With a strategic social media giveaway, your brand can energize old and new followers, gain high visibility and delight customers with prizes. While the process of fulfilling and delivering prizes to winners may feel like an afterthought, it’s a critical part of the brand experience and often influenced by the nature of social media.

Here are three things to keep in mind when planning your fulfillment strategy:

Expect a Longer Timeline for Data Collection

Winner communication has a few more steps when the contest or sweepstakes is hosted on social media. Because entry requirements focus on platform-based activities (such as commenting, liking, or sharing) brands don’t have the winners’ names or emails in advance. This can lengthen the timeline for getting necessary fulfillment information such as prize preference and address.On social media, initial winner communication must happen via direct messages. This is why, for legal compliance, it is important that the contest or sweepstakes official rules require participants to enable direct messaging. With this caveat, a brand can quickly select a new winner if unable to contact the original — without running into any compliance issues.

Plan for Privacy with RTM’s Winner Management Portal

It's important to note that if winner communication happens solely through direct messaging, sensitive personal data such as home addresses may be shared and could remain in that message thread for years. This poses a significant liability for brands, especially if their social media accounts are ever compromised. Therefore, it's essential for brands to implement secure data collection and storage protocols, and to be transparent with their audience about how their personal information will be used and protected.Realtime Media’s new Winner Management Portal does exactly this: it protects users’ data and streamlines the communication process. The initial direct message invites users to redeem their prize through a unique link, which will take them to a custom encrypted form to provide all the data needed for fulfillment. That information is automatically stored in our database, where it will be wiped and deleted at a set time in accordance with privacy policies. Our redemption forms are not only secure but also fully customizable to gather as wide a range of information needed for prize fulfillment.

Maintain Momentum Through Delivery

To connect with as many consumers as possible, some clients prefer to offer hundreds of smaller-value prizes, rather than one grand prize winner. In some cases, a brand's social media contest or sweepstakes can go viral and create significant visibility for the brand – this is of course a positive outcome but managing the fulfillment of hundreds of prizes can be a daunting task!Since social media users expect instant updates on shipment and delivery, it's essential to manage the fulfillment process effectively. To streamline the delivery process, it's helpful to work with a fulfillment vendor that is equipped to handle a high volume of prizes and quickly distribute them.Realtime Media’s fulfillment team is built to handle high-volume output and manage inventory quantities across your promotion’s prize pool. Additionally, with our Winner Management Portal, our clients can track inventory of available, claimed, and shipped prizes. When a winner requests an update via email or social media, we can quickly provide an answer using the real-time redemption and fulfillment statuses.

A full-service sweepstakes management company, like Realtime Media, can handle all of the logistics for winner communication and swift prize fulfillment, along with legal administration for high-value prizes — ensuring compliance with the unique contest and sweepstakes laws in each state as well as giveaway laws on every social media platform.

A social media giveaway builds on the apps’ engagement to create a unique and intentional brand experience. A prize fulfillment strategy is the final step toward bringing that experience to life, allowing you to meet winners’ expectations with timely communication and prize delivery.