08MAR2019

How to promote toys on social media with competitions and giveaways

Posted in: Applications

Toys are big business, especially online. Over 44 million people buy games and toys through the internet – and that’s just in the US. Let’s talk about how to connect with customers through your social media.

Toy retailers and toy marketers face a special challenge. They have to appeal to both parents and kids at the same time. So it can be very difficult to find the right design, voice, and campaign style. But when you promote toys on social media, you can tailor your message for each social network. Follow your customers to the channels they use, and speak to them there.

Key ideas to promote toys on social media

Before we focus in on the different social networks available, let’s set out some ground rules. Follow these guidelines wherever you promote toys on social media.

  • Friends trust friends“. Toy marketing relies on influencers and recommendations from other kids. Use a friendly, approachable style on social media, and encourage customers to share their experiences.
  • Toys are made to be played with. Show them in action with videos, gifs, or photo carousels.
  • Think demographics. YouTube is very popular with children, while parents spend more time on Facebook and Instagram. Tailor your posts to each audience, with age-appropriate content.
  • Find your voice and style for each social network, too. Take a look at the examples in this post to see the contrast between YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter posts.

Experience has taught us that giveaways are an especially powerful way to get customer feedback, showcase your products, and reach out to new followers. In the following sections, we’ll discuss how to give away toys on YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter.

Create interactive content on YouTube

YouTube is an amazing channel for toy retailers. It’s completely focused on video, so you can demonstrate toys, create your own shows, and share behind-the-scenes insights.

Over time, YouTube users have developed their own unique video formats. People share videos of their shopping hauls, unbox new toys and games, film product reviews, and host livestreams. These videos are often highly interactive, as they respond to followers’ comments and questions.

Screenshot of a YouTube video from Toy Caboodle. The image shows a stack of brightly colored toys and the YouTube creator's hands. In the caption, there is a list of giveaway prizes and the giveaway rules.

So conditions are perfect for organizing a YouTube giveaway based on comments. Here’s what you do: post a video, and ask users to comment. Then you can collect all the responses, filter out any bad comments, and pick a winner at random.

In this example, popular channel Toy Caboodle ran a big toy giveaway to celebrate reaching 500,000 subscribers. To enter the prize draw, viewers just had to comment their favorite memory from the summer.

Screenshot of comments on the Toy Caboodle video giveaway. Responses include "go to the park and mall with my friends", "went to the toy shop", and "went to Disneyland".

The video collected over 11,000 comments. It’s a good strategy to ask a friendly, open-ended question like this, to start a conversation with your followers. You could also ask followers to find a clue in the video, answer a puzzle, or share their feedback.

Follow your favorites on Instagram

Your audience on Instagram is a bit different than on YouTube. It’s an enormous and growing network, so you can reach out to both parents and children.

You have several options to run a toy giveaway on Instagram. Let’s start with a comments-based giveaway. Just like on YouTube, just create a post and ask your followers to reply in the comments.

Instagram giveaway to promote a toy on social media. The image shows a baby sitting in an armchair, with a Very Hungry Caterpillar soft toy and a children's picture book. The caption explains the giveaway rules and prize.

In this example, the brand asked parents to share their favorite book characters. Tying your promotions to annual events is a great way to increase reach, and in this case, the brand followed a World Book Day theme.

You’ll notice that the aesthetic of this example is quite different from YouTube videos. But next, we’ll take a look at an Instagram contest which is aimed at kids – and looks much closer to the YouTube style.

Mention + hashtag contest to promote toys on social media, including Instagram and Twitter. The image shows two Hairdorables toys.

This contest was designed to collect user-generated content, rather than comments. Kids could join in on Instagram or Twitter when they posted a photo with the giveaway hashtag, and mentioned the organizing brand.

Mention + hashtag contests like this are extremely valuable. The tag and hashtag increase your brand’s visibility. And you can recycle user-generated content in your own posts and campaigns, as long as you have permission.

Instagram giveaway to promote toys on social media. The image shows a user's photo, dressed up as a Hairdorable toy. The photo is decorated with Hairdorables stickesr and logo. The overlay text reads, "Congratulations to our winner".

Use Instagram Stories to reach an even bigger audience. Learn how to promote a giveaway with Instagram Stories.

Connect with families on Facebook

Facebook is still the biggest social network around – and it’s a major hub for parents to share stories, advice, and support. Your content on Facebook should be accessible and family-focused.

Take this example from Fisher-Price, a leading toy brand. They started a conversation with parents by asking, “What’s your family’s favorite holiday tradition?”

Facebook giveaway to promote toys on social media. The image shows a collection of Fisher-Price toys, with the overlay text "April giveaway. What's your family's favorite holiday tradition? Tell us below for a chance to win a prize pack." The caption explains the prizes and links to the contest terms and conditions.

They collected almost one thousand comments. This was a well-calculated question, because as well as starting a conversation, it produced a lot of valuable information about how parents organize and celebrate major holidays.

When you create a Facebook toy giveaway, try and think of a question which will produce informative customer feedback.

Screenshot of comments from the Facebook giveaway. Responses include "my dad makes the best holiday dinners", "we get together with family every year", and "with Easter coming, I can't wait for the boys to see what the bunny left".

More and more brands use Facebook in combination with other social networks. Learn how to use the multi-network giveaway app.

Boost your profile on Twitter

Last of all, let’s take a look at Twitter. You won’t find many kids in your audience on Twitter. But many consumers use Twitter for customer service. So your account should be up to date, and regularly monitored for any customer queries or problems.

Twitter is also a great place to run giveaways. Why? Because it offers more flexibility than any other network. You can pick a winner from among your followers, or base the contest on comments, retweets, or posts.

Twitter giveaway to promote toys and social media. The image shows the prize pack. The caption explains that users have to retweet and follow to win.

Giveaways for special events and holidays are always a success. Get creative ideas for a Children’s Day contest.

With a well-planned giveaway and the right prize, you can grow your engagement and audience on every social network. Start now – your first toy giveaway on social media is free.

Corinna Keefe

Content marketer at Easypromos

Publication date: 2019-03-08