Social media is a focal point of your digital marketing strategy. And giveaways and contests are fun ways to engage with your followers, gain new followers and build brand awareness.

But knowing how to run them across your different social media platforms is the key to making them a success and ensuring you don’t break any rules on the different platforms.

Let’s review some best practices and talk about some important tips and tricks to use when you launch your contests in 2021…

Reasons to run a giveaway on Facebook and Instagram

Before we talk about how to run giveaways and contests, let’s talk about why. There are a few advantages to running social media contests…

  • It’s an easy way to give away prizes. Sometimes you have a deal or product so good that you want to share with all of your followers, but that’s just not realistic. Running a contest will allow you to share with one or a handful of your customers without having to hand pick yourself.
  • Reach several goals with one campaign. Giveaways are powerful ways to engage with your followers and increase your following. With one contest that you run simultaneously on Facebook and Instagram, you can set reach and achieve goals for each network.
  • It’s easy to cross post. You can easily promote your other social networks by cross posting your giveaway. This also allows your followers to see it more often too because if it appears on Facebook, they will most likely see it on Instagram.
  • It’s a fun way to reward loyal customers. Giveaways are an easy way to reward customers who share about you online with their friends and family. Your followers will appreciate this too!

How to set up and run a Facebook and Instagram contest

  1. Follow the rules and automate the contest.

Before you begin to set up your contest, it’s important to know the rules and standards that apply to each platform. If you are running the same contest on your different platforms, you want the rules to be the same for all users and you must always include your terms and conditions. Visit the terms and conditions for Instagram contests and rules and regulations for Facebook here. This is also a great blog post that details the most important rules to follow when launching a Facebook contest.

No matter which platform you use, make sure the giveaway is automated (you should not be counting comments yourself) and pick the winner at random. Keep contests simple so it doesn’t require too much from your customers. If it’s too difficult or time intensive, most won’t enter.

  1. Ask a question. 

Make sure the purpose of the contest aligns with the interests and behaviors of your audience. Consider your target market as you create the contest. Think about what kind of posts they enjoy, what they typically “like” and “share” from your feed and how they behave on Facebook and Instagram.

When you launch a contest it’s most likely because you want your customers to participate and you also want to be able to gather their information (or collect leads).  Ask your followers open-ended questions that they can reply to in the comments section (to gain entries). Encourage them to tag friends for more entries to help the contest go viral! You can also have them promote the contest on their stories as an additional form of entry. 

  1. Choose a prize that’s relevant to your followers. 

You want your target audience to be enticed by your price. It’s not always smart to give away $100 gift cards or an iPad just because everyone wants it. You risk getting a lot of followers who don’t really care about your company or services and who unfollow you once the contest is over. Try to choose a prize that interests your followers but relates to your business as well.

  1. Plan and prepare your posts in advance. 

Your contest will run more smoothly if you plan out all of your posts in advance. Our team at PSC will help you do this. Write out the copy or text for each post and don’t forget to share terms and conditions (or links to that information). You want to include date and times of the giveaway and images of your prize and company logo as well. If you are working with other brands or influencers, make sure you have a clear agreement in place before the contest begins.

  1. Create a landing page. 

You should always link to a landing page dedicated to your contest that provides all of the details of the giveaway and terms and conditions. Here are some examples of official rules and conditions you might include on that page.

  • Entry procedures and beginning and ending times including the time of day and time zone
  • Eligibility requirements
  • Explanation of all acceptable methods of entry
  • Date the winner is chosen
  • How the winner is chosen
  • A clear description of the prize
  • Liability limitations
  1. Promote your contest in real time. 

Once the contest launches you want to promote it across all platforms in your feed and on your stories. You can also create email campaigns or blog posts about the contest.

When the contest closes, choose your winner and share the results of the contest on your social accounts. Go back to your previous posts and make sure to edit them as closed. Review things like how many likes and comments your posts generated and what kind of impact it had on your engagement. 

Do you have a contest or giveaway idea you would like to run soon? Get in touch with us today and we can help you set up, run and analyze your contest across all of your social media platforms.