Everyone loves to get stuff for free. It’s with that in mind that Amazon decided to start hosting giveaways today.
DJs and radio hosts have for many years used the giveaway to generate buzz for a concert or event. Now Amazon wants to use them to help brands and small businesses build a social following.
Amazon is offering two models: first-come, first-served and lucky number. First-come, first-served will offer an award to the first 25 (or whatever set number you choose) people to enter the contest. With the lucky number model, hosts can award every 25th person, for example, who enters the contest.
“This model generates more entrants, the giveaway is likely to last longer, and is more suited to growing Twitter followers,” says Amazon Giveaway’s FAQ of the lucky number model. One of the ways that Amazon allows people to enter a giveaway is by following the hosting brand on Twitter — a potentially quick and easy way to cultivate a following.
Amazon doesn’t charge anything to start a campaign. However, as a host you’ll have to buy your prizes off of Amazon and pay to ship the goods to award winners. There are some restrictions: Hosts are only allowed to award 50 prizes per giveaway and can only spend a total of $5,000 on each giveaway.
Clearly, this new platform is about building brand awareness for Amazon’s many merchants, which in turn will lead to more sales on Amazon. And while this seems like a strange move, it probably doesn’t cost Amazon much to operate the program and has the opportunity to generate a decent amount of revenue — even with the price cap.
The e-commerce giant has long considered itself a pioneer of social shopping, with its heavy focus on customer reviews and recommendations. Giveaways are in some sense an extension of that — a way to generate hype and excitement around a good company, product, or brand. Except rather than having consumers promote items they like, Amazon is giving brands a chance to do their own advocacy.