The Ugly Truth about Sweepstakes and Giveaways 7 years ago

In case you haven’t already noticed, we are surrounded by free stuff in social media. Try to remember when was the last time you haven’t seen a contest or a giveaway in your Timeline, either because a friend suggested it or an advertisement did. There are so many contests, sweepstakes, giveaways of devices, designer clothes, trips and please… no to forget the free iPads!

But why have companies transformed our Timeline in Christmas?

One might think that they do it for raising customer loyalty, finding new customers or even increasing their sales in the short run or in the long run. Well, that’s the fantasy. The real reason is that they are trying to create buzz and awareness for their companies, brands, products or services.

So are they giving free stuff and they get NO customers?

Actually, they get almost no customers at the beginning. The truth is that clever social managers are using contests and giveaways to broaden their customer base. They collect e-mails, profiles and most importantly demographical data about a larger base than the one they already have, either to their online or to their physical store. In some cases, they even find a totally different and maybe more profitable target audience to promote their business, which they haven’t thought about before. Furthermore, an important factor that prevents conversion from contest participation to buy a product, is that social media users have seen and participated to so many contests and giveaways, that they are trying to seize the opportunities for getting stuff for free and not buying them. Most of them don’t have the intention to be a real customer. But they would never even heard the name of your business if it wasn’t for this contest, sweepstake or giveaway.

Once you get attention you never let it go!

The key to get a customer from these activities is the Follow up e-mail, a “Thank you for participating… See this new thing from us too”, “Watch Out for our new cool products” through direct mail and generally, the actions you perform after giving some free stuff. There is no point in enlarging your e-mail base and not using it to promote yourself. Try to keep in touch with the participants that belong to your targeted audience. If you don’t do it they will never convert from contest participants to actual customers.

Final tip

Have in mind that the real thing that social media grow, is awareness! Try to keep your expectations realistic and use each social network and promotional tool for the right reasons and with the most efficient way according to your costs and goals.

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