7 Strategies to get people to participate in a giveawayThe ultimate success of your giveaway or sweepstakes is getting people to participate. It’s not enough to throw a post up on social media and hope people respond. Strategy from the ease of entry for your audience, to length of duration, platforms and channels for marketing, and the prize itself makes a difference in the engagement levels you may achieve. When you work with a sweepstakes company, like US Sweeps, think of it like a checklist for your business to get the most out of your efforts, while staying compliant and legal.

Here are 7 strategies to help get your giveaway some extra engagement.

Put a Theme to Work 

Sync your giveaway up with a holiday, a season, a destination, pets, love, environment – something that allows creativity for your message and entertainment for your audience. Adhering to a theme for your sweepstakes, like a pet theme, for example, gives you a chance to present a cohesive headline, entry style, and prize to increase interest and engagement as compared to a generic giveaway with no pizazz or well-thought out idea. Your theme doesn’t even have to match a product or service of your business. This pet theme example could work for a t-shirt company, a tire company, or a toddler playland! Be smart, creative, and intentional about how you incorporate your theme and people will respond.

Photo Contest

People love to share photos of themselves, their kids, their vacations, their pets, and their food. They’ll do it without having to be asked to do it, so a contest or giveaway centered around a photo can be a great way to get participation. Simultaneously, your brand gets to build it’s UGC (user-generated content) library. This content can be valuable to revisit and repurpose, with proper consent and permission, of course. Remember to plan your giveaway from concept to post-giveaway with a partner experienced in running a sweepstakes or contest. You only get one shot at your giveaway. You can’t go back after you’ve launched it and change the entry guidelines, so proper planning makes a valuable difference for your brand. Incorporate a photo contest into your strategy and enjoy the show!

Partner Up

Double or triple your potential reach by partnering with another company for your sweepstakes. Your brands shouldn’t be competitors, but should complement each other with some audience overlap but not audience mirroring. A partner should add to your reach, allow your brand to get in front of a new audience by getting a slice of theirs. Strategy is key here. Aligning your brand with another is a delicate balancing act, so your team should vet potential partners well, assuring company values and goals align, in addition to the audience fit. Maybe it’s an influencer or a nonprofit you decide to partner with for this sweepstakes. Open up the possibilities and increase that participation!


If your goal is engagement to increase brand awareness, then integrating referrals into your sweepstakes might be a match for your brand. Social media is, by nature, socially acceptable to tag friends, share cool posts with them, and tell them about opportunities you think are worth looking into. To sweeten the deal, your prize can be appropriate for two people to enjoy together. A weekend getaway for friends, a dinner for 4,  maybe it’s 2 sets of your products so they can share the prize if either of them happens to be the winner. Sharing makes people feel good, and makes your engagement even better.

Prompt to Follow and Share

Similar to a referral, another way to increase engagement is by prompting a contestant to share the giveaway on their social media channels. Here’s how it works. Say your customer saw your giveaway in your email newsletter or on your website, and they enter to win. Once your customer enters, leverage that! Don’t let a brand champion like that sit idle. Show them a congratulations screen (can be a confirmation screen that they are entered) that says something like, “You are entered! Share the love with your friends.” They’ll see an easy path to sharing their interest, meaning a clear call-to-action button for each social media channel. All they have to do is click, and you get more engagement and get in front of more people!


If you see a giveaway or contest featuring a prize worth $25 versus $2,500, it’s obvious the greater value of your potential winnings creates more enthusiasm to get in on the action. Let people know the value of the prize. Whether your prize is related to your own business or service, or if the prize is something outside of your own brand, don’t assume the audience knows how great of a prize it is. Giving away a year of free membership for your company? That’s a great, long-term payoff to enter. But also let people know what it’s worth (a total dollar amount the 12 months would have cost them) if they were paying out of pocket. If your sweepstakes prize is a tailgating package with a high-end brand cooler, a camping chair, and a grill, then tally the retail value of those items up. Say, for example, “a retail value of $1,500” to generate some prize-envy that will charm your audience into entering to win. It’s hard to resist taking action when you can see the valued dollar amount right in front of you.


Tick tock, a running clock creates a sense of urgency that many people respond to. When the clock is ticking down by the day, hour, minute, and seconds before it’s too late to enter to win, it triggers a little FOMO in people, which makes them take action. This tactic can be layered on other types of contest tactics and styles. Just ensure your timeframes are disclosed in the sweepstakes rules up front. You cannot turn on a countdown clock to wrap up the entry time frame on a whim to generate more activity. Here’s another reason your sweepstakes partner is important. They’ll set up those guidelines with you in advance so there are no surprises during execution.

US Sweepstakes will work with you to develop a sweepstakes that will meet your marketing goals and run smoothly from planning to fulfillment.