running a giveaway

The ultimate guide to running a giveaway

GIVEAWAYS ~ The Ins and Outs and In-betweens!!

So, you’ve decided to host a giveaway for your business on social media, but your palms are sweating and your heart is racing at the mere thought of getting started!!! Fear not fellow hustlers, it’s going to be OK, I promise!!

As business owners, the word ‘GIVEAWAY’ tends to not only excite us, but it can also terrify us. There are lots of things to consider… How will I host my giveaway?  Where will I host it? Why should I host it? How do I ensure it’s legal? And where on earth do I begin??!!

If panic has well and truly set in for you, please know that when executed properly, and legally, hosting a giveaway will be awesome for you and your business. And they’re fun, too!
Where to do I begin?

I strongly suggest you start with your WHY.

WHY are you hosting your giveaway?
Would you like more ‘likes’ or ‘follows’ on your social media platforms?
Would you like to increase brand awareness?

Would you like more clicks to your website?

Would you like to build a strong email base?

Would you like to reward your current fans?

Would you like to help other businesses grow?

Once you know your ‘why’, you can tailor your giveaway towards achieving your goal.

Where to host your giveaway

There are a number of ‘places’ (virtually or otherwise) where you can host a giveaway, but some giveaways are more suited to your ‘why’ in comparison to others.

Social media platforms
Giveaways hosted directly from your social media platforms (including your blog), place your fans right at your page/account or website. This will help get more eyes on your actual product/service and more clicks to your website.

Hosting directly from your page/account/blog also allows you to interact and engage with your audience on a more personal level.

In addition, you are also able to collaborate with other businesses when hosting directly from your social media platforms.


Third Party Apps
Third party apps, for example Gleam and Rafflecopter, are a great way to collect data from your entrants. Through these apps, you are able to build your email base or have entrants sign up to your newsletter*.
You can also collaborate with other businesses through third party apps.

Recently, rules changed within these apps. You are no longer allowed to have entrants ‘like’ your page to make their entry valid via a third party app. Entrants can still ‘like’ your page through the app, but it is no longer a requirement of entry. This is to encourage more genuine likers – entrants ‘wanting’ to like your page as opposed to entrants ‘having’ to like your page as a condition of entry.

*You can use free versions of these apps, but just double check what is actually included in these versions. Data collection, e.g. email subscriptions may only be available through the paid versions of these apps.

In Real Life

Believe it or not, people can still hold giveaways in real life!! You can host giveaways in bricks and mortar stores, at markets, or even at events/fundraisers. It’s a great way to actually chat with humans and make real connections. People can see and touch your product and learn more about your services directly from you. It’s a great way to engage your audience and help them put a face to the name and business.

Hosting a LEGAL giveaway


Once you have chosen ‘where’ to host your giveaway, the next (and MOST important) thing to ensure is that your giveaway is hosted LEGALLY!!  In order to host a legal giveaway, there are a number of things you need to consider.

Facebook giveaways

If you plan on hosting your giveaway on your Facebook business page, you must follow Facebook guidelines (in particular, Section III E)

(Image via Facebook)

This infographic from Shortstack helps explain what you CAN and CAN’T do when hosting giveaways on Facebook.

(Image via Shortstack. Click here to read full article)
Please note: The content with the * in the CAN’T section of the infographic is NOT Facebook illegal, it is just hard to monitor.  (To make this more manageable, you can ask your winner to take a screen shot of them having ‘liked’ your page/account).


Although you may have seen many, many businesses, (big and small), asking their entrants to ‘share’ and ‘tag’ as a condition of entry to their giveaway, it IS against Facebook guidelines and you run the risk of having your page shut down.

Instagram Giveaways

If you plan on hosting your giveaway via your Instagram account, you must follow Instagram guidelines:

(Image via Instagram)

As mentioned in both sets of guidelines, you MUST ensure you state that your giveaway in no way sponsored, endorsed or associated with Facebook/Instagram.

Here is a disclaimer you can use:

“This giveaway is being run by {insert your business name here}. The promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook/Instagram {choose one}. You are providing information to {insert your business name here}”.

You will also need to ensure a list of Terms & Conditions of your giveaway is easily accessible for your entrants.

Click here to read an example of the Terms & Conditions I have used for one of my giveaways.

Once a winner has been announced and contacted, they should not be asked to make any payment towards their prize. For example, if the entrant wins one of your products and it needs to be posted to them, the postage costs should be included as part of the prize.

Australian Gaming Laws

In addition to following Facebook and Instagram guidelines, you MUST adhere to gaming laws within Australia.

Each state/territory has its own gaming laws. If your giveaway is open to all states/territories within Australia, you must follow ALL of the gaming laws for those states/territories. Some states/territories require permits to host giveaways.

