A young woman lays on her stomach on a light gray pillow and looks at the smartphone held horizontally in her hand. She smiles and pumps her fist at what she sees on the screen.
To make a giveaway benefit your company, offer a prize that relates to your business. Both the winner and other contest entrants then may turn into future customers. — Getty Images/AsiaVision

TikTok users love to share their authentic selves through video, and a fun challenge, contest, or giveaway can increase interest in your small business. Indeed, some of the largest brands, like Ralph Lauren and Crocs, use TikTok contests and giveaways to capture their audience’s attention. Wishpond reported that Crocs saw an “18% increase in TikTok followers” within the first hour of its contest, whereas Ralph Lauren’s campaign had more than “800 million views.”

Running a contest on TikTok isn’t tricky, but you should follow a few best practices to ensure that your giveaway doesn’t land you in legal trouble or decrease trust in your brand. Use these tips to launch your TikTok contest or giveaway.

Choose your contest or giveaway format and goals

In a giveaway, you hand out a prize to a random person who entered your promotion. You may pull names from everyone who commented on your post or require entrants to follow you. A giveaway is relatively easy to manage and an excellent way to increase brand awareness, gain followers, and reward engaged customers.

In comparison, a contest asks contestants to submit something, such as a video on TikTok, and the promoter picks a winner based on votes or other criteria. TikTok competitions provide user-generated content along with increasing brand awareness and followers.

[Read more: 6 Social Savvy TikTok Strategies for Small Businesses]

Select prizes for your TikTok promotion

Your giveaway prize depends on your budget and audience. Of course, everyone loves gas cards or brand-name gift card giveaways. But that’s also the problem. The prize isn’t niche-specific, and you may get many entrants but fewer qualified leads. Instead, consider awarding products from your business, buying a much-sought-after prize, or partnering with another small business.

Create entry guidelines and official rules

Your TikTok giveaway entry guidelines tell people how to enter your promotion and should be kept simple. You will discuss these rules in your TikTok video and briefly address them in the video captions. Typically, a TikTok contest may request that people follow you, use your hashtag, comment on your video, tag someone, or duet or stitch your video. You also need an entry deadline with the end time and time zone.

Although you’re asking for submissions on TikTok, you may also need a landing page as an alternative method of entry (AMOE).

Following TikTok’s community guidelines and creating official rules is also important. Include a link to your rules in your original giveaway post and anytime you promote your contest. The guidelines should state that “no purchase is required to win” and include a disclaimer that your giveaway isn’t sponsored, endorsed, or administered by or associated with TikTok.

Here are a few resources to ensure your contest is legal:

Develop a TikTok contest landing page

Although you’re asking for submissions on TikTok, you may also need a landing page as an alternative method of entry (AMOE). According to Kiffanie Stahle at The Artist’s J.D., if you require “something of value” from entrants and are picking a random winner, then you need an AMOE.

Something of value may include “an exchange of money, significant time or effort, or something of marketable value.” A simple contact form or landing page works as an alternative entry method, and Stahle lists other options, such as allowing email submissions.

[Read more: How Startups Are Tapping TikTok to Build Buzz and Drive Sales]

Announce and promote your TikTok giveaway

A giveaway or contest promotion strategy helps it get attention and entrants. Your original TikTok video highlights your sweepstakes, but you’ll also want to discuss it on your blog, website, email, and other social media channels. Post when you launch your promotion and remind fans that time is running out to enter.

Pick and acknowledge the winners

Select a winner based on your criteria by seeing who had the most votes or picking someone randomly. Several free and paid tools can keep your contest organized and the winner process transparent, such as Woobox, RafflePress, and SweepWidget. Need some real-life ideas for announcing your winner? Check out TikTok videos on picking a giveaway winner to see how other brands do it.

CO— aims to bring you inspiration from leading respected experts. However, before making any business decision, you should consult a professional who can advise you based on your individual situation.

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