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Friyay! Weekly Social Media Giveaways Are A Big Hit with Shoppers

May 15 Free Friday Winner Terri Reid

Fort Lee Exchange shopper Terri Reid won a seven-piece Courtyard Creations patio dining set in the Exchange’s May 15 Free Friday giveaway.

Every Friday, thousands of military shoppers flock to the Exchange’s official Facebook page for the chance to win prizes ranging from bedding and bath sets to 600-pound riding lawnmowers.

The sweepstakes program, known as Free Friday, is now in its fourth year, and interest is at an all-time high. So far this year, more than 75,000 shoppers have entered Free Friday giveaways—a 55% increase from this time last year.

Entering is simple: Shoppers reply to the question posed on each Free Friday post. For example, for the May 29 GrillSmith 5-burner gas grill with side burner giveaway, shoppers were asked, “What’s your go-to summer meal for grilling out?” Winner Anna Merryman’s reply? “Grilling season is all year long for us! Love to make meats with veggies.”

“Free Friday isn’t just a sweepstakes—it’s a way to create a dialogue with our shoppers and make interacting with us fun and exciting,” said Leah Mathews, Corporate Communication and Media Manager for the Exchange. “This format personalizes the relationship we have with our shoppers through social media, which we hope strengthens their connection with their Exchange benefit.”

This interactivity is a key reason for the program’s success: In fact, the average number of entries grew when the program switched to the question-and-answer format in early 2019. Previously, shoppers entered by responding to the post with just their name, city, state and local Exchange.

Free Friday incurs zero cost to the Exchange—prizes are provided by their respective vendors, and advertising for the program is down to just the posts themselves, online word-of-mouth, spots in the weekly tabloid and on ShopMyExchange.com’s front page, and press releases. Since the program’s inception, $83,611 in prizes have been given away to military shoppers.

The program is also a great way to encourage shoppers to follow the Exchange on Facebook, increasing the likelihood that they will see other posts informing them of new products, promotions, information on the Exchange’s relevancy to military communities and more.

“We want our shoppers to know that we aren’t just a retailer, but a part of their extended military family,” Mathews said. “We are honored to serve those who serve, and we hope this program communicates our dedication to our core value of family serving family.”

Want to let your shoppers know about the Exchange’s Free Friday giveaways? Just tell them to follow us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/shopmyexchange and respond to the Free Friday post added every Friday. Note: Replies must be posted on the same day of the Free Friday post to be entered into the drawing.

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