Social Media Contests and Giveaways

By on September 7, 2009

More and more companies are jumping on the social media contests and giveaways bandwagon, convinced that a free iPod, or other gadget, will garner them instantaneous viral fame.  While it may work like that (very, very rarely), it’s still not a bad idea to use contests to drive more traffic to your site profiles or website.

If you’re thinking of starting a few contests or giveaway, here are some things to think about.

Legal

The laws governing contests and giveaways can vary from state to state.  Because social media is so global, take the time to make sure that your contest won’t run aground in a state halfway across the country from you.

Goals

Do you know what you want out of this contest?  What are you hoping to achieve?  Define your goals clearly so as to keep everything focused.

Social Networking Sites…

…all have different rules about offering contests and giveaways, so be sure to go through your terms of agreement very carefully.  It would be a shame to be banned from a site after all the hard work you’ve done to promote your business, or your contest.

Prizes

Speaking of iPod’s, haven’t there been enough contests with this as the prize yet?  Try finding something different, unique, or something that you can tie into your business (but is still desirable enough to drive customers to the giveaway).

Transparency

Again, be upfront about the whole contest, rules, and any sponsors involved.  Participants should know all the information they can about what they’re getting involved in.

About John Souza

John Souza is founder and chief strategist of SMMU and Social Media Impact, and is a bestselling business author. He won the 2011 Tech Marketing Awards ‘Social Media Marketer of the Year’ and most recently the About.com Reader’s Choice Award for Best Online Education Site. John has appeared on The Michael Gerber Show, and his business has been honored at the Mashable Awards, Forbes Business Awards and The Stevie Awards.
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