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How do I run a successful competition on Social Media?
9 June 2021
A brightly coloured fairground sign with the words "Win Prizes"
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As with all things social media, running a competition can seem like a minefield! In this blog I’ll lay out some foundations, recommendations, and legalities to help you navigate and run a successful competition.

Set an objective and a goal

Why are you running a competition? What do you want to get in return for the work you need to put in to run and promote your giveaway? <Spoiler> a competition will take some work!

Competitions are useful for :

· Collating leads by subscribing people to your email list

· Increasing brand awareness by increasing impressions of your social media posts

· Promoting an individual product

· Driving traffic to your website by using a landing page

· Generating user generated content for use in future social media posts.

· Collecting customer feedback on your products and services.

· Growing your followers…

What do you want to achieve?

Pick a prize

Will you giveaway one of your own products or something else? A single prize, a giftcard or a package of small prizes? Think about your goal, and the people you want to attract.

If the prize is not your own product, ensure it aligns to your brand. You want to attract people who are going to stick around. If you give away a holiday, you will receive entries from people who have no interest in your products or services. Those aren’t the people you want on your email list, for example.

Ensure your prize speaks to your ideal client.

Set your entry requirements

Taking into account your local laws, and the terms and conditions of your chosen social media platform , (This blog will help) consider what you want people to do in order to enter.

Will this be a simple “names it the hat” type of giveaway, or will you require a level of skill – a competition.

Bare in mind that the more you ask people to do, the less entries you will get. So keep it simple.

Also consider that people will be willing to jump through more hoops for a chance to win a bigger prize.

For example, I might consider giving you my email address for a high value item like an ipad or an exclusive prize such as a 1-2-1 training session with a business coach who doesn’t normally offer her time in that way.

I’d be less inclined to do so for a low ticket item, such as a small box of chocolates. I’d happily like your post and comment for chocolate though. Mmmmmm chocolate.

Create some great graphics.

You want a scroll stopping image. Keep it bright, use an image of the prize or the prize in use. A smiling face is always a winner!

Keep in mind your branding. Ensure the image is the right size for the platform – square for Instagram, landscape for Twitter, 9:16 for stories…

Note – if you plan to promote your promotion (!) with a social media advert, be sure to include very limited text in the image.

Make your caption short and sweet.

Make your entry requirements succinct and clear.

😉Use emojis

Direct people to the Full T&Cs on your website or wherever you have posted them.

Ensure to release Facebook and Instagram from the promotion. “This is in no way sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Facebook/Instagram.”

Build up

Warm your audience up. Tell them there’s a giveaway coming.

You could even use your social media posts to ask what the prize should be.


Post your competition on your chosen platforms.

If you have an email list, direct them to the giveaway on social media.

Post about the competition regularly until the closing date.

Pick a winner and arrange delivery of your prize.

As soon as possible after the advertised closing date, announce your winner. If you are operating a “names out of the hat” you could do this live. If an email address was an entry requirement, email your list to announce the winner.


What have you learned? What went well? What will you do differently next time?

What can you do to maximise on the information you have collected? Email entrants with an offer? If collecting user-generated content was your goal, create a folder of the entries and create content from them.

Now you’re ready to run your competition. Good luck!

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