• Annie Astraikis

Social Media Giveaways 101

What is one thing that everybody loves? Prizes! Social media giveaways are a great way to tap into this universal love, but before you hop on your company’s Facebook page to post an iPad giveaway, it’s important to do some research about contest best practices and the associated rules and regulations. Keep reading and we’ll walk you through the basics!


This is definitely the most popular type of social media promotion. The basic premise of a sweepstake is that you give away a prize in exchange for someone submitting their personal information to your company. By personal information, I just mean basic items like their name, phone number, email address, and country of residence.

For this option, you’ll need to first pick what you’ll be giving away. Safe bets are money, gift cards, or technology (like laptops, phones, and cameras). The next step is to set-up your giveaway on your chosen social media channel. If you’ve never done a sweepstake before, the easiest platform to start on is definitely Facebook. They offer an easy program that will walk you through each step of setting up your giveaway:

Once you have your sweepstake set-up, it’s time to start promoting it. The best way to get buzz started around your sweepstake is to share the entry link frequently and include relevant hashtags in your post. You might want to plan a post every 2-3 days reminding your followers about the sweepstakes and the deadline to enter. In your post, you should also mention how great the prize is and how easy it is to enter to win. As far as hashtags go, you can include ones like #Sweepstakes, #PrizeGiveaway, and #EnterToWin. Simple hashtags like these will help your post show up on people’s timelines which will mean more traffic to your profile.

Repost Giveaways

An easy way to boost your social media engagement is by doing a giveaway where people must repost or share your social post in order to enter. The first step to hosting this type of contest is to choose your prize and as mentioned above, the best options are things like money, gift cards, and technology. Once you have your prize chosen, you should come up with an engaging social post describing the basics of your giveaway. The post should mention your prize, how to enter the giveaway, and the deadline. For example, your post could look something like this:

2020 has been pretty tough, but we’d like to brighten the world of one of our followers! Enter to win our $500 giveaway by following our page and sharing this post to your wall. What will you spend your winnings on? 500 things from the Dollar Store or a fancy purse? The options are endless! Deadline to enter is October 20th and we’ll announce the winner on the 21st. Let the game begin! ❤️ #Giveaway

As you can see, your post can be super basic, just as long as you hit all the important points. You should also pair this post with an eye-catching graphic or photo, as posts with visuals result in more traffic and engagement. Once you publish your post, you should reshare it to your wall every few days. These types of giveaways will help bring more potential followers to your profile, which will help boost the visibility of your company and brand.

What Are The Rules?

Here are some of the basic rules you should follow when doing a giveaway. Please note that the rules surrounding social media giveaways are constantly changing, so it’s important to stay up to date on the current regulations. The rules also vary depending on which state your business is based in, so make sure you do your research.

  • Rule #1: Entrance into a giveaway should not require a purchase. If participants are required to spend money to enter your sweepstake or giveaway, it will bring your social media promotion into, or dangerously close to, gambling territory. The safest bet is to make the entry requirement something like filling out a form of basic contact information or asking someone to share your social post.

  • Rule #2: The winner should be chosen randomly. It’s generally recommended that contest winners should be determined by a third party without connection to your business. Working with a third party will ensure that a winner is chosen without bias.

  • Rule #3: This one might seem pretty obvious, but at the end of your contest, the winner must be notified promptly. It isn’t lawful to host a contest and then never announce the winner. Contestants are required to either enter their personal information, share your social post, or follow your social media account, so it would be unfair and illegal not to announce a winner and give away the prize. Beyond that, your followers won’t take kindly to jumping through hoops to join a contest when they find out that a prize was never awarded!

Need Some Help?

If you need help boosting your social media engagement, we’re here to help! Contact us today to get started.

About the Author

Annie Astraikis is Parklife’s Social Media Manager.