You pick out a great prize, publish your giveaway and wait for the entries to roll in. Only they don’t, at least not in the numbers you were hoping. I know the feeling. Although I’ve been running giveaways for several years on my blog, there was definitely a learning curve when it came to promoting them, and I still pick up helpful tips from time to time.
If there’s only one thing you take away from this post, it’s that when it comes to promoting giveaways diversification is key; you’ll need to get the word out in different ways because not everyone subscribes to your emails, not everyone is going to see “that” Facebook post and not everyone is a member of Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, etc. That’s the basic premise behind most of my suggestions.
So here’s how to get the word out!
Add to Giveaway Linkys
Many blogs run a weekly “Link Up” which lists current giveaways all over the Internet. This is a fantastic place to list your giveaway, especially if it fits in with the blog’s content (i.e. a mom blog will be followed by people wanting to enter family-related giveaways). Simply add the URL of your giveaway post (or Facebook page app) and include the ending date and countries it’s open to. Standard abbreviations are US, US/CAN and WW (for worldwide). It’s easy to search for Linkys using Google.
Let’s say your prize is being sponsored by a business. Be sure to cross-promote along with them. Share your entry form or blog post so they can post on their social media channels. Re-tweet their tweets, “like” their Facebook statuses about the giveaway and “plus” their Google posts. In addition, find other possible sources for cross-promotion. For example, I often run cloth diaper giveaways and there are a few sites and Facebook pages that do nothing but share diaper giveaways with fans. It helps to network with niche sites like this. Join business and/or blogging support groups on Facebook for another place to cross promote giveaways.
If you tweet about the giveaway, or have an entry which allows others to tweet about your giveaway, set it up carefully and deliberately. “Come enter the giveaway at Becky’s Blog!” is not going to get much traction on Twitter. Search for and use relevant hashtags. A sample tweet from one of my recent giveaways includes the prize, the sponsor’s Twitter account, relevant hashtags and a shortened URL to my giveaway: “Enter to win a pair of @imagine_baby training pants in my newest #clothdiaper #giveaway http://bit.ly/1rCSACi”
Milk the Last Day
There are lot of procrastinators out there, and I’m one of them. So when I see something like “Hurry! Last day to enter!” it really gets me going. Stepping up promotion in the last 24 hours of your giveaway cashes in on a sense of urgency and excitement. Twitter and Facebook are the ideal mediums for this. Many businesses do a countdown on Twitter, posting tweets every 4 hours or so until the giveaway ends. Another great trick is to change the tweet on your entry form on the last day; that way everyone is sharing your “last call” right along with you.
By the way, last-minute winners are more common that you think. Many times, I’ve drawn the name of a person that entered on day 10 of a 10-day giveaway. I’ve also found that ending a giveaway on Monday at midnight is most effective. Traffic slows down over the weekend, so ending on Monday gives the late-comers one last chance to enter.
Post and Post, and Post Again
Tweeting or posting once on Facebook usually doesn’t cut it. Everyone’s not going to be on at the same time. For most giveaways, you’ll need to do each at least a few times through the duration of the sweepstakes to increase your visibility. On Facebook, posting a picture of the prize with a teaser like “have you entered yet?” is very effective.
Pinterest is growing by leaps and bounds, so cash in on this by having a “Pin-Worthy” graphic to share. The ideal giveaway image is taller than it is wide, has a picture of the prize and has helpful text superimposed on it. Some people include the basic instructions right on the graphic; others simply mark it with words like “Enter to Win” or “Giveaway!” and then share the link separately.
How do you promote and share your giveaways? Let’s hear your ideas!