106 Creative Prize Ideas for Your Next Contest

Winning Prize Ideas for Your Next Contest

106 Creative Prize Ideas for Your Next Contest

You already know you want to run a social media contest. Excellent! You even know when you want to run it, and you’ve decided on a couple of goals you’d like to meet. And now you have to choose a prize. Is this decision holding you up?

Choosing a prize for your social media contest can be surprisingly difficult. You want to offer something that’s valuable enough to get lots of people to participate, but is still relevant enough that you’ll actually attract people from your target audience. If your prize is creative and cost-effective, even better.

Coming up with a prize that ticks all those boxes, can be easier said than done, however, so we wanted to help you choose prizes as incredible as your contest itself. Evidence: this list of 106 social media contest prize ideas you can use or draw inspiration from.

We’ve got prize ideas based on time of year, holiday and even business category. Make sure to bookmark this one so you can have it on hand year-round!

Year-Round Crowd Pleasers

If you’re in a pinch and not sure what will work for your audience, know that there are three things that are sure to be crowd pleasers every time:

  • gift certificates to your business
  • a package of your best-selling products
  • cold, hard cash

Holiday giftset giveaway

Holiday gift set giveaway

The first two on that list are guaranteed to attract people who are interested in your business, even if they’ve never purchased from you, while the last will appeal to pretty much everyone (which might not actually be the best option).

Prizes Based on Seasons

Choosing a theme for your social media contest based on the time of year is a great way to increase interest, shares and entries.

Winter

Winter Escape contest from Go Travel

Go Travel’s Winter Escape contest

  • A cold-weather care package, with items like blankets, hot chocolate mix, and fuzzy socks
  • Gift certificates to stores like ToysRUs and grocery stores to help prepare families for the holidays
  • Tickets to holiday events, like ice skating or the Nutcracker ballet
  • Winter vacation activities like skiing or snowboarding
  • Beach-vacation destination prizes for those who want to escape the cold

Spring

Noxon Othrodontics

Contest on Facebook ran by Noxon Orthodontics

  • A landscaping package to be used when flowers are starting bloom
  • Professional home-cleaning services for literal “spring cleaning”
  • A shopping spree for an updated wardrobe
  • Tickets for baseball’s spring-training events

Summer

Hold onto Summer and Win

Summer contest by Georgian Bay

  • Dream vacation for a family
  • Tickets to a family-friendly place, like a theme park
  • Tickets to an outdoor concert
  • Travel-related prizes, including plane tickets, rental car vouchers or hotel stays
  • New patio furniture, or construction of an outdoor fire pit
  • Camping equipment package
  • A grill or outdoor cooking equipment
  • Pool-cleaning services for a year
  • Lawn care services for one month
  • Golf lessons, greens fees or membership to a golf club

Fall

Fall giveaway

Fall giveaway from Jach’s New York

  • Tailgating gear — like portable tables and chairs
  • Fall food package, including cheeses, seasonal fruit, and apple cider
  • Football tickets
  • Shopping spree for winter clothes
  • Gift certificates to grocery stores for Thanksgiving
  • Electronics

Prizes for Popular Holiday Contests

Holidays already generate a lot of buzz on their own, and you can capitalize on some of that conversation to help promote your contests.

New Year’s

  • Champagne giveaway for a New Year’s party (for customers over 21, of course)
  • “New Year, New You” package, which can include things like a shopping spree, makeover, gym membership, cooking classes, etc.
  • Invitation to a New Year’s event

Valentine’s Day

Empire State Building's Valentine's Day contest

Empire State Building Valentine’s Contest

  • Vacation or spa weekend for two
  • Jewelry giveaway
  • Flower giveaway
  • Box of chocolates
  • Date night package, including gift certificates to a restaurant and movie theatre
  • Bottle of special wine (for customers over 21)

Mother’s Day

  • Spa treatments
  • Massage gift certificates
  • Jewelry giveaway
  • A girlfriend’s getaway
  • Shopping spree

"Mom's the Balm" contest by Benefit

“Mom’s the Balm” UGC contest by Benefit Cosmetics

 

Father’s Day

Kids Stop Press Father's Day contest

Kids Stop Press Father’s Day contest

  • Tickets to a big game
  • A nice watch
  • Gadgets or tools related to your business (garden tools for landscapers; golf apparel for golf course or golf shop)

