How to Win Stuff on Social Media


As a PR practitioner, I have implemented a few social media contests in my day. During these contests you can tell which people are actually fans of your brand and who just goes around trying to win free stuff. I won’t lie, in my personal life, I fall into the latter category. I will whore out likes, comments and retweets all in the hopes of a freebie. My shameless behavior has proven to be profitable though! Here are some of the things I have won:

  • Coachella tickets and shuttle passes ($670 value)*
  • Best of San Diego tickets ($100 value)
  • Movie tickets ($24)
  • MP3 player (that’s right, not an iPod– $40)
  • Lipstick ($8)
  • Tickets to Taste of Hillcrest ($50)
  • Fancy earbuds ($50)
  • In-n-out gift card ($15)
  • Eden gift card ($20)
  • Fancy Christmas ornaments ($50)
  • Bath set ($50)
  • Aztec basketball tickets ($40)
  • Starbucks giftcard ($10)

*Prices are just estimates.

I know it seems like I must spend a ton of time doing this, but I really don’t. Usually I will just enter a contest that I see on Facebook or Twitter when I’m doing my usual scanning. Other times, I’m watching TV and feel like doing something mindless so I actually seek out these contests and “like” brands I’ve never heard of.

Do you like free stuff too? You can do the same thing! On Facebook, you find opportunities by going to the sweepstakes app where you can search for contests based on all sorts of criteria. Some have restrictions based on state or age, so  pay attention to that. On Twitter, you can seek out contests by searching certain hashtags like #contest or #giveaway or the phrase “RT to win”. The problem with Twitter contests, however, is that you can piss off your followers and look really spammy if you RT too many promos. I tend to only enter one if it comes up on my feed and is from a reputable company.

As you can see, most of my prizes are fairly small. That’s because far fewer people enter giveaways for smaller prizes – it’s all a game of stats. Another tip is to enter local contests rather than national ones, again the pool of entrants is usually much smaller making it more likely for me to win! If I measured my ROI on contests, I think I’d come up on top.

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