Why would anyone in their right mind give away free tickets for their event?
Social media is becoming an increasingly competitive space. While you have to compete with other events on people’s newsfeeds, the organic reach of your posts is also declining.
So how can your event reach the top of the newsfeed?
One option is to invest in paid social media ads, and we definitely recommend you do that. But there’s an even better (and often cheaper) way to get noticed: ticket giveaway contests.
People will be more than happy to tap that “Like,” “Comment,” or “Share” button the moment you offer the opportunity to win something of value.
Once your engagement rate goes up, so does your post visibility. Which, in turn, increases your engagement rate, which snowballs and…you get the idea.
In short, ticket giveaways work. That’s why everyone is doing them. In this article, we’re going to look at how you can get in on the action.
What to think about before your ticket giveaway contest
There are a few points to consider before we get into the social media giveaway ideas and creative social media contests.
1. What is the goal of the giveaway?
You should have a clear goal in mind before setting up a giveaway. Do you want more email subscribers? Are you trying to sell tickets? Or do you want your content shared far and wide?
Tip: Read this guide on how to set goals for your social media giveaways.
2. What type of giveaway works best?
Sweepstakes are easy to enter and the winner is selected at random. Contests require entrants to take specific actions (e.g. “take the best selfie”) and the winner is selected based on that action.
Tip: This guide details all the different components that make a giveaway successful.
3. What are the rules and regulations?
Tip: Read more about the different rules that apply to contests and sweepstakes.
4. When should you run the giveaway?
Timing is everything when it comes to giveaways. Leave yourself enough time to send the tickets out before the event starts. Make sure to collect the winner’s contact details.
5. How will you promote the giveaway?
The ticket giveaway should be part of your larger event marketing strategy. Mention it in your email newsletters, social media live streams, and anywhere else that can create a buzz around it.
Tip: Here are some ways to promote your giveaway on Instagram (can also be used for other platforms).
6. Can you handle the entries?
Finally, it’s important that you’re prepared for a huge spike in engagement. You’ll get a lot of comments and questions. Someone needs to respond to all of them in a timely manner.
The 13 best event ticket giveaway ideas
Once you’ve done some preliminary research and decided on your approach, it’s time to put together the ticket giveaway. Let’s have a look at some of the best (and simplest) event ticket giveaway ideas.
1. Like to win
This giveaway method will work for sweepstakes and is by far the easiest one for your audience to participate in. All they have to do is like your post and then you pick a winner at random.
2. Comment to win
Another simple giveaway concept is asking people to comment on your post. You can either ask them to comment with a specific word or something more creative.
3. Share to win
Although this contest format has been banned by Facebook, you could use other platforms for this giveaway type. Simply ask people to share (or retweet) your post for a chance to win.
4. Tag a friend to win
Similar to the share to win giveaway, this is no longer an option on Facebook. It is for Instagram and other platforms, however. And it’s a good way to widen your reach even further.
Example: See how X-Ring used the tag a friend method to boost their engagement.
5. Like and comment to win
If you’re feeling greedy, you can ask people to both like and comment in order to be eligible. That will double your engagement rate, so it’s a good way to increase your reach.
Example: See how Cosabella asked people to like, follow, and comment in order to participate in their giveaway.
6. Caption contest
Caption contests are a good way to engage with your audience. It also saves you writing the copy. Post a photo and ask people to submit their suggestions for a caption in the comments.
Example: Sudbury Wolves Hockey Club ran a successful caption contest giveaway.
7. Fill-in-the-blank contest
Similar to the caption contest above, except that you’ve already written the caption with just one word missing. Ask people to submit their best guess or creative suggestions in the comments.
8. Photo contest
Photo contests demand a bit more engagement from your audience but can be very rewarding. Ask them to submit their best photo (via DM or on your wall) and then pick the winner.
9. Video contest
Similar to photo contests, but with video (duh!). Video contests can also be a great way to build a showreel with different people shouting out your event in their fan videos.
Example: Upwork promised $1,000 for the best success story shared in the form of a photo, video, or blog post using their hashtag.
10. Quiz contest
Everyone loves a good old quiz, so ask your audience an interesting question and have them submit their answers to win. You can also make it a bit easier with a multiple-choice quiz.
11. Crowdsourcing contest
Crowdsourcing is an amazing tool for any business and also works as a contest. Ask your audience to help you come up with a new event logo or slogan…or anything else you need.
12. Hashtag contest
If you have an event hashtag, you can start a hashtag contest. Have your audience post a status, comment, photo, or video using the hashtag to win.
Example: The Container Store used the #containyourself to generate lots of buzz around their products.
13. Choose your favourite (something) contest
If you’re organising a conference or music festival, you can run a contest where people tell you their favourite speaker or artist that will be at your event.
Bonus tip for Facebook giveaway contests
Before we round off, it’s worth mentioning that Facebook hasn’t taken some of the contest privileges away without offering something in return.
Although you can’t ask people to “Like” your page, share your posts, or tag a friend as an entry requirement, you can use their dedicated Contest App to make a professional giveaway.
Ready to boost your reach?
You now have 13 solid event ticket giveaway ideas and know what you need to think about before you commit to one of them.
Ticket giveaways are a great way to game social media and get more exposure for your event. It can even be cheaper than running paid social media ads.
Let us know what you think in the comments below!