12 Giveaway Ideas to Help Small Businesses Attract Customers

Pauline Volovik
5 min readNov 1, 2023

Everyone loves discounts, fail-proof promotions, prizes, and gifts. Why not take advantage of this? Marketers thought so and came up with giveaways that allow businesses to promote their brand and attract new customers. But how effective is this advertising tool, and what gifts should you choose to make your audience eagerly participate in the giveaway, leave hundreds of comments, get even more likes, and make numerous reposts?

While giveaways are popular, this tool should be used with caution. Like all marketing strategies, it has its advantages and disadvantages. In this publication, I will tell you about the pros and cons of social media contests, so you can decide if this tool is suitable for you. In the next article, I will share 12 giveaway ideas with you.

What is Giveaway

A giveaway is a contest in which participants need to meet several simple requirements to win. Most often, they need to be subscribers of the brand’s page or the contest’s partners, leave comments, or repost the post. As a result, the organizer randomly selects a winner and sends them a prize. Various brands organize such contests for their social media followers on platforms like Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, and YouTube. Unlike traditional advertising campaigns and PR events, this contest requires minimal budget as the main prize is typically the brand’s products.

According to Easypromos, a company that has developed a platform with tools for audience engagement, 92.6% of marketers and users of this service conduct giveaways on Facebook. Instagram comes second, with 67.5% of respondents organizing giveaways. 45.5% use Facebook and Instagram equally.

Source: Easypromos data.

Companies from various industries organize giveaways. For example, House of Joppa, a brand that specializes in creating modern Catholic home decor, jewelry, rosaries, and gifts, periodically conducts giveaways on their Instagram page.

Source: House of Joppa в Instagram page.

As practice shows, giveaways are an effective marketing tool that allows constant or potential customers to easily win interesting and valuable gifts. This simple marketing strategy helps businesses promote their products or services and quickly attract followers to their social media profiles, as I will explain in more detail below.

Why Small Businesses Should Organize Giveaways

Why do businesses, especially small ones, like conducting giveaways? They help companies achieve various marketing goals:

  • Improve interaction with subscribers and make them more engaged.
  • Increase brand recognition or awareness.
  • Reach a new audience and grow the number of subscribers.
  • Transform a new audience into brand advocates.
  • Promote products or services.
  • Attract traffic to the website.
  • Strengthen customer loyalty.
  • Gather information about subscribers.
  • Expand the mailing list with targeted leads.
  • Generate interest in your product.

All of this, in the long term, helps increase sales.

According to Tailwind experts who analyzed over 60,000 Instagram posts, the results of the study inspire the organization of contests:

  • An Instagram contest or giveaway can help you increase the number of subscribers 70% faster than if you didn’t do anything at all in three months.
  • Contests on Instagram receive an average of 3.5 times more likes and 64 times more comments than regular posts.
Source: Tailwind data.

According to Small Business Trends, contests have a conversion rate of almost 34%, higher than other types of content.

How to Organize Giveaway

Assuming that the prize has already been selected, let’s proceed directly to the posts on social media. The organizer creates a post with the word ‘Giveaway’ (often, the prize is featured in the photo) and provides detailed contest conditions in the text. The final date for determining the winner should also be announced. When the day arrives, a special randomizer program (Random.org, Random Numbers, HotBits, Randomlyst, Randompicker.com, etc.) randomly selects the winner, and the organizer sends the prize to the lucky person.

Among the most common conditions in social media contests are:

  • following the organizer’s page (or several, or named partners);
  • likes and reposts;
  • comments or tagging friends in the comments, and so on.

If the contest is held on a website, participants may need to provide an email address or subscribe to social media pages.

Before organizing a contest, it is essential to set a goal — what you want to achieve. There are various options, from increasing subscribers to creating a mailing list. This will determine the choice of the platform for the giveaway, whether it’s social media or a website. It’s also crucial to select attractive, relevant, and valuable gifts from your brand.

When conducting contests, it’s necessary to consider potential risks:

  • a sudden increase in subscribers (not always your target audience) and mass unfollowing immediately after announcing the winners, which may look like artificial inflation;
  • decreased audience engagement and reduced reach;
  • a surge in the number of fake accounts created by other subscribers to increase their chances of winning.

To avoid these issues, it’s better to organize giveaways for significant reasons, such as introducing a new product, celebrating an important date, or a milestone in your brand’s development. It’s important for the contest to engage a substantial portion of your active audience. This will help maintain consistent statistics.

Conclusion

Giveaways have become a popular marketing tool for small businesses. Their benefits for brands are undeniable: in a short time and with minimal investment, you can increase the number of subscribers, strengthen relationships with the audience, and boost brand recognition.

However, before organizing giveaways on social media, you should be aware of potential risks, such as unfollows and reduced engagement. With the right approach, the results should be positive. In the next article, I will share 12 proven ideas for conducting giveaways on social media.

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