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Giveaway Ideas to Win Customers for Your Small Business

Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell is a staff writer at Fundera, writing about small business news and finance. She specializes in helping business owners build their marketing, sales, and social media strategies with helpful stories.

As a small business owner, you’re always looking for new ways to engage your customers—you want to get them excited about your company, and keep them loyal. Sometimes, that means offering coupons, rewards programs, or even just by using conventional marketing channels like print and digital advertisements. But business giveaway ideas could be a great way to shake up things.

Trying a company giveaway is a great idea if, after a while, you start to feel like discounts and promotions aren’t working as well as they used to. Or, you might look to business giveaway ideas if you’re struggling to come up with fresh ways to keep customers coming back.

Consider these business giveaway ideas and see if they might be a fit for your small business and kickstart a great new way to reach your ideal base.

How Can a Business Giveaway Help My Company?

Customer giveaways are a great way to engage with your loyal followers and attract new business at the same time. This is especially true if you have a strong social media following, or are looking to grow the one you’ve got.

Executing on the right giveaway idea gives you the chance to expand your reach in a fun way. And it doesn’t come off as an overt marketing pitch, like some traditional advertising options can. Giveaways don’t seem quite as transactional, even if you are looking to acquire, say, an email address or a social follow in exchange for an entry. (More on that in a little.)

Plus, running a company giveaway can really help you strategically. Businesses use giveaways for tons of different reasons: to promote products and services, reach new customers, increase the size of their mailing list, engage with social media followers, and even to connect with other local businesses with collaborations on prize packages. In other words, your business giveaway idea can suit almost any business goal you might have.

giveaway ideas

Online Business Giveaway Ideas

How to Host a Social Media Business Giveaway

Hosting a giveaway on community-based social networks is an excellent way to engage with potential customers and get them excited about your business. Here is your guide to trying out a giveaway idea for your business. 

Step 1: Choose a platform (aka use Instagram)

Social media giveaway ideas work best if you already have a strong following on a certain platform. Instagram is particularly well suited for these kinds of efforts, since the platform is more versatile than Facebook or Twitter.

But if your company’s bigger on one or both of the latter platforms, consider promoting your contest on those sites, but direct your followers to take part via Instagram (which, we might add, helps grow your followers on that platform, too—win-win!).

Alternatively, if you haven’t already set up a social media account for your business, take this opportunity to do so. Running a social media giveaway is a different endeavor if your business is new to social networking (keep reading for more).

Step 2: Pick your entry parameters

The tried and true method for Instagram giveaway campaigns is a “Like to Win” contest, which asks participants to follow your account and like a specific photo on your feed.

Another easy business giveaway idea is to ask participants to tag a friend in the comments section of a specific post, which increases your brand’s exposure beyond your existing customers.

For an even more engaging contest, encourage participants to post original pictures with your products, or at your store, and tag their post with your location, username, hashtag, or any combination of the three. By asking followers to post content that features your product, you’re making the barrier to entry higher than it’d be with other kinds of giveaways.

Be prepared to offer something truly enticing to make it worth their while. And be sure to look for a specific, unique hashtag for your business giveaway, since broader hashtags will filter in too much irrelevant content. Bonus points if you ask participants for permission to re-use their entries as social content on your own page in the future!

Step 3: Don’t forget the rules

Your giveaway is going to need terms and conditions for entrants. Most can be generated from templates available online, but you’ll have to make sure that they’re available for entrants to read.

If your company has a business website, consider hosting the terms and conditions there, and direct people to this link via social media.

How to Host an Online Company Giveaway Without Social Media

If you don’t have social media accounts for your business, the best time to set them up is right now. If you’re not in control of your company’s online presence, you’re not just missing out on business giveaway opportunities—you’re also not controlling the narrative and brand reputation of your business, either.

That said, although you’ll have a tougher time executing on giveaway ideas without an existing social media following, that doesn’t mean they’re impossible to pull off.

Step 1: Find a partner with a following

For these, you’ll need to partner with another company or brand with a strong following that offers a product or service that’s complementary to your own. By pairing up on a joint social media giveaway, you’ll be able to get the word out about your company while also generating followers for your budding social media outlets.

Step 2: Use a giveaway site

Maybe you’re not in a position to pair up with another business, or you just want to try a different approach. 

In that case, you’ll want to check out giveaway sites like DojoMojo. DojoMojo is one of the most popular giveaway sites to host giveaways and contests of all sizes online. With customizable options, DojoMojo is great for business owners looking to grow their newsletter following. It’s also an excellent option for those that want to create a simple site, have people sign up for a chance to win, and choose a winner.

DojoMojo also allows you to partner with hundreds of different brands online—that means you can partner with businesses in your industry or even businesses that have audiences you want to reach out to. Online and partnership giveaways a great way for businesses to multiply their brand recognition by working with other like-minded brands.

giveaway ideas

In-Store Contests and Other In-Person Giveaway Ideas

Perhaps online giveaways are too impersonal for you, or you’re more interested in growing foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar location. In that case, try exploring in-store giveaway ideas.

In-store company giveaways are great for business owners who don’t have a lot of time on their hands and aren’t looking to expand their online presence. They can also be relatively inexpensive, since you won’t need to worry about spending money for online advertising or shipping items to winners that might live outside of your local area.

Another benefit: in-person giveaways are super flexible. Here are a few in-person giveaway ideas:

  • Host a giveaway in your store or at a large local event, like your town’s local farmers market
  • Offer a free gift or discount for customers that refer a new customer that purchases an item in-store
  • Host a trivia night or invite customers to answer a trivia question for a free prize or discount off an item
  • Build a fun game for people to play while browsing your store
  • Hold a raffle where customers can submit a ticket to win a prize
  • Give out a door prize

The options for in-store giveaways are endless.

In-store giveaways are also a great option for business owners looking to pick up a few more customers in their local area. And because you’ll be directly in contact with any of the potential winners, you won’t have to sink tons of time into writing complicated rules or terms and conditions.

giveaway ideas

Give these Giveaway Ideas a Try and Win More Customers

When you decide to try a giveaway idea for your business, you need to determine what you want out of your giveaway. Whether you want to engage with your existing customers, grow your social following, or drive foot traffic to your business, you’ll need to keep the end goal at the forefront of your strategy.

Once you have that sorted, think about how much you’re willing to give away—and how much you’ll expect from your entrants. Your first few giveaway ideas might not work perfectly, but in due time (and with the right approach) you’ll begin to see rewards for your efforts.

Editorial Note: Any opinions, analyses, reviews or recommendations expressed in this article are those of the author’s alone, and have not been reviewed, approved, or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Katie Campbell

Katie Campbell is a staff writer at Fundera, writing about small business news and finance. She specializes in helping business owners build their marketing, sales, and social media strategies with helpful stories.

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