How to Make Your Hotel’s Social Media Giveaway a Success

Social media is a critical part of the marketing mix for independent properties and drives internet word of mouth. Succeeding on social media enables you to raise brand awareness and move potential guests along the marketing funnel. 

One of the ways hotels—and other businesses—increase awareness on social media is through giveaways. Everyone loves free stuff, especially if what they have to do for a chance to win isn’t particularly complicated. Here’s how to create giveaways that resonate with your audience and make them hit that share button. 

Set Goals

Know what you want to achieve with your giveaway before you start. Giveaways can assist you with a variety of objectives, including:

  • Increasing user-generated content
  • Obtaining contact information for email lists and other marketing materials
  • Boosting your follower count and social media audience

Social media algorithms assess engagement for previous posts to decide what content appears in user feeds. A successful giveaway has a ripple effect beyond that one post.

Be Clear and Uncomplicated

Creativity is important for social media, but it still takes the backseat to clarity. Succinctly let people know what you’re offering. 

Don’t be afraid to use the word “giveaway” to separate it from discounts and other promotions. 

This word can go either in the text or in the graphic/image to make it even more obvious. Choose a simple, easy-to-read font. This is not the place for Papyrus or Jokerman (yes, there really is a font called Jokerman). 

In the body of your post, keep your sentences simple and paragraphs short. Be aware that text can get cut off, and the viewer has to click the “more” button to see the rest. The most important information should go first. 

Include a Call-to-Action

What do you want guests to do after seeing your post? Tell them in so many words. Your giveaway does you no good if viewers think “hey that looks cool” and scroll right past because they’re not sure what the next step is, whether that’s tagging someone, following your page, and/or an additional action. The action you request should be simple. If it requires too much effort, viewers ignore it or quit halfway.

A clear deadline adds urgency to this call and makes it more likely that viewers complete the action. Use ALL CAPS here to make that deadline stand out as they’re skimming your post. 

Use Your Unique Selling Proposition

Your unique selling proposition should appear across your marketing materials, and your social media giveaway is no exception. What do you have that your competitors do not? 

Know who your current audience is (both on and off social media) and tailor your giveaway specifically to them. Don’t waste time trying to capture guests who aren’t interested; go after the ones who are already a fit. 

Partnering with other local businesses works well for providing something unique to your target market. By leveraging your combined strengths and offerings, you can come up with an especially appealing prize that your competitors can’t match. 

Choose the Right Format

Thinking outside the box applies to the format of your social media giveaway as well. What ideas can you come up with that haven’t been done before? Be aware that you still need to take into account the strengths and weaknesses of each channel when designing your giveaway.

You still have many flexible options though, including photo/video contests, trivia contests, written contests, meme contests… If it’s a type of contest, it can most likely work on social media—and is a great way to obtain user-generated content. 

Alternatively, you can simply have entrants like, share, or tag someone in a post. This is quicker for them and also takes less time for your staff because they don’t have to judge. The downside is that it’s less creative. 

Reward Loyalty

You can tie giveaways (both on social media and off) into your loyalty program. What actions are you willing to award loyalty points for? 

These don’t have to be big actions or big giveaways. For instance, you could offer a free drink in exchange for sharing a selfie at your hotel, contributing to your user-generated content. These low effort, smaller reward exchanges work well because they satisfy the guest’s desire for instant gratification. 

Think Through Logistics

Figure out the organizational details of your giveaway. What dates does the giveaway run? Who is eligible to participate?

You also have to pay attention to the rules of each platform. For instance, Instagram requires a disclaimer stating that they are not involved in the giveaway. 

Analysis is part of these logistics too. How will you measure the increase in engagement or return on investment? Ideally, your property management system (PMS) should help with this. For example, WebRezPro uses market and source codes to track where bookings originate. If you had additional Facebook bookings after a giveaway on that channel, it would indicate that the giveaway had generated the awareness it was supposed to. 

Finally, don’t forget to proclaim the winner and let them know how to collect their reward! 

Use these tips to get that giveaway going and put your brand front and center on social media. You have something valuable to offer, so show your audience just that!