Updated: Oct 7, 2021
Social media giveaways have become huge in recent years, especially on Instagram. Wildly popular with younger demographics, and a great way to boost your personal or brand's social media profile, there are numerous different giveaway styles, but typically brands will give away a product or group of products worth $100 or more. This could be the brand's own product (For example, OHMY Apparel giving away their own clothing), or it could be a third party product (Apple Airpods, Beats headphones, PS5), and in some cases multiple brands will partner together to offer package deals (Ex. Thermea By-Nordik Spa partnering with @wpgeats to give away a combined food and spa experience package).
All 3 of these giveaway styles work well to boost a brand's profile on social media, especially if the giveaway entry requirements include any two of the following: follow the brand, tag friends in the comments, share on your story, go to another platform and like our page (typically Facebook). If you properly segment your target audience and demographic information, and figure out what products said demographic likes at the time, it is quite easy to convince a lot of people to share a giveaway for one good reason: People LOVE free stuff!
However recently, and through our own experience with our own social media here at Marketwave Consultants, we have noticed that more often, the giveaways being shared on Instagram stories involve third party products. Now the simple connection to make is that third party products often appeal to a more general audience. If I am a clothing brand with 3.5k followers and I give away my own merchandise, I am appealing to a significantly smaller audience than if I was to give away say....a PS5, which is an incredibly hot commodity (at the time of this writing it was the highest selling debut for a console EVER). AND.... this theory might have had some backing when we were involved a project over the summer of 2021 which you'll read about below!
A giveaway that Marketwave Consultants was recently involved with involved helping to position a giveaway done by SitBak - a delivery service coming soon to Winnipeg! They gave away over $500 worth of items, including a Spikeball Set, a Yeti Cooler and more! The giveaway was well received by many, resulting in excess of 1,900 entries in 8 days! Beyond that - it contributed directly to a gain of over 500 followers, which helped push the account's follower count from less than 200 to over 600! There was also a wide range of entries including entries from students, older parents and younger parents (all ages 18-55+), however the vast majority of entries were made by those under 50 years old.
With the company not yet offering a service and just beginning to introduce themselves to the public, it was a fantastic way to introduce themselves because instead of posting informative posts to less than 200 followers, they can introduce themselves properly to over half-a-thousand followers, and greatly increase their reach through a giveaway!
Is there a reason that this giveaway managed to generate so much interest for such a small account? Here are a number of possible reasons: The products were very desirable, great word-of-mouth to share the post, people tagging 3+ people and entering multiple times, and more! There were people who commented "@_________ , you can unfollow now we didn't win" when it was over and the follower numbers did drop as well. However the main reason we believe it had lots of entries was that people who entered typically entered more than once and tagged more than one person each time - this is typical of people entering giveaways and can greatly inflate your entries HOWEVER, it is absolutely vital to helping boost your follower count. This is why you see giveaways requiring you to tag multiple people for each entry.
For example, if I enter a giveaway and only enter once and tag 2 people, it is unlikely I am going to be a major contributor to the success of the giveaway as that is a total of 3 people who have seen it - AND I'm pretty unlikely to win too. Even if these 2 people tag 2 people each, that is only a total of 7 entries.
But if I am required to tag 2 people for each entry, and I enter even 2 or 3 times, that puts the minimum number of people that see the giveaway because of me at a minimum of 5 people who have seen it (4 if you exclude my entry), and if they all enter 1 time and tag 2 people that number balloons to 13 people (12 excluding me)! It is vital to consider plenty of variables when planning your giveaway.
How To Know If Your Giveaway Was Successful
There are a number of ways to figure this out - but the number one is: How many entries did you have? Some other metrics include:
Number of followers gained
Number of new customers/clients generated by this (this can be highly likely or relatively uncommon depending on your industry)
Sustained increase in web/profile traffic
The goal of every giveaway is to end up with more clients or make sales, but this isn't always the case - increased product or brand awareness can also be considered a success when analyzing your results!
What Type of Product Should You Use?
Use a product or products that will be of interest to your target audience! There is no sense on spending money and time trying to reach people who will not be interested in your product or service AFTER the giveaway. For example, If you are a hair salon - try giving away free haircuts, coloring or hair products - these are things that your clients will be interested in using once the giveaway is over, and will likely provide a chance for you to interact and build trust with the winner!
In Short - Use products you believe will attract people to your website/profiles, and eventually your business!
This post was originally published on April 25, 2021 and updated on October 6, 2021 for comprehension and recent trends/information.