Giveaway and get back: The benefits of Giveaways on Social Media

Apparently it’s the week of the Giveaways on Social Media! Twitter suddenly gave away brand merch to random users, we’ve seen people getting hyped up with ice cream, snacks and T-shirts. We even saw Nike giving away a T-shirt that appeared at the Olympics.

Happy customers. Happy companies! Because giveaways are so powerful. But why? Let’s dive into it!

How do Giveaways on Social Media work?

During Social Media Giveaways, brands generally give away one of their products or services to customers for free. We see giveaways in various forms. Generally, brands hold contests where they ask their followers to share a message or to sign up for something.

Social Media Giveaways can be considered as a cost-efficient and a low-risk, high-reward form of advertising. Giveaway competitions generally start with an organic social media post. Many people engage with this post by liking, sharing and commenting because they want to win a prize. This results in a reach and brand awareness boost, without the brand having to invest in any paid social media ads.

The only things the brand has to pay for, is the product and the delivery costs. As result of the giveaway, one lucky winner will receive a product for free. And that’s where the magic of giveaways happens.

Why are giveaways so powerful?

The impact of giveaways is undeniable. Back in 2013, Unbounce conducted a research on 100 of their clients. With every client, they tried out different variants of giveaways. Their conclusion? Giveaways increase the amount of website conversions.

But why are giveaways so powerful? Let’s take you through the entire giveaway process.

Everybody wants to win

Who doesn’t love winning something for free? So we do our utmost best in order to increase our chances of winning a free prize: We participate in contests, we fill out our information and we share and comment on the brand’s social media posts.

But in this article, I don’t want to focus on the contest itself. I want to focus more on what happens when consumers receive a product for free. This is why:

Consumers feel noticed

So let’s focus on what happens once you win something for free.

If you receive a free product from a company, you feel special. You feel like the company cares about you. It’s always nice if you win something. But winning a product from a big or popular brand feels even better. You will feel seen and heard. The brand that was first perceived as corporate, will suddenly be perceived as a close friend who just gave you a gift.

A brand-customer relationship unfolds

As a result, a relationship between you and the brand unfolds: You’ve had a nice customer experience. As result, you will become loyal to the brand that gave you a product for free. You might even feel urged to do ‘repay’ the brand. That’s the basis of a relationship and that’s how Reciprocity works:

If we get something from a friend, we feel valued and we feel the urge to repay our friend. It feels morally wrong to receive something for free and then not thank your friend (or the brand that you now consider as friend). I’ve written a blog about this weird behaviour. Click here to read about Cialdini’s Rule of Reciprocity (and pizza)

So you become the brand’s loyal friend. Not only do you thank the company for their generous gift, but you’re willing to give them something in return too. You might even become a loyal customer. Or even better: A loyal brand advocator.

User Generated Content

The most loyal customers start creating content for their favourite company, without asking for anything in return. And that’s what brands love: Brand Advocators and User Generated Content (UGC). UGC is authentic, honest and requires little effort from the brand’s side. It means that the brand doesn’t have to create any content: their customers will do the job for them.

And that’s a big plus. As consumers, we trust people more than companies. So that means that we will perceive a product review done by a regular consumer as more honest and authentic than a product review done by a brand.

But what happens when a brand gives a product to a consumer for free? Once someone has received that free product, they will proudly use their product, publish social media posts of them wearing or using the product.

The lucky winners will also thank the brand in their social media post. And quite often, they will also say something nice about the product, such as The ice cream was delicious! I can’t wait to taste these snacks. This T-shirt is so comfy!

Free positive publicity after giving away your product for free. Who doesn’t like that?

Examples of successful brand giveaways

So it’s a win-win for both company and customer. Here are some examples of giveaways that worked out well.

Fast is a financial tech start-up that makes payment checkouts faster. During their launch in 2020, they gave away hoodies to random people. Furthermore, you could buy a $30,- hoodie for just $5,-. The hoodie launch was successful. Lots of people shared pictures of them wearing the hoodie, spreading the Fast brand on Twitter and Instagram. Nowadays, you can shop more Fast-apparel on their online store.


On August 3, Twitter sent free “We’re sorry or you’re welcome”-merch to random Twitter users who interacted with their Tweet. I have written a blog about this giveaway.

The hoodies became an instant hit, as thousands of Twitter users demanded a hoodie. Twitter created massive FOMO, because they said they weren’t going to publicly launch their merch. Because of the high demand, I’m sure that Twitter will launch a merchandise store too — or at least, I hope they will.

But for now, nobody has received their Twitter hoodie yet. But once the lucky ones receive their hoodies, I’m sure they’ll post pictures, tag Twitter in it, and make other people want the hoodie even more.

Sponsoring Twitter Chats

Twitter friends @brianne2k and @RunWanderWonder host weekly Twitter chats where they ask their followers engaging questions. Their Chats have become so popular, that brands started sponsoring them. Brianne’s #PopChat is sponsored by Brave Robot, whereas Johann’s #HypeChat is sponsored by Hella Hype Co. Flipz Snackz has sponsored his Hype Chat too!

Every week, the companies that sponsor the chat give away their one of their products to a random lucky participant. Most of the times, the lucky winners share a picture of the product when the product arrives. Then, they will thank the company and tag them in the Tweet.

And the fun thing is: Those loyal customers will continue mentioning these brands in their Tweets. If they liked the product, they will buy more of it, share their positive reviews and share pictures even months after they received their prize!


In all of these cases, just giving away a simple product can result in positive publicity and an increased amount of brand loyalty. We know brands not because of the product, but because of the way they interact with their target audience. And giving away one of your products is a good way to strengthen your brand identity.