Running a Facebook contest or Instagram giveaway requires a lot of prep, but it’s important not to overlook the final steps. This post was written to guide you through selecting, notifying, and announcing contest winners on Twitter, Instagram, and other channels.
Social media contests and giveaways are a fantastic way to encourage customer engagement and word of mouth marketing for your brand. A business that hosts frequent contests and giveaways not only has plenty of positive fodder to promote on their social media channels, but is able to connect with their customers on a deeper level.
For relatively little cost, you can keep customers following your business, brand, and products fervently. After all, few things appeal more to the enterprising human spirit than the ability to get something for free.
The main reason for announcing the winner is obvious, but there are a few other benefits to announcing your winner.
If you ran a contest on your Facebook page, entrants will be checking your Facebook page more often than their email to see if they won. That is why a well-curated Facebook post announcing the conclusion of the contest is important. This will notify those who haven’t won while serving as a great promotional vessel for your business. Few things market better than free stuff, after all.
Of all the social media platforms, Facebook is the most personal. That is, not all information is public. Many people have privacy settings that prevent them from being tagged or referenced to publically on Facebook.
Facebook used to have rather strict rules and regulations when it came to the hosting of contests. Thankfully, some of those strict terms have been lifted. However, you still need to make sure you’re adhering to terms and conditions, especially involving privacy.
It is now perfectly legal to announce contest winners in a public Facebook post, provided that you have emailed them first.
This makes sure you have their permission to announce their name. It also ensures that the candidate meets all qualifications to win. Of course, you don’t want to revoke a prize if you find that the winner was not aware that they were not qualified. However, your email can help to weed out entrants who were aware of their actions.
So how should you announce Facebook contest winners? These days, making a winner announcement is easy and intuitive. Here’s how to do it.
A great Facebook post announcement has a few components:
First, you should always thank all of the entrants for helping to make the contest a success.
Include a link back to the contest, so that people who haven’t seen or heard of the contest before will know what’s going on.
If your contest asked entrants for a submission of user-generated content (for example, a photo or video), be sure to attach the winner’s winning photo or video to the post as well.
Be sure to include a short explanation of how the winner was chosen (random selection, the most votes, selected by a panel of judges, etc.). This will let your audience know that your criteria for selecting the winner were fair.
Of course, you should also include the most fun part: a description of the prize! If possible, include a photo of the prize as well. You want to let people know what they missed out on. Not sure what to give away? We’ve got prize ideas for your social media contests.
Wrap up by letting your audience know when your next contest will be. If you don’t have one scheduled yet, don’t worry, keep your audience on their toes by saying you’ll have another one “coming soon.’
Twitter contests are an effective Twitter marketing strategy as they present a low barrier to entry and have a large reach.
Running contests on Twitter—particularly when it comes to selecting winners—can be a tad tricky. Whether you are running a hashtag contest or simply asking people to tweet at your account, keeping track of entries can get tough. To make it easier on yourself, use a contest entry tracker system like Tweetaways, Rowfeeder, or itweet2win, or make use of these other tips about how to pick a winner for a social media contest.
Twitter is full of thousands of spam accounts, and because Twitter is so international, you may receive entries from countries that don’t qualify or winning entries from fake or inactive accounts.
Direct message all winners, obtain their contact information, and ensure that they are eligible to be winners of the contest before making a public announcement.
Now that you’ve verified your winners, you can tweet out an official notice that the contest has ended and that winners have been selected. You can even tag the winners in your tweet, but you may wish to keep this information confidential to protect their privacy.
Since tweets are limited in character, you’re entitled to multiple tweets per subject. Take your contest winner announcement and really run with it. Congratulate the winners, thank others for participating, tweet a feature of the prize (with photos, if you can!). Really get buzz going. A contest can provide almost endless fodder for your Twitter page.
There are many ways you can do an Instagram contest or giveaway, the primary types being hashtag contests, like to win contests, and email-barrier contests. Hashtag contests will sort your entries into one easy to track area. “Like to win” contests are popular among consumers in that they are very easy to enter.
Counting out the entries and randomly picking out a winner can get cumbersome. Email contests are excellent in that they not only provide you with more email addresses for your email list, but allow you to have contact information on-hand when it comes to notifying winners. For more guidance, check out our previous article on Instagram contest ideas.
As with Facebook and Twitter contests, you should make every attempt to first contact Instagram photo contest winners directly. This is best done through an Instagram direct message.
In your direct message to them, encourage them to take a photo of themselves with or wearing your prize and have them tag your company in it. This photo can be used later on to generate hype even after the contest has ended.
Announce the winner on Instagram by tagging them in a winner announcement post. Be sure to make the announcement photo attractive, colorful, and celebratory. Build up hype to the contest winner announcement by hosting a “countdown.”
Post a different picture each day related to the contest with a comment like “just two days until we announce the winner of our contest!” Once the winners have been announced, be sure to post photos of the prize as well.
Regardless of where you’re hosting your contest, whether it be Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you’ll need to write to your winner or winners. This social media contest letter is key in that it will give all the appropriate information and instructions to the winners on how to collect their prize, and inform them of any additional steps they must take.
First, of course, you should congratulate them for winning (even if there was no skill involved). You want your contest winners to feel special and lucky to have won. Your letter should be positive and celebratory; the more enthusiastic you are, the more enthusiastic your winners will be as well!
Why does this ringing positivity matter? Enthusiastic winners are much more likely to sing praises to your company online and to share details about the contest and their prize over social media.
Announcement email subject lines should be excitable but not spammy. That is, your subject line should sound legitimate.
Next, you will likely need to obtain some personal information from your recipients. You may need a mailing address to send them the prize, or an email address just for any future practical communication.
Be sure to let your winners know when they can expect their prize.
Let your winner know that if they don’t respond by a certain date, you will pick someone else. Give them at least a few days to reply, but don’t put yourself on hold for weeks just because a contest winner or two isn’t responding. Your contest is on a timeline, after all, and other entrants will be eagerly waiting for the conclusion of the contest.
Don’t leave your winners in the dark! They may become suspicious and start thinking your contest is a scam. Louder folks may even take to social media to share their negative musings—something you certainly want to avoid.
It’s understandable that your prize may take a few weeks to send out, but keep your winners in the loop with weekly updates, and be sure to check in on them to ensure that they received the prize and share photos of the winner with the prize!