3 Brand Case Studies To Inspire The Use Of Social Media Freebies



Before running a social media contest, take a look at the following case studies.


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A few years ago, I attended the iStrategy Digital and social media marketing conference in London. It was packed with great tips, but one message really stuck out to me. One of the keynote speakers said that you need to give before you can receive as a social media marketer.

This is one of the reasons that social media giveaways have turned out to be so effective. Most marketers have boosted their social media following by 34% after running social media giveaway campaigns. The trick is knowing how to engage customers with the right giveaways.

Before running a social media contest, take a look at the following case studies.


In 2015, Fatherly teamed up with SkinnyMom and Greatist to offer a fitness product giveaway. They offered health bars and athletic gear to followers on Facebook.

This turned out to be one of the most successful social media campaigns I’ve ever seen. Fatherly received over 57,000 views and 49,000 email subscribers, which is an 85.94% conversion rate. The retail value of the prices was $1200, but their cost to the contest organizers was much less. This means the CPA was less than two cents.

There are several reasons this giveaway was so effective:

  • It was organized right before New Years. Many people were eager to claim these giveaways because getting fit was one of their New Year’s resolutions.
  • The campaign was merged with three different companies. They combined their respective pool of social media followers and leveraged their brand reputations, which helped increase exposure.
  • The products they selected for the giveaway appealed to wide range of people.

Other brands considering running social media giveaways should take note of this. Their campaign may be much more successful if they partner with other relevant brands. Make sure those brands have a large social following of their own.


PetFlow is an e-commerce store that sells premium pet food. They offered six months supply of pet food to pet owners that participated in their contest. The campaign significantly boosted PetFlow’s social media footprint and help them earn an average rating on trust pilot of 9.3 out of 10. It also helped them grow their email subscriber base.

There are several reasons this campaign was so successful:

  • PetFlow carefully chose images of cute animals to engage their customers. According to research, this is key to both making customers feel like taking action and giving them the focus to follow through on the conversion goal.
  • The conversion goal was very simple. Customers were simply asked to share their name and email address to join the company’s email list. This helped PetFlow acquire a much larger base of customers. Over time, they were able to educate those customers through email to improve their brand perception, which in turn helped them improve their TrustPilot rating.
  • The terms of the contest were very clearly stated. Customers were more likely to follow-through with them because they knew exactly what to expect.

PetFlow has organized similar social media contests, which has played an important role in boosting their brand perception. Their penetration rate in their niche is well over 5%, which is significantly higher than the industry average.

Brands should follow PetFlow’s example and gauge the long-term branding benefits of their contest. Tools such as Brand24 and BrandWatch can be used while with your contest is running.

Diamond Candles

Diamond Candles is a small e-commerce store that sells candles with surprise engagement rings inside of them. In 2011, barely anybody had heard of them. They put themselves on the map with one bold social media contest.

Diamond Candles gave customers a chance to win one of these products. They earned over 470,000 Facebook followers and boosted their conversion rates by around 13%.

Here are some reasons their campaign was so successful:

  • They used giveaways that would serve as great conversation starters. Most women enjoy talking about jewelry and complementing their friends’ pieces. This giveaway generated a lot of exposure by word-of-mouth.
  • Justin winter, co-founder, and CEO of Diamond Candles attributes a lot of the campaign’s success to carefully selected images. “A photo can create an intensely emotional response while at the same time requires only minimal invested effort,” Winter writes on his blog.
  • Photos were optimized to encourage people to share them on social media.
  • Winter and his colleagues tracked their photos on Instagram and Pinterest through hashtags. This helps them identify the copy that best resonated with their followers.

If brands want to replicate Diamond Candles’s successful social media giveaway campaign, they should invest in high-quality images. Switching images could help Diamond Candle boost their conversion by 300% or more with some ads. Marketers should consider using tools like Crazy CTR to improve the engagement of their images.

Featured Image – Shutterstock

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