Who doesn’t love free event tickets? Ticket giveaways via social media can be a great way to grow your following, increase awareness and ticket sales, and build excitement for your event. But if your giveaway isn’t structured well, it can end up feeling like a waste of time and resources.
Here are six things to consider when creating your social media ticket giveaway:
1. Your goal
What are you trying to accomplish with your giveaway? If you’re hoping to collect email addresses, a traditional enter-to-win sweepstakes might be best. Want to expose your event to new potential attendees? Pick a giveaway that incentivizes sharing or requires users to tag a friend to enter. Trying to sell more tickets? Run your giveaway at a time that will be helpful to your sales cycle.
2. Type of giveaway
Do you want to select winners at random (sweepstakes) or do you want to choose a winner based on certain criteria (contest)?
Sweepstakes are generally easier for users to enter (which can lead to more entries) and simpler for organizers to select a winner. If you choose to go this route, we recommend using a random winner generator.
If you’re asking users to submit a comment or an image to enter, you may want to use a contest model. That way you can select winners to reward the “best” submissions.
3. Entry methods
There are tons of ways to give tickets away, but here are a few of our favorites:
- Basic enter-to-win sweepstakes – Sweepstakes are a quick, easy, and familiar way to collect entries and email addresses. Just be sure indicate that people are opting into communication from you if you plan to email them.
- Retweet to win – Ask followers to retweet (RT) a specific tweet to enter to win. To help grow your Twitter account at the same time, state in your tweet that users need to follow and RT you to enter to win.
- Hashtag contest – Incentivize some great user-generated content by having your fans post photos to Twitter and/or Instagram with a certain branded hashtag.
- Snapchat drawing – Tap into your Snap followers’ artistic sides by asking them to send a themed Snapchat drawing to your account.
- Tag a friend – Expand you account reach by asking people to tag the friend they’d bring with them to your event if they won tickets.
- Survey – Gain some insight into your potential event attendees by asking them to fill out a short survey, and randomly select a winner from all those who participate.
Not sure which social media platform to focus on? Take this quick quiz to find out which is best for your event.
4. Rules & regulations
Each social platform has different rules regarding contests. Facebook, for example, doesn’t allow you to require that people share content to their walls. Pinterest discourages requiring entrants to re-pin a specific pin. Twitter, Instagram, and other platforms also have guidelines, so be sure to read up on the current rules as you craft your giveaway.
It’s also important to know the local legal regulations for giveaways, such as minimum age requirements and CAPTCHA guidelines. In general, a best practice is to develop rules that clearly indicate the structure of the giveaway, including entry dates, entry requirements, and how/when a winner will be chosen and contacted. Link to these rules anywhere you promote the giveaway.
But most importantly, don’t just take our advice…run it by your legal team before you start the contest.
5. Your timeline
Think through your entire promotional plan from start to finish — and build your timeline accordingly. If you’re mailing tickets to the winner, end your giveaway with plenty of time to communicate with him/her and mail the tickets. If the winner is picking them up at will call, make sure to provide explicit instructions on how and where, or you’ll be stuck fielding frantic questions during your already busy event day. If you’re running a last-minute giveaway, collect a phone number in the entry process so you can quickly get in touch with the winner to coordinate before your event.
If you don’t plan your timing carefully, your contest could backfire — leaving you with frustrated followers instead of delighted attendees.
6. Your promotional plan
You can create the coolest contest with the best prize, but if people don’t find out about it, it’s not going to be worth your time. Plan ways you can promote your giveaway such as your newsletter, your other social accounts, and your other events. Make sure your timeline coincides with those opportunities.
And the buzz doesn’t have to end when your giveaway closes. Make the most of the data you collected through your contest by adding entrants to your email list and sending them offers like a small discount code for tickets. After your event, share photos of your winner(s) having a great time at the event on your social accounts.
Looking to step up your event’s social media game? Check out Buffer and Eventbrite’s Complete Guide to Social Media for Events.