If you’re looking for Facebook competition ideas, suggestions for Instagram giveaways or just looking for inspiration for your next competition, this is the post for you. Below you will find ideas for competitions for all the major social media platforms, ideas based on your competition budget, competition inspiration matched to what you want to achieve and who you want to enter and even giveaway ideas based on months o the year. It’s all here.
Competition ideas by platform.
Whether your clients are Instagram addicts or Facebook fanatics, we’ve got a competition idea to suit.
Like a page, like a post, comment on a post, react to a post, post a picture, post a video, post a poem/haiku/idea/feedback/etc, join a group, vote via likes, guess the number of sweets in a jar, leave a review.
Tweet, retweet, like, comment, use a specific hashtag, mention, follow.
Follow a page, connect, comment, share, post/publish, join a group.
Comment, join a community, post, share (note that +1ing, following, adding to a circle, mentioning, referring and voting are prohibited by Google+’s rules. Party poopers.)
Follow an account, like a photo, tag a user, use a hashtag, post, comment on a post.
Pin, repin, follow a person, follow a company, create a board, follow a board (commenting and voting used to be expressly prohibited but this restriction has since been removed from the rules).
Ask people to submit videos, comment on videos, answer questions. Asking entrants to like/dislike a video, subscribe to your channel or view your videos to up the view count is against YouTube’s rules.
Creativity is your only limit when it comes to creating giveaways and competitions for social media. As long as you obey the social media channel’s contest rules and it’s easy for you to legally and fairly gather and judge the entries you can turn it into a competition!
Competition and giveaway ideas by budget.
It’s a common misconception that you have to have a hearty budget to run a competition (though it does help), so we’ve put together giveaway ideas to suit every budget range.
$0 – focus on your service or product
Giving away your service/product will only cost your time and/or the postage fee. You can always ask a partner for a prize in return for promotion or try to offer an experiential prize such as the winner being promoted on your Instagram feed if you have a huge following or a backstage tour of what you do.
Think of something which is still valuable to your audience but doesn’t necessarily have a dollar figure attached to it. Look back through your comments and correspondence with your audience to see what it is they value about what you offer – perhaps they would like a personalised print of your artwork or want to see how exactly your hand-crafted garments are made? Lessons and experiences are underrated and make for great marketing material post-competition too!
Up to $1,000: offer your product or service as part of a package
If your core offering is a 10-week course, why not offer a two-week mini-course as a prize or a selection of sample size versions of the full size products you sell. Remember that some of this budget will need to go to the cost of fulfilment and potentially licences and T&Cs depending on your entry method etc, so consider giving away a package of products which includes some items that don’t necessarily have a dollar value. For example, if you sell homewares, you could use your budget give away a pack of your personal favourites plus add a one-on-one home-styling session (at no cost to you but of great value to your winner). This bumps up the package with something that money can’t buy.
You could also afford to offer something like a night in a hotel with a meal or an experience of some kind. It’s tempting on this budget just to offer a voucher, but remember that vouchers get a lot less traction and are perceived to involve more effort in redemption and therefore are less attractive to entrants.
$1,000 – $5,000: think about what your product or service helps your customers achieve
This is where you can offer something a little more special. Remember what the goal of your competition is and that ideally you want to be promoting your business to generate revenue as part of this competition, so again try and include your product or service as part of the prize. Think about what you offer and where this fits in with other, complimentary businesses out there.
For example, if you’re a life coach and you have an online course plus face-to-face sessions and you specialise in coaching entrepreneurs to reach their full potential, think about the other products and services that they would need to achieve that potential you’re helping them towards. Maybe they could do with a spa break to process what you’ve covered together or a massage voucher in order to get away from the hustle and bustle and truly absorb what you’re teaching them? Perhaps you can partner with a business that offers tailor-made business outfits so they can project the changes you’re working on together on the inside to the outside world? Develop your prize around your offering and pair it with complimentary prizes that also align with what you help your customers achieve.
$5,000 – $10,000: time to get aspirational
Your company sells a product or service that fits into an aspirational lifestyle goal. For example, if you sell an app that helps squeeze workout time into busy schedules, your audience has a clear aspiration: make time for health and potentially reduce working hours or work smarter. Your prize should, therefore, fit this aspirational lifestyle.
