Energize Your Fans and Followers with a Sweepstakes

Want to get your fans and followers excited, a great way to do that is to run a sweepstakes for a chance to win a prize sponsored by your brand. It’s a way to show that you appreciate their loyalty and also entice their connections to check your brand out because who doesn’t like prizes? Now you may have some questions that come to mind if you aren’t familiar with sweepstakes, never fear, we have some answer for you.

What type of Sweepstakes can I run?

There are endless answers to this question but to simplify it we’ll narrow it down to a few that are easy to execute:

Facebook Newsfeed Comment to Win

If you’re focused on your Facebook audience, a comment to win is an easy way to engage with your fans. Ask them a question that relates to your brand, you can prompt them to share a memory such as their favorite travel destination or you can give them a multiple-choice question.

Tweet to Win

Like the Facebook Comment to Win, ask your audience a question and ask them to respond back using a specific hashtag to help track your entries.

Instagram UGC

Put a call out to your audience to share to their Instagram feeds by posting a photo or video for entry. It can be anything from a picture that depicts their ideal summer, a photo of them enjoying your product or a selfie with their favorite person pet. This is also a great way to make a play for some UGC for your brand channel, if you receive proper permissions for use of that photo.

Sweepstakes Widget

There are multiple options out there but for this example, we’ll use Gleam. This widget allows for you to ask your audience to take different actions to earn entries into your sweepstakes. Some examples are: visiting your website, following your brand on Twitter, Tweeting with a hashtag, posting to Instagram with a hashtag, watch a video, answer a question, subscribe to your email list and that is just the beginning. Once you have your sweepstakes set up in within the widget, you can drive your audience to a landing page or embed it wherever you wish.


This is a great place for hosting sweepstakes that include Instant Win components or if you want to provide more of an experience for those that want to participate. You can host video content for them to engage with, games, link off to products, etc. Once they have submitted their entry, don’t miss out on the opportunity to share to their social sites so their audience can participate.

What do I need to be aware of before running a Sweepstakes?

This question isn’t as simple to answer and it may seem frightening to some, for those of us that have lived in the sweepstakes world we are here to help make it less frightening.

Official Rules

Legally you are required to have Official Rules if you are running a sweepstakes (or content, giveaway, limited time offer, rebate, etc.). Rules serve many purposes, they explain to the public what they have to do to participate and they product both your brand and participants. There are certain things that must be addressed within those official rules such as who can enter, how to enter, what the prize is and that’s just the tip of that iceberg.


Does and Don’ts of Social Networks

Each network has its own set of promotion guidelines to tell you what is acceptable and what isn’t acceptable on their platform. For instance, on Instagram it’s against their terms to require a participant to tag themselves in a photo they aren’t in. Be sure to reference those when planning your sweepstakes so you don’t have to go back to the drawing board prior to launch.

Can I pick which entry I like best in the Sweepstakes?

No, no and no. If you want the ability to ‘hand pick’ your winner, then you are looking to run a contest that requires judging and that’s a whole other blog post. A sweepstakes is a game of chance which requires a random draw from all eligible entries.


Who doesn’t want to pick Batman to win? 

What kind of prizing should I offer?

When running a sweepstakes provide a prize that relates to your brand. If you’re a travel brand award items that relate to traveling, it can be as small as a gift pack of travel essentials to an all-expense paid trip. If your brand has an actual store, a gift card is always a good option for prizing. Another great option is to produce some branded merchandise as prizing, if you’re running a sweepstakes relating to going to the beach why not provide a beach towel with your logo on it?


Culver’s prizing is 100% in line with their brand


Should I promote my Sweepstakes on all my channels?

Yes! Please do! Your Twitter audience may be different than your Facebook or Instagram audience and you could potentially grow your other channels by promoting to your whole network. Culver’s did a great job of that with their Tic Tac Grow Sweepstakes which they are hosting on a Microsite.


Culver’s Tweet



Culver’s Facebook Status



Culver’s Instagram Post


What’s this I hear about the FTC and sweepstakes hashtags?

Glad you asked as this one is an important question that a lot of brands aren’t familiar with. Per the FTC guidelines, consumers must disclose when they are being incented to take an action to earn a sweepstakes entry. The best way to do this is to include the word ‘sweepstakes’ within your hashtag, so if you wanted to use the hashtag #mybrandrocks you would now use #mybrandrockssweepsakes. This relates to influencer disclosures on brand partnerships to ensure that the public understand why Diego is posting about Milkbone dog treats. Is he being paid to talk about Milkbone or is he trying to win a Milkbone prize (I hope for the first).


Diego likes to talk about Milkbone #sweepstakes


These items above are just a few of the questions that seem to come up when speaking about sweepstakes and what type of promotions would work best for a brand. As I’ve said multiple times, don’t fret, we are here to help! Reach out to us if you’re pondering running a sweepstakes for your brand and aren’t exactly sure how, we’d love to help.

Ignite Social Media