5 Social Media Sweepstakes Best Practices
A social media sweepstakes will reach more people than with traditional media. But please do your homework and follow these simple tips for social media sweepstakes success.
1. One social media platform at a time.
We get a lot of emails from clients wanting to have a Sweepstakes run on multiple platforms. Many clients want a sweeps on “all the social media.” While this may seem like a good way to get out there, this can be confusing to your typical consumer — especially since the call to action might be different for each channel — some require photos or videos and some work best with just text or hashtags. Best practice is to try running a sweeps on one platform at a time, track each platform’s engagement, and see which platform resonates with your audience and then stick to that platform.
2. Know the platform guidelines.
Social media platforms like Facebook, Pinterest, Tumblr, Twitter, etc. all have sweepstakes guidelines that need to be followed. It is your responsibility if you run a sweepstakes to adhere to those guidelines or your promotion could be blocked. Here are links to our posts on the policies of some of the social media platforms:
3. Have official rules and keep them easily accessible.
In order to run a legal Sweepstakes you need to have Official Rules (and yes, a “Giveaway” is a Sweepstakes) that govern the Sweeps. Since most people are not attorneys, save yourself the headache and hire a promotional marketing company to write legally compliant rules. Without them, you could be held liable if something goes wrong.
Another important pointer is to have these rules accessible from your social media platforms. Bit.ly urls or other shortened URLs make this easy.
4. Make sure you have a way to contact winners.
Using social media platforms make it difficult to contact winners, especially on those platforms that don’t have a direct message capability. For those platforms, you may have to post a comment on your winner’s post in order to notify them that they have won. Because of the public nature of these notifications there have been unscrupulous individuals that have tried to claim prizes saying they were the individual in question. Marden-Kane recommends verifying these winners by asking them to post something to their account. For example, tell your winner who gets back to you to post a red car to their Instagram account so you can verify they are the real Joe Smith. For more on this see our post on contacting winners on social media.
5. Have realistic expectations.
If you only have 100 Facebook followers don’t expect thousands of Sweepstakes entries in your Facebook contest unless you are giving away a high dollar prize and/or you run a lot of advertising. The general rule of thumb is the bigger the prize and the more you advertise the more people will come. If you offer a small prize and rely on word of mouth only you can probably expect 15-30% of your fan base to enter – if you do better than that your Sweeps did great!
Contact Marden-Kane if you have a specific question about your social media promotion. We would be happy to help!
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