By asking users for just one like, comment or share to enter a promotion, brands can capture user attention and expand their reach. The convenience of creating and participating in a social media giveaway has made it a powerful — and popular — marketing tool for companies looking to deepen engagement and build loyalty.

At Realtime Media, we believe the design and platform of each promotion should be uniquely tailored to your marketing goals. Here are three key reasons you might want to consider hosting your next contest or sweepstakes on social media:

Speed

Perhaps your brand is having a moment, and you want to capture — and convert — the positive press. Or maybe you’re looking to generate buzz with your target audience around a new launch.

Social media contests and sweepstakes are typically the fastest promotions to create and deploy; a strategic advantage when speed is your goal. Rather than building a website and full campaign, you’ll need just prizes, artwork and the contest or sweepstakes terms and conditions.

However, even a rapidly built promotion should be supported by a media plan to ensure visibility, enthusiasm and follower participation. The number of participants is often obvious on social media giveaways, so it’s critical to support the promotion with additional marketing strategies. Your sweepstakes management company should be willing to work with your agency partner to ensure success throughout the promotion.

Expanded Engagement

One of the most common strategic goals for a social media giveaway is to gain and energize followers. We recommend maximizing engagement across several social media platforms, rather than limiting the contest or sweepstakes to just one network.

The entry requirements for a social media giveaway are often immediate and effective at gaining participants and new followers. Rather than asking entrants to fill out a website form — a great strategy for gathering first-party data — brands often require participants to click just one or two buttons. These actions (such follow, like, retweet or share) require little effort but allow a brand to organically reach other people within their followers’ networks.

A social media giveaway also builds on the ongoing conversation you already have with your follower community, rewarding their engagement with the chance to win a prize.

We recommend hosting a contest if your goal is to foster deep engagement and brand loyalty. Contests are games of skill, and the entry requirements to submit a photo, recipe or other creative work will draw your most enthusiastic customers. This strategy is popular among our CPG clients, who are looking to connect directly with fans and keep their brand top-of-mind among social media users in certain seasons or holidays.

Email Conversion

What happens on social media doesn’t have to stay on social. One emerging strategy is to convert social followers to email list subscribers through social media promotions. To achieve this goal, we recommend clients run a straightforward giveaway, offering prizes to the first set number of people (such as 250 or 1,000) who sign up on a dedicated landing page. Once met, additional registrants can be offered the chance to enter a sweepstakes for a few more prizes.

The high likelihood of winning — if they’re early enough — prompts followers to click into your page, where you can capture their email address and utilize tracking tags for remarketing.

In 2021, 68% of consumers made at least one purchase through social media, according to research by Sprout Social. In 2022, that number could skyrocket to 98% of consumers.

Some 49% click “add to cart” after seeing a targeted social ad, while 40% are influenced simply by a brand’s organic post. And when they choose to follow a brand on social media, most — 57% — do so to stay in-the-know about new products or services.

As customers increasingly shop on social media and use social pages to connect with brands, it’s becoming more important for brands to creatively engage, reward and expand those followers. A social media giveaway might be just the answer.

For tips and insights on specific platforms, read our blogs on hosting successful promotions on Instagram, Twitter, Facebook or TikTok.