Friday, 24 January 2014

4 Steps to Promote Competitions & Giveaways

Due to Facebook's ease of use and ability for fan interaction, competitions on this platform have become an essential marketing tool for many small businesses. This post outlines how you can get the most out of your competition. These steps can be used across most of the social media platforms, not just Facebook.

1. Build Excitement
Before you even start the competition, promote it in advance. About a week before, announce that you will be running a competition. Get people excited and open to reading your upcoming posts. It is advised to add a picture to all your posts as it will help to grab the attention of your fans.

2. Commence the Games
When announcing your competition, here are a few points to keep in mind:

  • Make sure your post is easily legible
    Use the first line to describe the post. The following is a good intro as it is tidy and quickly explains what the post is about:
    *** Competition Time ***
  • ALWAYS promote your competition with a picture
    Statistics show that posts with images get more engagement. A photo of the prizes is ideal.
  • Add a Tag
    When promoting your competition, add relevant tags such as #competition #giveaway #'YourProduct' to the bottom on your post. By adding a tag, you are increasing the chances of your post being seen by people search for particular topics. This works best with Twitter. Don't go overboard with the tagging, we don't want to look desperate.

3. Third Parties
Promote your competition with third parties, this could be with particular forum threads, such as on Who you promote with, depends entirely on the goals of your competition. If your goal is to advertise your brand and to get as many entries as possible, you should advertise on relevant giveaway websites.

    This is a great website for advertising competitions as it has many Irish followers. The best part is, it's free to advertise. There are paid packages also if required. When I used back in December 2013, I gained about an additional 200+ fans. Many are 'active' fans, in that they Like, Share and comment on my posts still. 

Advertise for free on

  • Etsy Ireland Blog
    Members can promote their competitions with us. On the top right of the page, there is a 'Competitions' tab. If you would like us to include your competition, just convo ShenWongJewellery at her Etsy shop. Be sure to include your competition start and end date, competition details, prizes and a link to your competition.

4. Cross Promotion
Promote your competition across all your own platforms: blog, Etsy shop, Twitter, LinkedIn Google+ etc.
In your Etsy shop, include information about the competition on the introduction section, be sure to add a link to it. You need to sit down and think if there is anywhere else online that you have control over the content, these are potential opportunities for you to spread the word yourself.


  • Add your logo to your images when posting. As other people share your competition on their walls, their friends may not notice your business name. You want to increase your brand exposure with every given opportunity, so it is important not to miss this chance.
  • Don't forget to promote the competition yourself on your own Facebook profile!
Include Your Brand to Images
When I ran my competition, I used ShortStacked to create an app. By using an app, was was able to 'Fan gate' competition entries, ensuring that people 'Like' my page before entering. If you would like to know more about creating an app, just let me know in a comment.

To follow my activities, you can 'Like' my Facebook page at

Was this post helpful? Have some thoughts? Leave a comment. 

Thank you for reading,

Shen x


  1. Thanks for the tips. I haven't ran any competitions on my page yet, but thinking about it.

  2. Thanks Sophie. It's so nice to get some feedback. Hope the tips help you to reach your goals of any competition that you do run in the future :)

  3. Thanks for all that great info - I am just about to try my first facebook giveaway and didn't want to break any rules!!! Great info and tips here. I have a couple of questions if that's alright. (1) Is it OK to ask people to look and comment on my etsy shop - what the like - what they think they might like? It is that feedback that I hope to gain by running a facebook giveaway. (2) How do you choose a winner? Is there a computer number picker or something - or do you pull names from a hat??
    Thanks a mill - Mary

  4. Hi Mary,

    To answer your questions:

    1) Your competition requirement does not sound like it breaks any rules. If you want to be very safe, you can add a line, acknowledging that the competition is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook.

    Just be aware that there may be a low entry rate. If you find that you have little to no entries, then maybe post a picture of your shop to ask for comments. You can also do a screenshot of your products and post as one picture to ask for feedback. I did a similar competition to yours before asking people to pick their own prize from my site, but people actually weren't even bothered to visit my site to enter. So in the end I had to post pictures for them to comment (this got good feedback).

    2) I use a random number picker. This is quite a popular one

    I hope you find this useful :)

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  6. Hi Santosh, thank you for the lovely feedback :)