Awesome Tips on how to Promote your Contest or Giveaway

If you ever organised a contest or a giveaway, how did you promote it? Or, are you one of those people who think it is not necessary because it will attract leads just by itself, without any additional effort? If you are, it may not give you the desired results. Everything requires effort.

Let’s start from the basics! Social media contests and giveaways are a winning way to increase your following, build brand awareness, generate leads and engage your current followers. It will cost you not more than your effort (and the prize, of course), and it may bring you much more.

A contest is a promotional scheme when participants compete for the prize you choose. Mostly you need to determine what they need to accomplish to win the prize. In social media, mostly it’s by writing a response to your question, liking or following your profile, sharing, submitting photos etc.

A giveaway is a promotional drawing in which you give a prize to a participant chosen randomly. (It is also called “sweepstakes”.) A giveaway must be available to everyone at no charge, which means no purchase is needed to enter the competition. A winner is usually chosen with some kind of service, like random.org.

If you want to find out how to run a contest on Facebook, please click here.

So, how to promote?

Before you even take any steps, you need to determine your goals and have a strategy. When you decide what do you want to do, you can start learning and inform yourself on how to do it. That will help you to avoid failure, especially if this is your first time. We will take you step by step in your journey.

promote with plan

Having a strategy means finding a way to move users from being aware of your business to make a purchase (or whatever your goal is). When you own a business which is not online, let’s say for example that you own a flower shop, you need to develop a good approach to your customers and have some other advantages. Something that will make you stand out compared to all other flower shops. When your business is online, your number one thing is strategy.

So, you need to adapt to your followers’ needs, which are constantly changing. Fulfil their expectations. That is a process that goes through a few steps:

  • First, you will always want to attract new followers, who don’t know about your business. If someone doesn’t know you exist, it can not buy something from you, right?
  • When you attract people, you want them to trust you. You need to establish your business and brand, to have a certain credibility.
  • After people get familiar with your business, do your best to engage them. The best way is to make them feel like they committed to you.
  • Educate people about your business and what you have to offer. Explain what makes you different and – even better – why is your product exactly what they need.
  • The next stage is to make a sale. Offer your product as much as possible.
  • When you have a certain client base, it will be easier to sell to them then the new customers.

#1 Strategy: Mail

promote by mail

If you didn’t collect email addresses from your customers, it is time to start! And always remember that how you write your emails highly affects your customers. It is how they will perceive your business, and also one-on-one interaction you don’t want to lose to promote.

How effective your strategy will be it may depend on the next things:

  • Appreciate your customers’ email list. Store it carefully, keep growing it and never abuse the addresses you collected.
  • Put some effort in writing your emails. Yes, we know that automated ones are easy and they save your time, but you need to personalise your emails to the needs of your customers.
  • Create content that will catch readers attention. You can hire a service or explore by yourself, but your email must be unique and attracting.
  • Send an email one or two days before launching your contest/giveaway.
  • Correct the mistakes before sending.
  • Add pictures or videos that are clickable, and also engaging.

So, use your email list smart to promote your contests and giveaways. If they already bought something from you, assuming they were satisfied, they won’t skip the opportunity to try something new you have to offer.

#2 Strategy: Referrals

promote with referrals

If you can lean on your partners, influencers and even satisfied clients, this may be the most powerful thing your business can have. We all trust the opinions of other people when we want to buy something.

First, determine which referrals your business has. Then, configure the system to track them. A spreadsheet will do good, but if you have access to software to do this, it’s even better.

You are hoping your contest/giveaway will go viral, and referrals can help you with this. Of course, you will have to ask them to do it. The usual practice is to reward them to do so or find some other way to motivate them. Not just your followers will see your announcement, but also all the followers of your referrals, and that can be a lot of people.

#3 Strategy: Hashtags

promote with hashtags

We were already writing about hashtags in our post Instagram Hashtag Research, so if you want to learn the basic, you can check it out.

You probably know that hashtags are not used only on Instagram, but on other social media as well. And I sincerely hope that you know what powerful tool this is to promote anything you want, nut just your contest or giveaway. But for this purpose, you want to reach people outside of your existing circle.

For better results, follow those tips:

  • Your hashtags need to be catchy and easy to remember. You should put some that tag your business and brand, and do research on the others, depending on your theme.
  • Join the conversations that are important for your promotion. Just throwing around your tags makes no effect. Post well-written answers and comments to drive new customers to your business by increasing your visibility.
  • Add hashtags to your other posts, too. That is the way to promote your campaign indirectly.

#4 Strategy: Landing page

promote with landing page

A landing page is just one web page, created particularly to promote a campaign. User clicks on a link and this page is where he “lands”. It is usually very simple, designed for a single purpose: a call to action (CTA).

If you want to drive users to your landing page to enter the contest or giveaway, it will need to be created very good. Otherwise, your campaign can break.

These tips may help you:

  • Offer something valuable to your visitors. Your prize should be something good enough to engage them and to make sure they will exchange their information for a chance to win.
  • Determine an end date. This will create a sense of urgency.
  • Your landing page must be simple and easy to use. Also, it should be high-quality, and responsive.
  • The instructions to enter the contest/giveaway should be clear and simple.

#5 Strategy: Web page

web page

Your web page is the mirror of your business, and anyone who visits it will trust the information that can be found there. If you will share your link when promoting your contest/giveaway, make sure that it is updated and presents you well.

Post your content more often before the date you have set. Informing your visitors about your campaign is a must, so pin a post about your contest/giveaway to be in the centre of attention.

…And, some more tips:

The main goal of your contest or giveaway is to make sales. The tips we shared with you are mostly free, but you can pay for ads also. This is something you need to decide after you develop a plan. If your profit will be significant, then paid advertisements are a good option. Statistics show that it’ll help you attract 10 times more contestants.

Writing a capturing post on your web page can mean a lot. You should make it look like an alert, with a big headline and relevant photo. It needs to catch the reader’s attention right away.

The main prize is certainly what every contestant would like to get. But maybe you can consider giving consolidation prizes to your other contestants? It can be something small, like a discount for their next purchase e.g. Just make sure it is something related to your business.

Create a good announcement

Creating a well-written announcement to promote your contest or giveaway may be one of the crucial things. It defines how people will see your business. You need to inform them about your event, in a way that you tell the important information. That means where the event will happen (Facebook, Instagram e.g.), what they need to do to participate and what is the prize. Also, include your terms and conditions.

If you will be using some special hashtags connected to your contest or giveaway, mention that too.


In the competitive social media world, every word that makes you stand out is important. So choose your words carefully and try to be different and engaging. Keep growing your products and/or services to turn visitors into clients.

Hosting an event like contest or giveaway is an extremely effective strategy to get noticed. The more people see it, more will participate and in the end, more of them will become your clients eventually.

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