could be that the prize wasn’t really desired or that the entry was too long and complicated. The nice thing is that you can always do better with the next one.

Do you have any tips for a great giveaway, share them in the comments.

This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (, the online leader in affordable press release distribution. Download your free copy of 7 Cheap PR Tactics for Success in Any Economy here:

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