How to Increase Engagement For Your Social Media Sweepstakes

Running a sweepstake on social media is a great way to grab the attention of new customers, spread your message and generate more sales.

But only if you do it right.

You can spend hours coming up with an irresistible prize, create a ton of different social media updates, then click the metaphorical “launch” button and get… crickets.

Even if you’re giving away the best prize in the world, you need to generate a sense of excitement and engagement around your sweepstake to get the ball rolling on entries. 

And it’s possible to generate a lot of engagement – just take a look at this stat from Instagram: 


So, how can you create contests that boast posts with 1,000+ comments?

The key is to generate engagement before, during, and after a user has entered the sweepstake, and user generated content (UGC) is a great way to do this

In fact, sweepstakes that incorporate UGC generate higher levels of engagement than standard campaigns, which means users are more likely to get involved and share it with their own followers.


Here are a few ideas to inspire your next social media sweepstakes with some fictional examples that visualize different ways you can generate engagement. 

1. Integrate a Launch Countdown Timer

There’s nothing that spurs action quite like a countdown timer

As humans we hate feeling like we’re running out of time, which means people are far more likely to do something when they can actively see a ticking clock. 

It basically makes us kick into panic mode. Harness this psychological phenomenon to get people engaged and talking about your sweepstake. 

This is particularly great if you’re running your sweepstake in tandem with a launch or a big announcement. 

Alongside your countdown, you can showcase your very best community content to advertise upcoming launch or event. 

The marriage of UGC and a countdown timer works to make users feel like they might be missing out on something major if they don’t get involved right now. 

2. Incorporate Social Galleries

Your sweepstake entry page shouldn’t just be a form fill. 

Think about it: 

It’s highly likely that people will find out about your contest through their social media channels, and you don’t want that social element to disappear as soon as they land on the entry page. 

Instead, source some of the best, authentic UGC from your own social channels to display on the entry page or as part of your sweepstake marketing collateral.

Maybe you have a slider featuring four or five pieces of UGC on an Instagram post promoting it, or maybe you populate your entry page with awesome content that has been created by other potential participants.

There’s nothing quite like turning up the social charm to make users feel like they’re involved in something. 

You can use content sent to a specific hashtag to populate your landing page for the contest. This creates a solid sense of community around the sweepstake and encourages people to want to be a part of it. 

3. Collaborate With Influencers

Influencers are the new wave of celebrities

They are social media savvy and have spent time carving an audience that’s highly-engaged and hangs on every word they say – imagine how powerful this can be for promoting sweepstakes, social contests, and any other campaign you have on the horizon.

There has been a vertical hike in the amount of brands tapping into influencer marketing over the past few years, with some spending millions of dollars getting well-known social media stars to promote their stuff.

But you don’t have to spend all your marketing budget getting other people to share your stuff. 

In fact, micro-influencers (essentially influencers in an industry that have a modest following – usually between 1,000 and 10,000) are even more coveted than those with a mega following.

Yes, they have smaller audiences than mega-stars like Kim Kardashian, but the audience they do have is super engaged and tends to be highly niche – perfect if you’re promoting a sweepstake in a specific and fairly narrow industry. 

With TINT’s new Experiences feature, you can quickly and easily collect high-quality content made by influencers that’s not public on their social channels to use as part of the promotional activity for your sweepstake. 

Through this dedicated portal, both macro and micro influencers have their very own page to upload content to which will drive a more personal experience overall. 

You can invite influencers and social media users to upload photos of something relevant to your contest and display those images in a gallery format on your sweepstake landing page. 

4. Create Landing Pages

Talking about landing pages…

Having a dedicated space to share information about your sweepstake and showcase previous entries makes it far easier for users to share it with their friends and followers

Creating an interactive page that’s packed full of engaging elements will entice entrants stick around longer and want to get in on the action. 

These pages can include things like UGC social galleries overflowing with high-quality community content and even shoppable UGC galleries if you want to drive conversions and sales at the same time.

You might populate your landing page with UGC that links out to specific products and articles. This will continue to engage users after they’ve entered the sweepstake (remember, the engagement shouldn’t stop as soon as a user has handed over their details). 

Sweepstakes are the third biggest reason consumers follow a brand on social media. Source.

5. Get Creative

Social sweepstakes tend to take the same format. 

You share an image or an idea along with your email address and other relevant contact information and then wait to see if you’re named a winner.

While this tried-and-tested method is perfectly good enough (otherwise why else would it still be used by brands?), there are better ways to generate engagement around a sweepstake.

In fact, deviating even slightly from the traditional format can get people talking, so don’t be afraid of getting creative with your ideas and thinking outside of the box. 

You can create exciting hashtag battles like the example below to get people fired up and wanting to enter – because everyone likes to air their opinions, right? 

This idea basically involves pitting two hashtags against each other on the same page where visitors can watch in real-time to see who wins. 

6. Live Counters

Imagine you’ve just clicked on a link to enter a sweepstake.

You’ve been directed a page where a ticker is going up and up by the second, showing the amount of people who have entered.

Just like a countdown timer instills a sense of urgency in consumers, incorporating a live counter sparks FOMO (the fear of missing out). If so many people are entering the sweepstake, it must be good, right? 

And so we want in on that action.

The great thing about live counters is they make a sweepstake entry page feel less static and more social because things are happening in real-time. 

Putting a live counter alongside UGC galleries with real-time metrics (including share count, number of comments, and the amount of likes), you’re creating an ecosystem of activity that’s going to make people want to get involved. 

Start Creating Successful Sweepstakes

Without engagement, sweepstakes can get stale pretty quickly. 

They aren’t just an opportunity to get user email addresses, they also provide the perfect chance to get people talking about your brand and create a sense of community around your campaign.

Generating engagement isn’t easy, though, especially if you’re a little-known brand with a small following. The key is to tap into the power of your audience and get them involved in your sweepstake in as many ways as they can. 

UGC is the perfect way to add a social, community-driven element to your sweepstake. Once people start seeing entries from others, they’re going to feel the urge to get involved too. 

By using the tips we’ve mentioned here, you can create an ecosystem of activity around your contest that, firstly, encourages people to enter and, secondly, gets them excited enough to start engaging with your brand. 

Find out more about creating experiences around your sweepstakes here