Hosting giveaways on your blog can help you gain followers both on your blog and social media, but if you want to keep those followers you need to do a few things before, during and after the giveaway. This post isn't about how to organize a giveaway. Today I am focusing on how to get the most out of a group giveaway as one of the co-hosts.
I only participate in a few giveaways every year, where as some people host them regularly. I have organized one myself, and I recommend participating in a few group giveaways before hosting your own so you know what is involved behind the scenes.
This week, I will be participating in two giveaways on my blogs. In the first, I joined with 40+ other bloggers for a $200 prize package to help people make healthier meals over on That Recipe for #RecipeMakeover. On Friday I will join with about 2 dozen bloggers for a $250 Mother's Day Giveaway both here and on That Recipe.
Before the Giveaway Begins
Make sure the host has all of your information, money, photos, etc. before the deadline. Share the opportunity with your fellow bloggers. Many prizes are determined by the number of participants. A $250 giveaway attracts more people than a $50 one.
Prepare your post: for some giveaways you will just cut and paste the code into a post and you are done. For some you will create a post and add the giveaway code. For example, for the #RecipeMakeover I made one post just about the giveaway and two other posts with recipes referencing back to the giveaway.
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Prepare your blog:
You have less than 5 seconds to grab the attention of people entering a giveaway before they click to the next way to enter. How would they view your blog and social media accounts?
- Get rid of clutter in the sidebar.
- Make sure your social media follow buttons are easy to find and are correct.
- Put your best content front and center. Use sticky posts, content sliders, etc. to show your best posts instead of just your most recent.
- If you are trying to grow your e-mail list get your opt-ins ready
- Make sure your sign up forms are easy to find and work!
- Consider a special opt-in for the duration of the giveaway. ("Choosing Healthy Fats" will be mine for the Recipe Makeover but I may change it for "Mother's Day")
Prepare your social media:
- Pin your best post to the page for Facebook and Twitter
- Edit your "showcase" on Pinterest (the slider at the top of your boards) to show your best boards
- Post relevant posts to your niche for at least a few weeks before the giveaway. If you are a food blogger do I see food related posts or you voicing your political opinion or ranting about what so and so wore to the Oscars. Your blog, your choice, but could one random rant post put off new followers? Do you care? If so fix it, if not, move on.
- Plan social media shares for the duration of the giveaway. Be prepared to share about the giveaway as well as giving new followers a taste of what they can expect on your blog and social media feed.
During the Giveaway:
Share share share! Be prepared to post several times a day on social media throughout the giveaway.
No, I don't mean get on Facebook 3 times a day for 2 weeks and post "I have a giveaway here!" Don't just promote your post and the giveaway, but also promote the other bloggers and share more of what you normally share on your social media accounts.
Personally, I use Co-Schedule and Tailwind to help me schedule. Both are affiliate links, I receive a commission, at no cost to you, if you decide to check them out - for free by the way - then subscribe.
They both help me with the sharing throughout the year, but especially with giveaways. I can sit down with both and schedule out sharing the giveaway on all of my major social media networks as well as other posts to capture the interest of anyone entering the giveaway throughout the time period. It only takes about 30 minutes for me to plan out several weeks of sharing and it looks to some people (my mother) that I am always online.
Scheduling is great, but make sure to check in to your social media accounts every day or so to interact with people, especially the new ones.
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After the Giveaway Ends:
Decide if it was worth it. If you spent $10 to gain 10 new followers on Facebook that's $1 a follow. You might not want to participate again if that were the case. On the other hand if you gain a large following then you probably want to try to work with that group again. The two I am working with this week I have worked with before and had excellent results so I always try to join in when they offer.
Continue cultivating those new followers to turn them into "customers" or at least repeat visitors.
Have you participated in giveaways before? Are they good for your blog or not worth the effort? Did I miss any tips you would add? I'd love for you to let me know in the comments below.