Social Media Contest Do's and Don'ts

Running a sweepstakes or giveaway on social media is a great tactic to increase your fan acquisition, brand awareness and engagement. There are rules to the game and best practices to consider when planning/launching such campaigns. If you are interested in creating a social media sweepstakes or giveaway for your business, get in touch with one of our social media experts to discuss the options. 

Do make it simple to win. People, on social media, don't want too many barriers of entry when entering a contest. Making it easy to enter the sweepstakes will prevent confusion and increase your chances of participants. 

Do set a budget and timeline to promote (boot/sponsor) posts to reach more of your audience existing and new. For each platform, ensure you follow the creative specs/guidelines. If you don't you'll have to redo the creative assets and it's not a pretty process. 

Do follow Facebook's (and other social media platforms) rules and policies. Here's Facebook's giveaway rules: https://www.facebook.com/notes/addicted-to-networking/contestgiveaways-facebook-rules-/291002507596530/

Do establish official sweepstake rules (term/conditions).  (see below) 

Do have your sweepstakes partners promote the sweepstakes to garner more reach and engagement. 

Do test your Facebook tab or any microsite before going live to ensure all your tech details are working properly. 

Official rules must always include:

  • “No purchase necessary.”
  • The alternative method of free participation.
  • Geographic area of the sweepstakes and/or who is eligible to participate in the sweepstakes.
  • Opening date and scheduled termination date of the sweepstakes.
  • Complete name and address of the sponsor and promoter of the contest.
  • Number of prizes, the accurate description of each prize, the retail value of each prize and the odds of winning each type of prize.
  • Whether all prizes offered will be awarded and how the prizes will be awarded.
  • Manner of selection of winners and when a determination of winners will be made.
  • Where and when a list of winners can be obtained.

Don't contact winners via Facebook Messenger or on Facebook (comments) because that is against Facebook LAW. You'll have to contact the winner via email or phone to notify them of their winnings. 

Don't forget to make the prizes worth entering. The better the prize, the better the results. Don't make the prize cash because there are a lot of hurdles to jump through. Giveaway an experience, free product/service, etc.

Don't forget to write a social media content calendar before the contest launches to ensure you're putting out the right messaging to people to engage with your status updates, tweets, posts, etc. 

There are a lot more do's and don'ts. We hope you enjoyed a few free social media tips and we hope we can help you manage and or grow your social media communities in the very near future.