This awesome article by Michael Simonetti on AndMine, is a MUST READ before you host your giveaway.  It includes helpful information about:
–  Trade Promotions (competitions aimed at promoting brands or businesses)

– Games of Chance

– Games of Skill
– Permits required in Australia to host Trade Promotions

Games of Chance

Games of chance require a winner to be chosen at random from a number of entries. If you choose to host a game of chance, please ensure you have acquired all the necessary permits. Hosting a game of chance without the required permit is illegal is some states.

Games of chance include those Loop Giveaways on Instagram whereby the winner is chosen at random!!! (You will require a permit in some states/territories to run these giveaways legally).

Games of Skill


To avoid the need for permits, try hosting a game of skill. ‘Skills based’ giveaways require an entrant to answer a question or submit something – they require an entrant to show a ‘skill’ in order to enter.

Ideas for Skills Based Giveaways

Games of skill, or skills based giveaways, are a great way to interact and connect with your audience.
Here are my recommendations when planning a skills based giveaway:

  1. 1. Offer a prize your entrants WANT to win!
    (Offer your product to your target audience, offer a voucher to spend in your store, offer a service you know your target audience will love, etc. Offering a prize that does not relate to you or your product/service may not engage your audience).
  1. 2. Ensure the question or skill you require from your entrants is not too laborious or time consuming (when people enter a giveaway, they don’t want to have to spend an hour trying to write an answer or find something to submit)
  1. 3. Ensure you have a set of criteria in your T&Cs so your entrants know HOW the winner will be chosen (you might choose your favourite answer, the one you deem to be the funniest answer, the most creative answer, etc.)
  2. 4. Try to connect with your audience

(Questions that connect to emotions, encourage ownership or relate to sentimental experiences, often generate the most entries)

Here is a list of questions/skills you could use for your skills based giveaway:

– What would you name our new line of headbands?

(Headband business)

– What name would you give this little giraffe?

(Soft toy business)

– What is your favourite colour and why?
(New fabric/embellishment/craft business)

– What’s your dream family road trip?
 (A car business offering a fuel card as a prize)

– How many buttons are in this jar?
(You will need to stipulate that the 1st person to answer correctly is the winner. You may also like to give a number range, e.g. 100 – 200 buttons)

– Post a photo of your little girl in one of our dresses. The photo with the most likes wins.
(Children’s clothing business)

– Post a photo of your favourite ring. Why is it so special to you?
(Jewellery business)

– Post a selfie. Which facial feature do you love the most?
(Make up, skincare business)

– What is your favourite childhood toy and why?
(Children’s toy business)

– If you could pamper your mum for the day, what is the first thing you would do?
(Spa/retreat business)

– If you could have a cleaner for the day, what would be their first job?
(Cleaning service business)

NB: Try to relate your questions to the prize you are offering. If you design name art, and you’re offering a custom artwork or a voucher for your artwork, your question might be, ‘Why did you choose your child’s name?’ Or, ‘What name did you give your child, and why?’

Capturing your audience with a giveaway image

When promoting your giveaway, you’ll want an image that captures the attention of your audience and makes them WANT to enter!!

There are a few things to consider when designing your giveaway image –  your graphic is a snapshot of your giveaway so you want it to be informative, enticing and engaging/eye-cathing.
– the prize on offer is the focus point and is easy to see

– your logo/brand name is clear and obvious

– instructions on how to enter are precise

– your artwork is appealing and not too busy

Here is an example of one of my latest giveaway images (upon reflection, I probably should have made my logo/branding more obvious).

(Image via little wuppy)


Collaborating with other businesses to host a giveaway is a super fun way to connect to new audiences and increase brand awareness. It’s also a wonderful way to support each other!

Many of the giveaways I have hosted have been in collaboration with other businesses.

Here are some ideas for collaborative giveaways:

– each business donates a monetary value, e.g. $30, that goes towards a voucher. So, if 10 businesses participate, the total voucher is $300. The winner is then able to spend the $300 at ANY of the 10 businesses participating.

– each business donates a prize, e.g. one of their products/services. If 10 businesses participate, then the winner receives a prize pack of 10 products/services.

–  each businesses donates a prize, e.g. 10 businesses, 10 prizes, then you could have 10 separate winners.

I have hosted all of the above forms of giveaways in skills based versions. Although there is a little bit to organise logistically, they have been successful and enjoyable for all involved.

NB: If wanting to host a collaborative giveaway, I suggest one business becomes the host, and the other businesses support that business by sharing and encouraging people to enter the giveaway. With skills based giveaways in particular, you’ll want ONE central place where entrants add their entries. It’s much easier to monitor, and much fairer to entrants, if all the entries are in one central place. Setting up a Facebook group for the participating businesses, is a great way of keeping track of things, making sure businesses are being accountable and managing the logistical side of things.