$5-$10k is a huge sum of money to make a difference to your winner. Think about how your product or service fits into your ideal client’s dream lifestyle and plan a prize around that. For our health app example, you might deck them out in complimentary tech to use your app with (for example smartphone and wearable tech that’s compatible with the app), a complete workout outfit (promise I’m not just all about the clothes!), a health retreat getaway (so they get the ultimate goal they’re striving for which your app helps them with: time out to work out) and a session with a personal trainer they admire. This kind of budget goes a LOT further than you think, especially if you are able to do it cleverly and get partners or sponsors on board. To make it work, you need to understand your target client, their motivations, pet peeves, biggest fears and life goals and offer them something that aligns with that. That’s why we work on avatars.
$10,000+: now we’re talking money can’t buy experiences
Some of the best prizes I’ve ever worked on have included an exclusive experience or money-can’t-buy element. This might be a meet and greet, an event you can’t buy tickets for, a bucket list experience or simply something your target audience would feel way too guilty splurging on if they had the same amount of cash in their bank account. Obviously, the aspirational element applies here too, but these kind of experiences are the kind of things you shout out for a laugh in your prize/competition brainstorming sessions, everyone chuckles and you say ‘just kidding!’ and move on.
Those crazy ideas are actually possible, and if they’re not, we’ll find a way to make it happen! Imagine you’re in a team meeting, coming up with prizes for your gourmet, organic, free of nasties, but full of taste restaurant menu. Your goal is to bump up the reviews of your restaurant from in-house diners and your target demographic is late twenties to early forties couples with high, double incomes and a love of authentic food as well as unique experiences they can boast about to their friends at dinner parties. You have a tagline for your new menu of ‘tastes that are out of this world’. You joke that you could send people to the moon or into space for dinner! As far as I know, there are no restaurants on the moon, but please do correct me in the comments if I’m wrong; so how about a trip where your winner gets to experience authentic food and an out of this world experience? A luxury, guided foodie tour of Europe combined with a zero gravity space experience flight would hammer home your message and appeal to your target demographic (authentic food, expensive taste, unique experience – out of this world!).
Hopefully, these ideas make sense to you in terms of what type of prize you can aim to create at each price point and serve as a bit of a guide as to what’s possible in each price range as well as making it appealing and relevant to your business and your target market.
Competition ideas by target audience.
First of all, make sure you know who your target audience or ideal competition entrant actually is. Now, think about where they hang out and where they get their information from – for example, are they social creatures you’d find at a club or Meetup or are they homebodies who communicate mostly online? Do they still read print or are they almost exclusively digital? Do they read Mashable or Buzzfeed, do they hang out on Facebook or Twitter?
Once you understand where they hang out and what kind of information they are exposed to on a daily basis, you can start to build up a picture of them and their lifestyle – for example, a Facebook-loving digital native would be more into a tech prize than someone who still gets the paper delivered religiously every week and socialises at the local bowls club. Sometimes creating a bit of a mood board or browsing the sites that they use can help understand what they might aspire to win. If they’re always on entrepreneur.com and they’re being sold services, apps and books through the display ads – someone’s spent the time, money and expertise to work out that that’s what their audience wants, so you can skip straight to offering it to them without having to work it out for yourself.
When I initially started writing this section I started by writing out male, female, children, teens, 20s, 30s… etc. Then I thought, if I write ‘tech’ in male and not in female, someone will inevitably be offended – after all, I’m a female and I love tech(!) but it doesn’t apply to all females. I’d be offended if this guide assumed all men want tech and all females want spa breaks. ‘Yes but Suki’, I thought, ‘people are expecting to find a nice quick little guide they can just scan to male and 30s and voila – there’s their idea!’. Unfortunately, it doesn’t really work like that in practice and it would be a poor marketing decision to generalise competition ideas (and prizes) based on gender and age. Instead, I strongly encourage you to understand your specific target audience and preferably speak to them – what do they wish they could own but don’t have the budget for or don’t know where to find it or can’t be bothered to get it? Find what they need/want and offer it to them as a prize.
Giveaway ideas by goal
Goals commonly fall under one of 3 categories: gaining popularity, gathering content, or making money.
