The Dos and Don’ts of Social Media Contests and Giveaways

Social media contests and giveaways are a popular marketing strategy for businesses looking to increase brand awareness, engage with their audience, and generate leads. However, running a successful contest requires careful planning and execution. In this blog post, we will explore the dos and don’ts of social media contests and giveaways to help you make the most out of this powerful marketing technique.

The Dos:

  • 1. Set Clear Goals and Objectives

    Before launching a contest or giveaway, define clear goals and objectives. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, grow your social media following, drive website traffic, or generate leads? Setting specific goals will help you tailor your contest t contest o meet these objectives and measure its success.

  • 2. Choose the Right Platform

    Selecting the right platform is crucial for the success of your contest. Consider your target audience and their preferred social media platforms. Whether it's Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or LinkedIn, make sure your chosen platform aligns with your target audience and their engagement habits.

  • 3. Understand and Comply with Platform Guidelines

    Each social media platform has specific guidelines and rules regarding contests and giveaways. Familiarize yourself with these guidelines and ensure your contest complies with them. This includes avoiding actions such as asking participants to share on personal timelines, tagging friends who are not part of the giveaway, or requiring excessive tagging.

  • 4. Clearly Communicate Rules and Eligibility

    To avoid confusion and ensure a fair contest, clearly communicate the rules, eligibility criteria, and any other relevant information. Clearly state entry requirements, deadlines, how the winner will be selected, and the prize details. This transparency builds trust and encourages more people to participate.

  • 5. Offer Valuable Prizes

    Make sure your contest offers prizes that are valuable and relevant to your target audience. Consider prizes that align with your brand, products, or services to attract participants who are genuinely interested in what you have to offer. This helps in generating quality leads and building a loyal customer base.

  • 6. Promote and Facilitate Sharing

    Encourage participants to share the contest with their friends and followers. Incorporate social sharing buttons on entry pages and provide incentives for participants who refer others to enter. This can help amplify the reach of your contest, increase brand visibility, and attract new participants.

The Don'ts:

  • 1. Don't Overcomplicate Entry Requirements

    Keep entry requirements simple and straightforward. Avoid asking participants for an excessive amount of personal information or requiring them to perform too many actions. Complex entry requirements can discourage participation and lead to low engagement.

  • 2. Don't Neglect Legal Considerations

    Make sure your contest complies with the legal requirements of the jurisdictions you are targeting. Consult with legal professionals to ensure that your contest rules, prize distribution, and any other components adhere to local laws and regulations.

  • 3. Don't Forget to Follow Up and Deliver Promised Prizes

    When the contest ends, promptly select and announce the winner(s) based on the predetermined criteria. Contact the winner(s) privately and request their information to deliver the prize(s). It is essential to follow through with your promises to maintain trust and credibility with your audience.

  • 4. Don't Neglect Post-Contest Engagement

    After the contest ends, maintain engagement with your audience and participants. Announce the winner(s) publicly and thank all participants for their participation. This post-contest engagement helps to solidify positive brand impressions and encourages continued interactions with your audience.

  • 5. Don't Overuse Contests

    While contests and giveaways can be effective marketing strategies, it's important not to solely rely on them. Overusing contests can result in audience fatigue and decreased participation. Instead, strike a balance between contests and other valuable content to maintain engagement and interest.


Social media contests and giveaways offer a powerful way to engage with your audience, increase brand awareness, and generate leads. By following the dos and avoiding the don’ts of running contests, you can maximize your chances of success. Setting clear goals, choosing the right platform, understanding platform guidelines, communicating rules, offering valuable prizes, promoting sharing, and adhering to legal considerations will help you run a successful and enjoyable contest that resonates with your audience. With effective planning and execution, contests can become an integral part of your marketing strategy to drive growth and achieve your business objectives.

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