5 Ways to Improve How You Run a Giveaway on Social Channels
1. Include rules. While a good many “giveaways” on social do not seem to have a legal set of rules, that doesn’t mean you don’t need them! Official rules are what protect you in court should anything go wrong and you need to defend yourself. A good set of rules will outline who can enter, how to enter, what the prizes will be, and when the promotion ends. It should also provide a way to enter without requiring a purchase (you can see why you need that here). The need to be posted prominently as a link anywhere you post about your giveaway, including in the post or social ad, or as a link on your social bio.
2. Give away great prizes. Before you run a giveaway, consider what types of prizes your audience will want to win. Great prizes will always garner more interest. However, keep in mind that in the US, prizes over a $500 retail value have IRS filing requirements for winners.
3. Make it easy to enter. Keep it simple! The more requirements to enter or requirements for additional entries you come up with, the more complicated your giveaway will become and the less people will bother. Make your entry method as simple as “like and comment” on social or “provide your email and name” on an entry form if your goal is to have the most participants.
4. Follow laws and social guidelines. Each state and social platform has unique laws and guidelines for sweepstakes and giveaways. There are also federal laws, especially concerning disclosures, which must be adhered to when you run a giveaway. And in other countries, the giveaway laws can be even more strict; do your homework.
5. Keep the entry dates reasonable. To maximize the number of entries you receive, you should not have your promotion entry period be too short, nor should it drag on too long. For a simple giveaway with a few prizes a week should be long enough. If you have multiple prizes and different tiers of winners you might consider running a month long promotion with weekly winners to sustain interest throughout the month.
If you find yourself saying “but I only want to give away a few t-shirts” or “but why is everyone else doing it without all this” you are not alone in your sentiments, but legally you are responsible for ensuring that the law is followed. Not complying could result in legal fees, fines, or worse.
The best way to ensure that you run the best giveaway possible is to use a reputable promotion agency to help you write official rules and ensure that you are not breaking any laws. Some agencies will even help you draft a rules template so you can reuse them if you are giving away the same types of things on an ongoing basis.
Marden-Kane has been writing official rules and consulting with small, medium, and large businesses of all types on how to run a compliant, legal sweepstakes and contests for over 60 years. Contact us and we can help.
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