Social Secrets

How To: 6 Tips For Executing a Valuable Giveaway

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One way to organically raise brand awareness, increase engagement rate, follower growth, and overall brand likability on your social channels is through a collaborated giveaway!

There's an art to executing a giveaway, doing it well, and getting the maximum return on your efforts. If you've ever coordinated one yourself, especially with one or a few other brands, you know it's a process that can even take months to complete from start to finish.

You must find the right brands to partner with, pitch your unique giveaway angle to the correct contact, and produce strong social imagery and copy writing that all brands involved approve of.

It's a lot to keep track of as a full-time Social Media Manager especially if you're also juggling your monthly content calendar, influencer outreach, community management, and everything in between. Having gone through this process quite a few times, I wanted to give you an inside scoop into how to do it well and keep everything organized.

Here are my "Top 6" tips on executing an amazing and valuable giveaway for your brand!

1. Create a fun & creative theme

Surround your giveaway efforts around a specific theme! This will give you clear direction on the products and brands you want to include. For example, on Valentine's Day, we ran a giveaway themed around "Loving Yourself," including all the best self-pampering essentials and joining forces with brands such as Herbivore Botanicals, Slip Silk Pillowcases, and Venus et Fleur. 

Think of relative social holidays, product launches, and seasonal themes to help you get started. For example, if I were running a giveaway for the First Day of Summer coming up on June 21st, I'd reach out to swimwear, beach umbrella, sunglass, or beauty brands that focus on sun-care and summer essentials. Having a cohesive theme shows your audience that you're in tune with what their interests, desires, and favorite brands are.

2. Choose giveaway partners that make sense for your brand

Choose brands that are aligned with your brand's vision and values, have a similar follower count (or more), and products within your same price point that will photograph nicely together. A co-branded giveaway is a fun way to marry brands together, build business, boost awareness, and break into new markets — if, and only if, the partnership makes sense and is a win-win for all brands involved.

It may sound obvious, but if you're a cruelty-free, natural beauty brand then don't partner with another brand that sells toxic make-up or uses unethical practices. Remember to choose partnerships wisely and strategically.

3. Make an excel sheet to stay organized

Once you've compiled a list of brands to reach out to create an Excel spreadsheet to keep everything organized.

The sheet should include the brand name, Instagram handle, number of followers, email contact, a note about the brand, and their response. You can see an example below:

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This will help you stay organized and on top of the brands you've reached out to, especially if you're pitching 10 brands or more at a time.

4. Delegate who's in charge

If you're hosting the giveaway and reached out to the brands, decide who will be in charge of imagery and make sure you're on the same page. Send photography inspiration and direction if you aren't taking the images yourself and don't be afraid to vocalize if you aren't 100% in love with the image they provide. You'll find that some brands will take the initiative — but a general rule of thumb is if you reached out, it's your responsibility to coordinate between brands, execute photography, copywriting, picking the winner, and sending the product.

There have been times where brands reached out to my specific clients for giveaways and somehow I ended up taking the imagery, writing the copy, and having to ship the product, while coordinating back and forth with all the other brands involved...

It's very unlikely that I'd say yes to doing a giveaway with that team again.

5. Execute high-quality imagery and copy for social

Once you decide who's in charge, make sure you execute high-quality imagery and copywriting for social! Make the image beautiful, showing off all the product clearly so your followers know what will be included. Keep it simple, using minimal props, and take the image in bright natural light. 

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You also want to include all the giveaway details and rules of entry into the caption.

Here's an example below:

"Celebrate the First Day of Summer and start off the sunny, new season by entering to win our Summer Essentials Giveaway! We’ve teamed up with @lspaceswim, @coola, + @lackofcoloraus to give one lucky winner an amazing bundle of all the essentials you need to look and feel your best this summer. To enter to win: 
1. You must FOLLOW @yourbrand, @lspaceswim, @coola, + @lackofcoloraus (we'll be checking!) 2. TAG a friend you'd like to spend your summer with in the comments below (multiple entries accepted) 
3. BONUS ENTRY: Share this photo on IG Stories and (tag @yourbrand) Giveaway ends Monday 6/25. Winner will be announced by 4pm PST. Good luck!"

6. Ship the product nicely + thank all the brands involved

Pick the giveaway winner and make sure to check they are following all the brands involved! Ship the product in a nice box and leave a personalized note — remember you are establishing a relationship with a new customer and want them to become a loyal brand fan for potential future purchases.

Lastly, send a thank you email to all the brands involved for their participation in your giveaway and let them know you look forward to working with them again in the future. 