Here is an example of artwork for a collaborative giveaway

Image via Letter It (Name Decorative Art)

A few tips and tricks

During my 5 years of researching and hosting giveaways, I have learnt a few tips and tricks that I’d love to share with you:

– Giveaways that are hosted for a shorter period of time seem to work the best. I suggest no longer than a 7 day period. People tend to lose interest after this. And if you’re constantly sharing the giveaway on social media, it can become monotonous and annoying for your fans.

Build suspense in the lead up to your giveaway. You may like to show sneak peeks of a prize, tell your fans something exciting is coming, ask them to note a certain date in their diaries. Do this a couple of days before you launch the giveaway to keep it relevant.

– Know when your audience is most active on social media. Take advantage of your most active time on social media to launch your giveaway. You want maximum exposure!! And if you have awesome friends, they may like to promote the giveaway on their social media platforms for you too.

– Take time to plan everything about your giveaway… The prize, the T&Cs, the artwork… Ensure you are super organised before you launch.

– You won’t be able to please everyone. Although the majority of people play nicely during a giveaway, you may have a couple of people who don’t agree with things. To ensure things run smoothly, I can’t stress how important it is to have a clear set of T&Cs for your giveaway!!!

– If you collaborate with other businesses, you may like to have a common theme for the giveaway. It could be all handmade items, all items that encourage imaginative play, all monochrome items, all ‘beach themed’ items, all decor items, etc.

– If you are participating in a ‘Game of chance’ giveaway, (and not as the host), you may like to ask the host if they have the necessary permits required to host the giveaway. (As confronting as it may be to ask, I always like to check as I don’t want to put my own business at risk by participating in an illegally run giveaway).

Your checklist

Hosting a giveaway is lots of fun – you get to connect to your target audience, engage new fans and offer a prize to someone!!!

Here is a checklist for planning and hosting a successful and enjoyable giveaway:

  1. 1. Know your WHY for your giveaway
  2. 2. Know WHAT you want to offer as a prize (including postage and handling)
  3. 3. KNOW your audience
  4. 4. Decide WHERE you will host your giveaway (e.g. on a social media platform, via a third party app or in real life)
  5. 5. Decide HOW you want to host your giveaway (e.g. game of chance or game of skill)
  6. 6. Check ALL guidelines for legal hosting of your giveaway (e.g. each social media platform and Australian gaming laws)
  7. 7. Have a set of CLEAR and EASILY accessible Terms & Conditions
  8. 8. Have an awesome GRAPHIC for your giveaway
  9. 9. If you are collaborating for your giveaway, ensure ALL businesses are on the same page as you – working together as a TEAM will make your giveaway more successful
  10. 10. Have FUN! Be PASSIONATE! And ENJOY

Please know, I am NO expert! I am just a business owner who, over 5 years, has done her own research, participated in, and hosted a few successful giveaways and has collected lots of information along the way.

The information in this article is written as my own opinion and findings. I strongly recommend doing your own research too, and asking as many questions as you can.

I love helping people and suggesting ideas, so if you have ANY questions or you’d like to chat some more, please don't hesitate!!!

Linda x

About the Author

Linda is the owner + designer of little wuppy®.
A little wuppy® is a sausge dog worry puppy designed as an aid to help ease children’s worries and to help comfort them. The little wuppy® has been well received by children who are worriers or suffer from different forms of anxiety, children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder, and those children with sensory processing issues. The little wuppy® has also helped children who need a little companion or something to comfort them.

The little wuppy® holds a Made in Australia licence and is designed and manufactured with children’s best interests at the forefront. The ink used to print the little wuppy® is non toxic and the fill used within the little wuppy® is hypoallergenic.

Linda lives in Melbourne with her husband and two dogs.

She was a former primary school teacher before severe anxiety and panic attacks forced her to resign.
She is an artist who is obsessed with sausage dogs.
And she is passionate about helping children manage their own anxieties.

Linda is working hard at trying to break the stigma surrounding mental health issues, especially in regards to children.

To learn more about Linda and little wuppy® you can visit the website, or follow little wuppy® on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

(Image via little wuppy®)

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About Tracy

As the founder and CEO of Mums With Hustle, I have the best day job in the world: teaching entrepreneurs how to grow their beautiful businesses online. When I started the business, that was everything I wanted, but since then, it has grown into something much bigger. Now, I get my joy from helping women find their zones of genius within a community that truly celebrates their success. I truly believe that when women choose to band together, we can do anything - and if you feel the same, there’s a place in the MWH community for you.

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