Lessons from “Cheese Plate” Sweepstakes – Week 1

Last week we talked about our upcoming giveaway tactic for our Cheese Companions.
Well, here are the preliminary results:

  • Monday March 13: I had made a list of cheese bloggers with large social media following. I reached out to them, asking if they would share our giveaway or talk about it on their blog. I have to say that even though I am routinely interacting with them on social media, I only heard back from a few of them. They did accept to share it (nice!) but not to talk about it on their blog (“off-topic” they said).
  • Friday March 17: I spent most of the day building our sweepstakes on the ViralSweep software template. I cannot talk about other companies who offer such products, but I was very impressed. Their platform is solid, and it seems they really thought of everything, linking entries to your email service provider, helping you with your privacy policy page, even creating an official rules page for your sweepstakes. Moreover, the co-founder Giancarlo Massaro was on live chat with me all day to answer my questions. As I explained in my article last week (4 Tactics We Put in Place to Grow our Online Presence) I strongly believe that a sweepstakes with partners who have more social media followers than you, and where contestants are encouraging to share for additional entries, is a great way to increase awareness and reach for your small business.
    One recommendation: make sure you have your images ready in the various formats for Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest before you start. You’ll need them along the way, and needing to create them as you go will slow you down.
  • Saturday March 18: Tada! Launch time. I did not have time to finish the Facebook ad I was working on, so I simply posted on Facebook and boosted the post for $5, to people who I know love cheese (more on targeting audiences on Facebook later). I also posted on Pinterest and on Instagram (with hashtags of all our partners).
  • Sunday March 19 AM: Oh boy. Despite the impressive gift and photography (all my partners commented positively), after 24 hours, 120 people saw our Facebook post and we have 3 entries to our “$250 Cheese Plate” giveaway. (See I promised you that we would also share the things which are not going so well!) (Update: As per April 9, we have 5,300 entries.)

We are not worried… not yet… Our partners have not reached out to their followers yet, and we want to do a few different Facebook ads in the next few days, comparing different headlines. We think that it is possible people were afraid of receiving $250 of cheese, and we want to explain better that it is not the case, that cheeses are only a part of the giveaway. Stay tuned for our next update.

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