This means getting your name out there, getting more followers, creating brand awareness, announcing a launch and educating the world on your product/service. Ideas for competitions that fit into this category are:
- sharing competitions
- liking/following competitions
- retweeting competitions
- @mention competitions
- hashtag competitions
- filling out a form to receive info or join a mailing list
- pin to win style competitions
- join a group/community/club to win
- tagging competitions
- offering additional entries for additional actions (such as like all social media accounts)
- referring friends
This includes collecting information for future marketing campaigns, quotes, comments, ideas, feedback, user generated content etc. Here are some ideas to achieve this:
- submit your review to win
- use our hashtag to enter
- comment competitions
- tell us in X words or less…
- submission competitions – for example, photo, video, blog post, artwork etc
- caption competitions
- complete the form to enter (including some qualitative or long-form answers)
- vote for your favourite to win
- complete the quiz to enter
- answer a question to enter competitions
- complete a survey for a chance to win
Here are some ways to generate some cold, hard dollars from your competition or giveaway:
- purchase to enter
- instant win on purchase
- visit a shop or attend an event
- redeem a voucher or code
- if you’re playing the long game, email signups can be a revenue generator with nurturing
Competition ideas by timing.
Obviously, timing can mean time of year, but it can also be at which stage you’re at in your business. Which is where we’ll start first.
You’re working hard on your business/campaign which is not yet launched and you want to create buzz around you and what you’re up to and get some early interest. Consider building up your army of followers before you need them. Run a like or follow to win, but make sure you have enough valuable content for them to like! Get them involved so they’re emotionally invested in your brand and will want (and help) you to succeed when you launch. To get them involved, you could ask for their feedback on designs/copy/content or ask them to vote for the best tagline or caption your images for example. Collecting emails before you have a product or service to sell means you can market to them as soon as you’ve launched and help get cash flowing through your business quicker.
You’ve busted your balls to get your business, product or service launched and the day has finally come! Your champagne is chilling and you’re about to go live… what could make this day even better? A competition of course! Come on, don’t say you didn’t see that one coming. You only launch once (#yolo) and you want to make sure it’s a spectacular show rather than a big letdown, so get people onside and let them help you spread the word. You could run a hashtag competition (e.g. #companynamelaunchday) or get them to retweet or @mention you on social media so your name and brand spread far and wide. You may also want to consider running an enter your email to win style competition so you start building your email database right from day one.
You may only launch once, but don’t worry, you can relaunch! There’s a time in a company’s life where a rebrand or relaunch is necessary to reflect a change of direction in the company’s offering or focus, so your aim at this point is to educate your audience on just what those changes are and if your new focus is aimed at a new audience, now is the perfect time to start attracting that audience. You can also make use of an email collection competition if you’re attracting a new demographic or you could use a quiz style competition aimed at letting people know what your rebrand is all about whilst giving them a chance to win a prize.
A lot of companies, especially those that scale fast, will find that after a certain amount of time, they reach a plateau and a catalyst is needed to push them from that plateau up the next steep growth curve. You may want to focus on instant revenue to fund a new project for example, in which case a purchase to win, visit a store or attend an event or an instant win with purchase style competition can help grow sales. Or you may need to grow your audience beyond your existing one and broaden your reach so you might opt either for a share, referral or tag competition, leveraging your existing audience to help bring in more potential clients just like them.
One half of the battle is getting customers, the other half is keeping them. Remember that new customers cost much more to obtain than selling to existing customers, so as much as you want to reward new customers, make sure you make your current clients feel valued and rewarded too. A purchase to win competition obviously fits well here and feel free to retrospectively award a prize for purchases made within the last 6 months (if they consent to entering) as well as allowing new entries from existing/new clients. You might also like to consider running a competition asking for reviews/testimonials/comments for marketing material – after all, they’re already avid fans of your company, having parted with their hard-earned cash!
Timing can also mean time of year, so here’s a few more ideas for good measure!