I hope this blog post was helpful for you and again, if you have any specific questions for me at all, feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

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How To: 5 Tips For Curating a Cohesive Instagram Feed

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Welcome to the Soleil Social Blog! I'm so excited to dive into all things social media, fashion, beauty, and travel with all of you and thought what better way to kick off the blog than to cover one of the most asked social media questions I receive from clients & friends... “How the hell do I curate a cohesive Instagram feed?!”

From past experience with clients, I know a lot of people think that creating a cohesive feed is as simple as editing all of your photos with the same exact filter. If only it could be that simple, right?! The truth is there are many different elements that factor into curating a cohesive social media feed for your business or personal brand. 

First of all, I want to reiterate the importance of having a curated and clear brand aesthetic on social media for businesses in general. It may sound silly but your social channels are a direct reflection of your business and it’s SO important to prioritize this if you want to see any growth or engagement.

Ask yourself these questions...

"Is your Instagram feed looking chaotic with no clear direction or color scheme?"

"Are your posts unorganized and inconsistent?"

If the answer is yes, trust me, your customers will notice and probably choose a similar brand that represents themselves better on their social channels. 

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Whether you’re a brand, business, or someone who just wants their personal Instagram to look more polished and put together, here are my "Top 5" tips on how to curate a more cohesive and beautiful Instagram feed!

1. Choose your environment wisely. 

Like I said above, having a cohesive feed isn't all about editing your images the same exact way. The image you start with matters tremendously so it's important to consistently take images in similar light settings and within your preferred color scheme. For example, if your particular style or branding focuses on a more light & airy pastel color scheme, make sure you're not taking images of vibrant, contrasty focal points, with harsh shadows and dark backgrounds. There will either be no amount of editing that can change this or it'll just waste you a lot of time having to drastically tweak the image.

The goal is to have a clear vision for your desired look and to keep that in mind when capturing content for your social channels.

2. Have a clear vision and make a visual mood board for your desired vibe and color scheme.

It's important to strategize and really think about the look and feel of your brand's overall color scheme and visual aesthetic. Base the content you post on you or your customer's lifestyle and interests. Once you nail down your content pillars, create a mood board that includes your desired color palette, textures, and lifestyle imagery. This will help you visualize your social media branding as a whole! There's so many ways to have fun with it whether you create your mood board from magazine cutouts and paper, digitally on any of the Google apps online, or even by making a Pinterest board!

Another tip for businesses is to create a specific color scheme based on what already looks good with your current packaging, website, or logo and make sure your social channels reflect that!

3. Edit your images with the same filter and temperature. 

Next tip is all about editing! It's so important to set a consistent mood with the editing style of your photos and to remember every photo is a direct reflection of your personality or brand. Choose a filter you love on whatever photo editing app you're using and stick with it!

My favorite iPhone photo editing apps are VSCO, Snapseed, and Afterlight. (Stay tuned for an in-depth blog post on each and how I edit my own photos using them!) 

Temperature and color balance are especially important because this controls whether your feed will have more cool tones or warm tones. If you're going back and forth between those two temperatures, you're setting yourself up for Instagram feed chaos.

4. Plan out your grids as far in advance as you can.

Planning your content is KEY to ensuring your feed will look cohesive and organized. Many businesses fall prey to the "day of" posting habit because they simply don't have the time to curate their content in advance. Unfortunately, if you don't set aside time to do this, more often than not your feed will not look cohesive. This has a lot to do with the last-minute scrambling that takes place when you need something to post within the next few hours and you grab the first photo you see that makes sense. Even if you can organize your content at least a week in advance you're one step closer to curating a beautifully cohesive feed!

Brands I've worked with in the past that have seen the MOST success and follower growth on their channels had their content calendars scheduled out as far as one whole month in advance! Trust me, with a little organization and time, it's totally possible and seriously makes your life so much easier! If you're a frustrated business owner who constantly finds yourself putting your social media efforts on the back burner month after month, it may be time to pass along your channels to a Social Media Manager. You can inquire about our services & contact us HERE!

5. Have fun with it and don’t get frustrated if it doesn’t look perfect right away!

Last but not least, always remember that anything worth your time doesn't happen overnight. I've had people come and tell me they hadn't posted in weeks simply because they were frustrated that their feed didn't look "perfect." First of all there's no such thing as perfect (something I constantly have to tell myself every day) and figuring out your specific style definitely takes time. Just continue to create and post the content you know brings value to your followers and have fun with it! Social media is such a unique way to connect with your audience on a personal level and at the end of the day this is what matters most.

I'd love to hear some of your common frustrations when it comes to curating a cohesive feed in the comments section below! Ask me any questions you might have and I'll answer them!

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