When looking to promote your business via social media, hosting an online giveaway can be an effective tactic. Online giveaways are a tool that small businesses either tend to not do at all or not create effectively. Many businesses aren’t willing to forgo the immediate profits for the medium to long term gains. Then there are those that simply don’t put enough skin in the game by coming up with compelling offers. Remember, social media is a marathon, not a sprint – and if created effectively, online giveaways can have a beneficial impact on your customer relationships and your brand.
How will an online giveaway help your company? Offering something of value for free will quickly intrigue potential new customers. Since they do not have to invest any of their own heart earned money to experience your product or service, they’ll be more likely to take a gamble and try what you’re pitching. Additionally, giveaways are a great way to generate enthusiasm amongst your audience, give back to your loyal customers, interact with your social media followers, and spread the word about your business.
So what should your company give away? Ideally, you want to offer something that is relatively low cost or overstocked but has a high perception of value to the recipients. The giveaway needs to be valuable enough for someone to recognize it and take an action. 5% off won’t cut it regardless of what your item is priced at. Even offer your best selling item or your best seasonal item right at the beginning of the season to get potential customers to experience what your loyal customers already know. You can even offer new products for free or at a great discount to spread the word about a product you’re looking to promote. When Dunkin Donuts introduced their iced tea they ran a promotion at the beginning of spring for “$1 Iced Teas” for any size. This allowed people to experience their new product with very little to lose. The customers become comfortable during this trial period and then after a month or two the iced teas went back to full price. But by then Dunkin had already attracted a huge following behind the product and got people hooked. Prizes will vary by company, but ensure that your giveaway is something that gains both customer interest and immediate satisfaction.
If you don’t have a large number of followers on social media, no need to worry. If your offer is enticing enough and you’re talking to your existing customers, people will get involved by “Liking”, sharing, or commenting on your social media pages. The exponential reach of social media allows your current customers to be your advocates and help spread the word for you. It’s important to interact with your followers because it helps gain exposure not only for the giveaway but for your company as a whole. The ultimate goal is for your online giveaway to produce reoccurring customers, thus growing your business.
Utilizing online giveaways can be an effective business strategy even if you’re not a big brand or selling iced teas. Forgoing immediate profits to attract new customers by building and nurturing online relationships can lead to big payoffs tomorrow and in the future.