Wedding Season

Button & Wilde Twitter contest

Button & Wilde Twitter contest

  • Wedding favors
  • A package of thank-you notes
  • A wedding-planning guide
  • Gift certificates to popular wedding vendors (like a local florist, photographer, and dress alterations specialist)
  • A honeymoon get away
  • Wedding dress giveaway
  • Jewelry for the bride

Back to School

Mabel's Labels Back to School giveaway

Mabel’s Labels Back to School giveaway

  • Two backpacks filled with school supplies
  • A shopping spree for back-to-school clothes
  • A classroom makeover
  • Scholarship or tuition money
  • Payment for a student’s college books
  • Dorm room makeover

Halloween

  • Tickets for entry to local corn maze or haunted house
  • Pet costumes
  • Services to pick up scary amounts of leaves

Thanksgiving

  • Cooking class
  • Catered meal
  • Gift certificate for grocery store or florist
  • Cookbook

Christmas / Hanukkah

  • Christmas lights installation
  • Holiday-themed dishes or decorations
  • Tickets to local special events — like Polar Express train ride, Nutcracker or other musical performance
  • Gift certificate for gym or personal trainer
  • Donation to local charity your business supports, e.g., food bank or animal shelter

Holiday Advent Calendar

This was built using ShortStack’s Multi-Day Giveaway Calendar

 

Prizes Based on Your Industry

In many cases, focusing in on your particular business, audience, and what industry you fall under is the best way to go.

Subscription-Based Businesses

  • Several months of membership
  • An upgraded membership (like silver to gold, or having more free classes) for a certain period of time
  • Items from the business that customers would typically have to purchase like clothing

B2B Businesses

  • Several sessions of coaching or consulting
  • Several months of a membership, if applicable
  • Membership to complementary services, like a social media marketer giving away a year of ShortStack
  • Free marketing materials, like customized business cards
  • An upgraded website

Restaurants

  • Reservation to an exclusive event, like a New Year’s tasting menu
  • Catering for an event (this can be small like a Thanksgiving dinner or enormous like a wedding)
  • Free appetizers or drinks for a year
  • A “dinner and a movie” package, including gift certificates to your restaurant, a local bar, dessert, and a local movie theater

Parenting

bambamboos diaper giveaway

bambamboos diaper giveaway

  • A year’s worth of diapers
  • A gift bag of everything new parents need, including bottles, swaddling blankets, and bibs
  • A family-friendly vacation
  • Baby-proofing kit or services
  • A shopping spree at a store like Target or ToysRUs
  • Essential furniture like a changing table or a toddler’s bed

Health and Fitness

  • A tool or accessory that’s relevant to your business, like a yoga mat carrier, a new pair of boxing gloves, or a set of kettlebells
  • An exercise-focused tool, like a FitBit
  • A package of nutrients or supplements, like quality protein powder or protein shakes
  • Gym or studio membership for several months
  • Personal training sessions
  • A subscription to home workout plans or videos

Pet Care

Petsitting photo contest

Petsitting Photo Contest

  • A box of pet toys
  • A subscription to a service like Barkbox
  • A gift certificate to a business like PetSmart or Chewy
  • An engraved, leather collar or leash that will fit their pet
  • Pet training sessions
  • A puppy-preparedness kit that contains things like puppy-safe toys and bitterapple
  • A photoshoot with the winner and their pet

Pet Valu Christmas Wishlist campaign

Pet Valu Wishlist contest

Real Estate & Home Décor

  • A gift certificate to home improvement stores like Lowes or Home Depot
  • Furniture, like an outdoor table and chairs or a kitchen table set
  • A landscaping plan and installation package
  • High-quality appliances
  • Professional cleaning service for three months

If you were stumped on what prize you should offer in your next social media contest, hopefully this list helped bring about some inspiration. In many cases, keeping the time of year and your target audience in mind can help you create an incredible prize that will make social users ecstatic about entering your contest.

What do you think? Which prize are you most excited to offer in your next contest? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think!

Ana Gotter
ana.gotter@gmail.com

Ana Gotter is a regular contributor to the ShortStack blog. She also writes for sites including Social Media Examiner, Business 2 Community and Adspresso. Find her at anagotter.com.



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