Why Do Brands Run Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes?

sweepsify why do brands run social media contests and sweepstakes
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Have you wondered why companies run social media contests and sweepstakes? What are their goals and how do free prizes attract participants?

Although some people worry that social media contests are scams, many legitimate brands give away prizes, sometimes very large prizes such vacations or cars.

These promotions are not a waste of money. In fact, brands should consider social media contests and sweepstakes as a part of their annual marketing budget.

To help you get started, here’s what you should know about why brands run social media contests and sweepstakes and how to run one step by step with our quick start guide.


  • What is the purpose of contests?
  • What do brands need to run a social media contest?
  • How brands can leverage data from social media contests and sweepstakes

Why Do Brands Run Online Contests?

Social media contests and sweepstakes work. In fact, a 2014 study conducted by Incentive Federation Inc. found that businesses are widely using incentives, gift cards and other non-cash rewards to thank their customers, sales teams, and other brand loyal audiences.

As a result, running social media sweepstakes and contests can help you stay connected with the people and customers who matter most in your business.

Why Social Media Contests and Sweepstakes Work

Social media contests and sweepstakes work because you are giving away something for free.

An experiment conducted by psychology profession Dan Ariely uncovered that offering something for free emotionally charges your audience to believe that it’s actually more valuable than it is.

» MORE:   10 Online Contest Ideas for Restaurants

Sweepstakes and contests rely on the same principle. The more that you are able to sell the value of your free giveaway to your audience, the more successful the outcome will be.

Help attract participants by helping them fantasize what it would be like to win your prize. Then you’ll be able to increase engagement with your promotion while achieving the ROI that the contest was designed for.

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Sweepstakes and Contests Are All-Purpose Traffic Generation

Getting traffic to your business boils down to this:

  • Want to promote your product launch? Use a social media contest.
  • Want to increase brand awareness? Use a social media contest.
  • Want more sales leads? Use a social media contest.
  • Want to tap into new audiences: Use a social media contest.

Are you starting to notice something? If you want an all-purpose traffic generation for your business, run a sweepstakes or social media contest.

Here is how social media contests help your marketing:

Social media contests build excitement. For a new launch of a brand or product, use a viral social media contest to get people ready and waiting in line for launch day. They generate buyer traffic.

Social media contests brand awareness. If you work with a co-sponsor for your social media contest then you’ll be able to reach more people than ever before.

Social media contests get sales leads. People who want to buy your product or service will find you through your social media contest.

Social media contests help to spread your products and services to new audiences. When contest participants share your social media contest, people will learn more about your product, especially if it is one of the prizes.

The best part? A social media contest or sweepstakes allow you to do all of these at the same time.

Social Media Contests Are a User-generated Content (UGC) Opportunity for Brands

If you’re interested in providing a means for your customers to express themselves, running a social media contest is the way to go.

» MORE:   9 Types of Social Media Contests and When to Run Them

Social media contests are great for creating user-generated content (UGC) because of the fact that people are already uploading their own video and image content to YouTube, TikTok, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and others so they already know something about how to create shareable content.

Social Media Contest Data Is a Goldmine for Marketers

Social media contests and sweepstakes give you so much data. Without the right marketing technology stack it can be difficult to translate all of the data into meaningful and actionable insights.

Here at Sweepsify, we’re covering everything regarding sweepstakes marketing and running social media contests so that you find all of the tools that you’ll need in one place.

Just to be clear: all of these tools are NOT within a social media contest or sweepstakes platform.

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You need a full martech stack to effectively leverage the data that social media contests generate.

Here is a sample of the data that a social media contest will give you:

  • Who did we reach with our contest and how did we reach them?
  • Where do our customers go for information?
  • What brands do our customers they respect and currently use?
  • What do customers think about our brand?
  • How much would customers pay for our products and services?
  • What do our customers do for fun?
  • Which channels work best for our social media contests?
  • How many contest entries came from organic versus paid ads (and delivered positive ROI)?
  • How much did it cost us to get each contest entry?
  • How much in sales did each contest entry make us?
  • How engaged are entrants with our social media contest?
  • How well do our social media contest entry pages work to attract participants?
  • Which images, words, and marketing messages attracted the most participants?
  • Which images, words, and marketing messages underperformed for our brand?
» MORE:   How Successful Social Media Contests Create New Opportunities for Your Brand

These data points can help you build better social media contests and sweepstakes and learn what buttons to push to help you convert those participants to sales.

How to Run a Social Media Contest (Quick Start Guide)

The trick to delivering an amazing social media contest or sweepstakes experience is to have a deep understanding of what makes your audience take action.

How you design your contest will also depend on whether you want to use your contest to grow your audience, increase brand awareness, sales or all of the above.

Also Read: What Are the Differences Between Sweepstakes and Contests?

This is why we recommend working with professional sweepstakes and contest administration services so that they can help you plan your sweepstakes step by step.

Once you are ready to plan your social media sweepstakes or contest, follow these steps:

  1. Define Your Goals
  2. Choose Giveaway Prize(s)
  3. Hire a Giveaway Company
  4. Define Eligibility Requirements
  5. Choose the Entry Methods
  6. Draft Official Rules
  7. Promote Your Sweepstakes
  8. Run Your Giveaway
  9. Follow Up With Participants
  10. Track Campaign Performance

👉 Get the quick start guide here:

Follow This 10 Step Checklist to Create a Sweepstakes, Giveaway or Contest in 2022

Get Quotes: Run a Social Media Contest Today

At Sweepsify, we’ll help you to manage every step of running a social media contest or sweepstakes. From legal compliance to sweepstakes platforms, we’re giving you access to all of the top martech, sweepstakes administration, and contest management tools here, all in one place.

Looking for a contest or sweepstakes company to help you with your next promotion? Sweepsify helps you find top sweepstakes companies in seconds. Create your free Premium account now to get started.