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How do you know if your business is ready for a competition or giveaway? Do you have to have a certain amount of revenue or reach a magical number of followers? Not exactly. The truth is, there’s no magic formula that lets you know exactly when your business is ready to run a competition – but – there are definitely scenarios that are pretty perfect for competitions…

Identifying these 7 signs that your business is ready for a competition or giveaway means you know the investment of time, effort, money and resources in your competition will pay off.

1. You’re wanting to get more traction on social media.

Maybe you’ve just started out on a particular social media channel and you need to build a following, maybe your follower numbers have plateaued, or worse, are starting to drop off.

It’s time to gain some serious traction with a competition or giveaway. Depending on the social media channel, a like to win, comment to win, mention us or use our hashtag are great ways to start getting traction.

Just make sure you don’t ask people to share your competition as part of the entry process on Facebook, it’s against their page terms and you could have your business and personal accounts shut down.

2. You’re launching a new product or service.

Whether it’s the launch of an ebook on your site, or a new shoe range in a physical shop, your business is ready for a competition!

Competitions and giveaways are a great way to spread the word about your launch. The reach on social media is much greater than regular posts and the incentive to buy your product/join your service/visit your store is much higher.

You can follow up with competition entrants and offer them a discount or trial by email after the competition has ended to encourage them to keep interacting with your business post-launch.

3. You’re rebranding.

If you’re rebranding, it’s a perfect time for your business to run a competition – not only does it spread the word about your stylish new update, but it helps increase familiarity and connection to your new brand.

For maximum engagement with your target audience, you can even involve them in the rebranding process – run a qualitative competition asking your audience what they think and feel when they interact with your business, using the answers to create a new brand image that matches the way your customer perceives you.

Alternatively, once you’ve narrowed your new logo design/website design down to your top three or top two, you can ask your audience to vote for their favourite.

4. You want more engagement than you’re currently getting.

Competitions are a fantastic way to engage, or reengage, your audience.

If you’ve found that you’ve built up a healthy following but you’re still only getting a few likes here and there on what you’re posting, it’s a sure-fire sign that your business is ready for a competition. Competitions that are great for encouraging engagement include comment to win, post photos/videos to win, caption to win or even answering surveys and opinion polls.

5. You need to generate leads or sales.

A competition is a giant call to action.

If you want to encourage sales in store for example, you could offer every purchase over a certain amount an entry into your competition. To generate leads, you could ask people for their email address so you can nurture them with email campaigns or invite them to take advantage of special offers.

The key here is to ensure that the reward (or prize) outweighs the effort involved to win it. If you ask every customer to like every one of your social media pages, forward to at least 3 friends then leave a review for your business in exchange for a $20 shopping voucher, it just isn’t going to gain traction.

Consider your entry process carefully and make sure that the prize you’re offering is worth the effort to enter.

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6. You want to say thank you to your followers.

Knowing that your business is ready for a competition doesn’t always come down to getting something from your customer, it could also be giving back to them.

If you’ve had a particularly successful year or built up a fantastically loyal customer base that you would love to thank, a competition or giveaway is a great way to do it.

You could award the best customer review, the top customer in terms of revenue or you could simply pop everyone’s email into a spreadsheet and draw one at random. Remember how much you love being thanked? Your customers will too and it’ll only serve to strengthen your relationship.

7. You want to validate an idea or get feedback.

You know your audience pretty well, they’re always active on your social media channels and you may even know a few of your best customers in person… but when it comes to sending out surveys or asking for opinions, there will inevitably be some who respond ‘what’s in it for me?!’.

It may sound selfish, but if you’re asking them to spend a chunk of time helping you out, it may pay to incentivise them. You’ll get a much higher response rate and if you decide to choose your winner based on the quality of an answer to a question (game of skill) you’ll get some really high quality and highly valuable insights for your business.

There’s no one single perfect time to run a competition or giveaway that fits every business, but hopefully these 7 signs will give you a pretty good indication of whether you and your business are ready or not. The best way, of course to know if your business is ready for a competition, is simply to run a competition.

If you need a little help getting started, we’ve got just the kickstart you need…