For many people, the end of summer evokes excitement for a new school year, melancholy for the end of long summer days, and a renewed sense of commitment to organization and task management. (There is something about a new planner and fresh notebooks that brings out the best in us all. )
You’ve likely been running your back-to-school campaign running for a few weeks. However, what is next after back to school wraps up? Before we dive headlong into the winter and the holiday season, it is time to say goodbye to summer.
An end of summer Facebook giveaway can be just the way to send off the warm weather and welcome cool fall days.
What are The Benefits of Hosting Giveaways?
There are dozens of platforms and marketing campaigns you can use to promote your business. Between email, social, PPC, traditional media, and even text messaging, it can get overwhelming to choose the right medium for marketing your business.
Giveaways have been a staple of the marketing field and continue to benefit brands year after year.
Why do they remain so popular? To start, people like getting things for free. Giveaways excite your audience and encourage them to interact with your brand in a way they might not normally. From a psychological standpoint, giveaways create a sense of debt and desire to reciprocate, which can serve as the foundation of a relationship.
When done well, giveaways are an effective way to boost engagement on social media, establish an email list, generate qualified leads, and build excitement around a new product. But to be effective, you need to offer a prize people actually want and create a campaign targeted to your goals.
Giveaway Prize Ideas for The End of Summer
Whether you are launching a brand new company or trying to drum up sales for a classic favorite, a giveaway will increase excitement and engagement around your brand. Before you build your Facebook giveaway, consider what your goals are, then use the following list of prizes for inspiration. Look for a prize that makes sense for both your audience and your goals.
Remember those ‘choose your own adventure’ books from elementary school? Gift cards allow the winner to essentially choose their own prize.
Here are a few ideas for gift card prizes:
- Clothing store shopping spree for a back to school clothes
- Restaurant gift cards to make dinner time easy
- Gift card to a meal prep or meal delivery company
- Gift certificate to a local coffee shop or bakery
- Certificate to a local used or campus bookstore
You could also choose a store with mass appeal, like Amazon or Target. Try to select a store that makes sense for your audience so you gain qualified applicants, not just people who want a free gift card but have no intention of interacting with your brand.
However, if you are launching a new product or a relatively unknown brand, a gift card with mass appeal may be a strategic move to draw in a large number of applicants that you can contact later.
I have written about using experiences as giveaway prizes before, but I had to include them on this list as well. Experience gifts offer additional benefits in addition to that need to reciprocate mentioned earlier. Giving experiences associates your brand with a positive experience in the winner’s mind. Also, you can leverage the experience in social media posts by posting photos of the winner’s reaction or sharing photos of them having a great time during the experience (with permission, of course.)
Here are a few end of summer/early fall experience gifts to consider:
- Year end pass to an amusement park so they can attend fall and winter events
- A stay at in an indoor water park resort
- Cruise to a warm destination
- Tickets to a popular local festival or event
- Tickets to a football game or other sports event
- Throw a party for their class, family, or other group
If you can, relate the prize to your brand and get creative! For example, if your boutique clothing company is launching a new line of swimsuits, a pass to an indoor water park makes sense. Alternatively, if your company makes BBQ sauces, think about throwing a fall BBQ for the winner and 50 of their friends.
Keeping up with the latest technology is expensive, so giving away a fancy technology item is an easy way to draw in lots of entrants.
Here are a few technology prize ideas:
- Laptop/tablet for use at school
- The latest version of a popular phone
- Home security systems/video door bells
- Smart home speaker, like the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini
- Appliances like washer/dryer or fridge (The fancier the better, like the newer smart models)
For best results, choose an item that makes sense for your brand and your audience. Your goal is to draw in applicants who would be interested in your product or service. For example, if you sell tablet covers then a tablet would clearly make sense for your target audience. If you sell dog food, then you might consider a smart home camera or a video dog treat dispenser.
You might also consider partnering with another brand to run a co-campaign. This way you split the cost of the prize and can cross promote.
Branded merch as a prize can be very effective–but only if you choose items your target audience would actually want. Don’t throw together a basket of leftover conference swag and expect to get thousands of entrants. No one wants to wear your conference t-shirt from 2013.
Instead, try creating a themed package where your branded merch plays a supporting role.
For example, say you sell a specialty wine glass. Create a picnic package with a branded cheese board, meats, cheeses, nuts, crackers, wine, chocolate truffles, and two wine glasses. Or, if you sell fancy gaming headphones, you could create a package with a branded gaming chair, a gift card to an online gaming store, a water cup, and maybe an (actually cool) t-shirt. The focus should be on giving the winner something they will actually be excited about, not trying to get your logo out in front of people. That should be just an added bonus.
Want to Get the Most Out of Your Facebook Contest?
Facebook giveaways are an effective way to boost engagement and help you start building a strong relationship with your current or prospective customers. However, don’t waste your money by building an ineffective campaign. Here are a few strategies to get the most out of your campaign.
- Choose prizes that appeal to your target audience to limit freebie-seekers and get your audience excited. (Unless you are launching a new product.)
- Understand that you will get some people who are just in it for the free stuff and don’t overthink it.
- Promote your contests on social and email.
- Create entrant requirements that will increase engagement outside of the contest, for example, photo contests or hashtag contests.
- Don’t make the entry process too complicated or most people won’t bother. Find a balance between driving engagement and being overly complex.
- Follow up after the giveaway. Don’t let the list you build languish! Build a targeted drip email campaign or use retargeting to keep them engaged.
Above all, have fun! While you do want to keep your tone on-brand, giveaways allow you to be a bit more casual. Use that to get your audience excited.