What do people love? Free stuff. Any experienced community manager worth their salt can tell you flash giveaways are a trusted secret weapon that can drive up engagement and get viral action going on just about any channel. We’ve seen clients grow their account following — and the prizing doesn’t have to be super-expensive either. On-target prizing, quality creative, a little promotion budget, and some TLC are the most important pieces of the pie.

Remember: Creativity > Budget.

Flash giveaways are a social affair. Old friends will come out of the woodwork and you might make some new ones. There’s no long-term obligation, no extensive forms to fill out, and no detailed personal information to collect, making the barrier to entry quite low.

Here are six best practices for making your next flash giveaway take off.


1. Pick Your Poison

Big ticket prizing is not mandatory for generating a strong reaction, just something desirable and on-target for your demographic. This shouldn’t be a half-hearted, last-minute idea. Make sure your prizing aligns with your audience and it’s something they actually want, like a tool set for a DIY crowd, movie passes, a fun basket with a bunch of prizes thematically grouped together, or branded swag.

Incentivize your ask with something they want.

We’ve found experience-based prizes are hands-down the most popular. Tickets to a carnival, a day pass to a spa or passes to a special event tend to garner the greatest engagement, although a gift basket full of fun random items can also cause fandemonium, depending on your brand.


2.  Excite the Crowd

Every good performance has an opening act. A flash giveaway deserves the same respect. That’s where teaser posts come in handy. As with the prizing, your giveaway launch timing should be planned, not a last-minute decision. Ensure your creative, copy, and prizing are established beforehand; you don’t want any last-minute surprises once the giveaway is running.

Once you’ve finalized your assets, ramp up engagement on the channel with a couple of teaser posts. Keep them simple, intriguing, and maybe a little mysterious. Get creative and share across different platforms to let people know where they should keep an eye on you. Get people excited!


3. K.I.S.S. — Keep It Simple, Stupid

Don’t overcomplicate your giveaway post copy. Keep it simple, clever, and engaging. Begin the post with a clear prompt to engage, and conclude with a strong call-to-action. Link to more details if need be, but aim to keep the post copy short.

Remember that engagement on your post builds future organic (read: free) reach of your future posts, so generate lively on-page engagement by asking followers to answer a question or tag a friend for a chance to win. The ‘tag a friend’ method backed by a paid boost is certain to generate strong on-page engagement, as long as your giveaway has met the previous criteria.


4. Back It With a Little Cash

Sometimes money can buy happiness. Put some boost budget behind your post to increase your reach and improve your on-page engagement. No need to go overboard here; less is definitely more in this case. We typically back our client giveaways with a boost budget of between $25 and $50.


5. Get in the Thick of It

As the comments come rolling in it can be tempting to step away and let the engagement on the post do its thing. Don’t walk away yet! Now is the time to reflect how personable your brand is, so interact with your fans’ responses and comments in real time. We’re not saying you should reply to every single response, especially if comments are pouring in by the hundreds, but look for opportunities to add your brand voice into the mix where appropriate. Your brand needs to showcase its personality on social — here’s your opportunity to be playful and engaged!


6. We Have a Winner

If you went with a 24-hour giveaway, set a calendar reminder for when you need to pick someone. Keep your word and be as prompt as possible… people will be waiting for the outcome, trust us. Our favourite tool for randomly selecting winners is Woobox. Simply select your Flash Giveaway post, define the restrictions on how users qualify to enter, and let the tool generate a random winner who meets all of the qualifications.

Now you can pop back to the post and let your winner know the great news! It’s generally best to conclude the giveaway with a comment that thanks all those that participated; this will help limit the “straggler” posts from people who think the contest is still active.

Facebook Flash Giveaways are a great way to get your creative juices flowing and boost your on-page engagement. We’ve seen them turn lackluster followers into engaged fans. Don’t underestimate the power of freebies! Here’s one last tip from our social team to yours — use Facebook’s “invite to like” feature at the end of the giveaway to organically boost your page likes. Who ever said giveaways don’t give back?

Have any more tips or tricks to add to our list? Add a comment below!