Sunday, February 14, 2010

Organizing A Giveaway

I have to say organizing a giveaway is one of my favorite things to do! The excitement of running a giveaway can be contagious!

If you are new to giveaways here are a few basic tips to get the wheels turning.....

First, what kind of giveaway do you want to have? Will it be through your blog, your Myspace, Facebook, or Twitter? There are so many ways to do it! Although it is not imperative that you use social media, these are by far the easiest and the most successful platforms. If people are following and interacting with you already, they will surely want to be a part of your giveaway!

Choose an item (or two!) you think many people would enjoy receiving and spend time on creating quality photos of it.

Some ideas if you want to work through your blog:
  • Your blog is great place to make your official announcement, reveal your start/end date and explain the rules to participate.
  • You will need to decide how they will participate. One suggestion would be to have them follow your blog to enter, or leave a comment on the post. A really fun interactive way to do it is to have a theme. For example, say you are having a Valentines Day giveaway. Have participants tell you how they fell in love with their significant other in their comment to enter. This way your followers get involved and enjoy being part of the process!
  • Don't forget to post numerous lovely photos of the giveaway item and explain what makes it so special!  If you can make more than one of the same item, post one for sale in your shop as well, and offer a discount during the giveaway period.
  • Don't have a blog of your own? Head to the forums and search for a blog looking to sponsor a giveaway. They sponsor it, promote it etc. and you are responsible for mailing the item. You can even post a thread in forum saying you are looking for a blog that will do this. It is great promotion for both parties!
Some ideas if you want to do a giveaway on twitter:
  • If you use twitter you have less space to explain the rules, so don't make too many!
  • One way to do it would be asking your followers to retweet a given text to win. For example, "Win this http://link_to_item, 500 to RT wins!"
  • You need to be careful and specify one RT per hour or other limitation. It is also some work to count them up in the end!
Some ideas if you want to do a giveaway on your facebook page:
  •  You can ask your fans to post something on your wall to enter. Their favorite item from your shop, their favorite color, a story, just about anything. There is room to get quite creative!
  • Another idea that works well is simply tell all of your facebook (or blog) followers that they are automatically entered if they are following you. It is a great way to show your appreciation for their support and no one has to do a thing! 
Other tips:
  • To be fair, use a random number generator to choose your winner or have a friend/family member pick the winners name from a hat.
  •  Remind participants to leave a way for you to contact them if they win.
  • Once you have winner, contact and congratulate them and don't forget to ask for their mailing address. Assure them their info will not be used for any other purpose.
  • Have a deadline for them to respond if they do win.
  • Include a discount code with the giveaway item. They may want to share with friends or be encouraged to visit your shop and make a purchase!

With so many options, it is really up to you to find the best strategy for your giveaway. It all depends on what you feel is beneficial for your shop and your customers. Do you do it for the love of it and enjoy interaction with your fans and followers? Do you want to boost your twitter and blog following? Need more facebook fans? Just get excited at giving stuff away? It is all up to you!

Once you have it all figured out, promote it! Get into the forums, blog about it, tweet about it, post in on your fanpage, tell your friends or mention it in your newsletter/mailing list if you have one.

Have fun and enjoy the ride! You will be surprised at how excited your fans will get when they have chance at winning a free item from your shop!

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