New year, new year’s resolutions, fresh starts, new habits, routines, starts, summer holidays (southern hemisphere), Australian Open, Australia Day (Australia) or snow days, keeping warm and Christmas holidays (northern hemisphere). Here are some fun competition ideas for January, apparently 8th January is Bubble Bath day, 19th January is National Popcorn Day and January 23rd is Pie Day…
Valentines day, anything lovey-dovey, romance, Waitangi Day (New Zealand), Washington’s birthday (USA), Chinese New Year, Super Bowl, Fashion Week (New York, London, Milan), Rio Carnival, Pancake Day, Mardi Gras and of course if it’s a leap year, add in some leap year fun. Some more quirky ones for you: Wave at Your Neighbour Day on February 7th and Public Sleeping Day (who comes up with these?!) on 28th February.
Fashion Week (Paris), Holi Festival (India), Melbourne Grand Prix, Human Rights day (Africa), Easter, Spring (northern hemisphere), Autumn (southern hemisphere) and St Patrick’s Day. I know you’re just hanging out for the silly ones now, Peanut Butter Lover’s day on 1st March, National Potato Chip Day on 14th March and I wish I was making this up: ‘Make your Own Holiday Day’ on the 26th of March.
April Fool’s Day, Easter, ANZAC day, clocks change, Coachella Music Festival and King’s Day (Holland). Here come the fun ones: Beer Day on the 7th, Scrabble day on the 13th and the 21st marks ‘High Five Day’. Oh, the possibilities…
Orthodox Easter, Cinco de Mayo, Mother’s Day, National Sorry Day, Cannes Film Festival, and Monaco Grand Prix. Just for a laugh: ‘Star Wars Day’ on May the fourth [be with you], Beverage Day(?!) on 6th May and ‘Be a Millionaire Day’ on 20th May. If only it were that easy.
Queen’s Birthday, Ramadan, Glastonbury Music Festival and Summer/Winter solstice. Apparently it’s ‘Candy Month’ in the USA but you could also celebrate Flip Flop Day on the 17th June or Sunglasses Day on 27th June. My personal favourite is ‘Social Media Day’ on 30th June (be right back, just adding that one to the diary…).
School holidays (northern hemisphere), Show Days in the Northern Territory, Independence day (USA) and Wimbledon (UK). If normal observances bore you, you can always base your competition on ‘Second half of the year day’ on the 1st, Tell the Truth Day (ooh I like the possibilities with this one) on 7th July or Paperback Book day on the 30th.
US Open, Burning Man Festival (USA) and La Tomatina Festival (Spain). More ‘unique’ events in August include Wiggle your Toes Day on 6th June, International Lefthanders Day on the 13th and Dog Day on the 26th.
Back to school (northern hemisphere), RUOK Day, Spring begins (southern hemisphere), Oktoberfest and AFL Grand Final (Australia). Now for the more obscure: World Beard Day on the 3rd September, Talk like a Pirate day on the 19th and Gratitude Day on the 21st.
My birthday, all presents can be sent to… just kidding. It’s Labour Day, Columbus Day (USA) Diwali (festival of light) and Halloween. Lesser celebrated holidays include World Vegetarian Day on the 1st, ‘Smart is Cool’ Day (what?!) on the 22nd and Internet Day (because everyday isn’t already internet day) on the 29th.
Movember, Day of the Dead Festival (Mexico), Melbourne Cup Day (Australia), Remembrance Day, Thanksgiving (USA) and Dubai Grand Prix. You might also wish to observe Men Make Dinner Day on the 3rd November, Origami Day (now that’s our kind of day!) on 11th November and ‘Celebrate your Unique Talent Day’ which could be a really fun idea for a competition, on the 24th November.
Christmas, Summer begins (southern hemisphere), Midwinter (northern Hemisphere), Hogmanay (Scotland) and New Year’s Eve. But who wants sensible suggestions?! Bring on the crazy: we like Make a Gift Day (just in time for Christmas) on 3rd December, Worldwide Candle Lighting Day on the 11th, Ugly Christmas Sweater Day on 16th December and a bonus, just because – Bacon Day on the 30th.
All silly/fun holidays and national days were found on https://www.daysoftheyear.com/
That just about wraps up our epic 100+ competition and giveaway ideas post – unless you have any to add in the comments?
For tailored giveaway and competition inspiration, why not book in a totally free 20 minute chat with one of our competition experts?