How to Run a Successful Social Media Giveaway

July 24, 2023
Written by
Bailey Fortenbaugh
Published on
August 9, 2023

Social media giveaways are an amazing way to find new customers and engage the ones you already have. This type of contest marketing can even help you get more website traffic, generate leads, and increase your sales.

But no marketing tactics go without a strategy. In this post, we’ll give you a rundown of some essential steps for a successful social media giveaway, show you some tips for gaining more exposure on your giveaways, and answers some FAQs that may be helpful to you. By the end of this post, you should be ready to throw your next social media giveaway!

Part 1: Pre-Planning Your Social Media Giveaway

Before you start to think about logistics, what you might want to give away, or what your post will look like, you need to figure out some basics first.

Step 1: Define Your Goals and Audience

Whether it’s driving website traffic, increasing leads or sales, or gaining more followers, you need a clear goal in mind before you start your giveaway. Start by asking what your business can benefit from. Are you a service-based business that needs more leads or bookings? Are you an e-commerce company that needs more checkouts and conversions? Are you an influencer looking to grow your following and engagement? Define these goals, they will help you shape the rest of your giveaway and the logistics.Once you know your goal, you need to think about who will be interested in you and your giveaway. If you own a business, you likely know your target audience. Use your target audience to decide what kind of prize you will give away, as well as how your giveaway will work (more info on that below!).

Step 2: Choose the Right Platform

There are a lot of social media platforms out there, and they have different strengths and weaknesses. Some are built better than others for social media giveaways, too. You should first consider which platforms your target audience prefers. You want to make sure the people you’re targeting are present on the platform you're using. 

You should also consider which platforms are better for giveaways than others. Facebook, TikTok, Twitter, and Instagram are common platforms for giveaways. These platforms are great for maximizing your reach and typically make logistics and communication easier. 

Truthfully, any platform outside of these makes it pretty difficult to host a giveaway unless you have a large following or a particularly unique target audience. If you feel inclined to use some other platform other than the ones listed above, make sure you carefully consider the logistics and potential reach you could get.

Step 3: Choose A Prize that People Actually Want

It can be tempting to run a giveaway that’s full of company-branded items or something you personally like, but that isn’t always a smart move. Unless you’re a big brand with loyal followers, branded merch is likely not something your target audience will want to win from you.

Your prize needs to be the hook that draws people into your brand. You first present your target audience with something they want, then you attach your name to it. A good giveaway can get your target audience members to associate the excitement and desire of that giveaway item with your brand.

Your item doesn’t necessarily need to be associated with what you do or sell either. For example, our client Wireless Solutions and Accessories sells pre-owned devices, accessories, and phone repair. They could give away a coupon for free device repair or a pre-owned device, but that’s not very exciting to most people. What they can do is give away a brand-new iPhone 13 or something completely unrelated like tickets to an OKC Thunder Game, something that people would love to get for free and will gladly enter to win.

What this does is build brand awareness. Sure, they’re not getting something specific to the WSA brand, but now they know what WSA is and will remember entering to win such a cool prize. This makes it so that the next time those people break their phones and need a repair, they’ll remember that giveaway they entered and go to WSA first. It’s like time travel for generating conversions. Cool, right?

Part 2: Execute Your Giveaway

Now that you have an idea of what you want your giveaway to do, now you can plan how it will work.

Step 4: Determine How People Will Enter Your Giveaway

The best thing to do here is to make your giveaway entry as easy as possible while also maximizing exposure. Usually, people will have entrants like, follow, share, and tag people in the giveaway post. This makes it relatively easy for people to enter your giveaway and gets entrants to attract more people by sharing your giveaway with other people. Your ultimate goal should be to get entries that produce more entries. 

If you’re giving away a large or desirable prize, something that people will be willing to put in more work for you, can even do user-generated content entries. These can be photo or video submissions from entrants that promote your brand and spread the word about your giveaway. If this is your first giveaway, though, you may want to avoid this and keep things on the simpler side.

Step 5: Set Clear Rules for Entrants

You want to make sure there is no way an entrant can manipulate the system and prevent any legal issues with your giveaway. You can include important information in your giveaway such as eligibility requirements (age, location, etc.) and giveaway rules. Your rules should explain the entry period, how the winner is selected, and how the winner will be notified and given the gift (more on that later). You should also cover the basics like the number of entries per person allowed, the number of winners, and any factors that can disqualify someone from winning the giveaway.

Step 6: Establish The Prize Logistics

Will you ship the prize out to the winner? Do they have to come pick it up from you? Is your prize digital? Make sure you know exactly how you will give your items to the winner so you don’t run into any issues later on.

Part 3: Promote Your Giveaway and Drive Engagement

It’s time for the fun part! With a clear plan and logistics created, you can move on to posting about your giveaway, promoting it, and more!

Step 7: Promote, Promote, Promote!

Post about your giveaway often, experiment with different hashtags and account tagging to find new entrants, and engage with entrants’ posts about your giveaway to start building buzz around your giveaway. If you actively promote and engage with those entering your giveaway, you should see the exposure start to ramp up.

Step 8: Keep Track of Growth as You Go

As you’re promoting, keep an eye on what posts and activities are helping your metrics grow. This is the key part of using a giveaway to grow, not the aftermath!

Step 9: Announce the Winner, Follow Up, and Reflect

Once you have chosen your winner and coordinated with them to give them their prize, use this as an opportunity to create more content. You can work with the winner to create posts about them winning the prize and tease at future giveaways coming soon.

Follow Up with your entrants with a thank-you post and showcase the winner with their prize. This shows legitimacy and lets entrants know that they may have a chance to win a prize if you do a future giveaway.

Reflect on how your giveaway performed. Take a look at the metrics for success you created earlier and compare your numbers before and after the giveaway. This can help you determine how well you performed and what you might be able to improve on next time.


Running a successful social media giveaway requires careful planning and strategy, but it doesn't need to be hard! Make sure you have a solid strategy, be active during your giveaway period, and check your metrics to understand how well your giveaway performed. Social media giveaways are a powerful tool for growth, and doing them well can help you boost your business!

If you’re looking for help working with social media, giveaways, or any other sort of marketing, reach out to us at Frank. We’re a full-service marketing and advertising agency that can do it all, from social media marketing to video production, and beyond. Contact us today, see some of our previous work, and check out more of our content on our blog.

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