You’re hosting an event, and you’ve decided to hold a social media giveaway to get attendees to use their social platforms to increase your exposure.

Good idea.

Things to think about before you throw that hashtag out there and wait for a winner.

Think About Your Goal

If the goal of your social media giveaway is to simply enter timelines, then “I want to win one #bigbagofgoodies” or “Please pick me #bigbagofgoodies” works.

If your goal is to increase exposure for a sponsor, or your event, simply requiring people to use a hashtag won’t help. Instead, consider using a message that clearly supports the product or business. Or a picture. Or ask them to tweet or Instagram their favourite feature about the product, event or service, tracked by a hashtag.

Take full advantage of the opportunity to infilitrate timelines as an advertiser, without the stickiness of advertising. This is how you do social for business.

“I love the tassle on the zipper of the bag #bigbagofgoodies”
“Can’t wait to unwrap that caramel chocolatey goodness #bigbagofgoodies”

Now you’ve drawn attention to the product, not the hashtag. You’ve sparked interest. Someone might ask for a pic. You might actually post a pic before they have to ask. Worried about what people might say? Supply the phrases.

Think About Moving Past the Room

Don’t limit entries to just inside the room. If you’re worried about not rewarding attendees, then offer two prizes. But if you want people to watch and interact with your event socially, despite not being able to attend in person, GIVE THEM A WAY TO WATCH AND INTERACT WITH YOUR EVENT SOCIALLY! It’s the whole point of the social media giveaway! Your sponsors will love you for it. You’ll increase exposure for next time. You’ll make your event feel more accessible and inclusive.

And please. We’re begging you, collectively, as Jo(e)s who care. Don’t offer your prize to the first person who tweets an answer, or retweets, or shares, or tags, or hashtags. You’ve immediately limited your social media giveaway reach to 1 timeline. One. Worth the prize you’re giving away? Nope.