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How to Use Instagram Giveaways to Grow Your Following

People love free stuff.

It’s not just people who are into “extreme couponing,” either. Almost everybody loves the chance to snag some free swag, whether it’s a buy-one-get-one offer on coffee at the local supermarket or the chance to win a year’s supply of free oil changes.

Instagram giveaways

Marketers don’t tend to like using words such as “manipulate” to describe what they do, but when it comes to pushing your audience’s buttons, manipulating – sorry, leveraging – people’s desire to get something for nothing is one of the most powerful techniques at your disposal.

Today, we’ll be taking a look at you how can use giveaways and similar promotions on Instagram to build your fanbase and reach new potential customers. We’ll go over the marketing basics you’ll need to consider when launching a giveaway, real-world examples of how this strategy can impact your Instagram growth, as well as some cautionary guidelines on pitfalls to avoid.

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What Are Instagram Giveaways?

Instagram giveaways are limited-time promotions in which brands promise to give away a product or service to one (or more) lucky entrants according to a specified set of criteria.

holiday marketing on instagram

An example of an Instagram giveaway post

If you spend any amount of time on Instagram, you’ve probably seen a giveaway in action firsthand. Household-name brands and small businesses alike use Instagram giveaways to create buzz about new product lines, reach new fans, and grow their social followings.

Sometimes the prizes are incredible, while others may be… a little lackluster. Regardless of what you’re giving away (or trying to win), Instagram giveaways can be a great way to create some buzz and attract some potential new fans.

Why Should I Consider Running an Instagram Giveaway?

Although you can run an Instagram giveaway for just about any reason you can think of, the two primary reasons you may want to consider this kind of promotion are:

  1. To encourage social sharing of a specific Instagram post
  2. To grow your Instagram following
Instagram giveaways follower count

Ideally, a good Instagram giveaway should accomplish both of these goals. A highly shareable post will drive social shares by itself, which leads to greater exposure and impression share, while the giveaway entry criteria should accomplish the secondary goal of growing your Instagram audience.

The more people participate, the farther your post will be shared, which means more entries, which means more followers, which means more shares… you get the idea.

Why Would I Give Something Away for Free in an Instagram Giveaway?

If you’ve never used this kind of promotion before, you might be wondering if running an Instagram giveaway is a little counterintuitive. This is a fair point, but it’s one that’s worth looking at in a little more depth.

Instagram giveaways make it rain gif

Original art/animation by Snowbacon

You’ve probably heard the expression, “You’ve got to spend money to make money.” This is true of the largest corporations and the scrappiest mom-and-pop shops alike. There are very few truly free ways to promote your business (though there are some), and whichever way you look at it, you’re going to spend something to grow your audience. This includes investments of your time (which you’d need if you were to focus on growing your Instagram following organically), budget for paid social campaigns if you’re advertising on Instagram, or inventory if you’re planning on running a giveaway.

Only you can decide on the value of a giveaway. Viewing the experience as an investment, rather than a loss, however, may make it easier to reconcile.

How to Run an Instagram Giveaway

Okay, so you’ve decided to take the plunge and run your first Instagram giveaway! So now what? Well, now you have to actually set up and run your giveaway.

Step 1: Choose the Prize for Your Instagram Giveaway

Before you get started actually running your Instagram giveaway, you need to decide on a suitable prize for the lucky entrant(s) to win.

My wife Nicky recently ran her first Instagram giveaway to coincide with the one-year anniversary of the opening of her design studio and enamel pin company, CATPARTY (yes, all caps, and no, I won’t apologize for such a shameless plug).

Before she did anything else, she decided that she would offer a bundle of products known as the Party Pack as the prize for her giveaway. The Party Pack includes a limited-edition one-inch enamel pin, a one-inch button, and a vinyl sticker featuring CATPARTY’s lovable brand ambassador, Party Cat.

Instagram giveaways CATPARTY Party Cat mascot

Party Cat – he’s here to party.

The total value of the individual items in the Party Pack is around $14, while the pack itself sells for just over $12. To Nicky, this was the ideal product for an Instagram giveaway; enough to entice people to enter the giveaway (more on this momentarily), yet not so expensive that it would be detrimental to sales revenues.

Choosing a suitable prize is a balancing act. You need to make sure people have enough incentive to enter your giveaway by offering something sufficiently attractive, but without taking a serious loss on the product you choose to give away.

Step 2: Decide the Entry Criteria for Your Instagram Giveaway

For her Instagram giveaway, Nicky decided that entrants had to do two things to enter:

  1. Follow CATPARTY on Instagram
  2. Tag two people when sharing the original post

Every person who completed both of these criteria was entered into the giveaway. However, as a little extra incentive, Nicky also decided that for every additional person an entrant tagged when sharing the post, the entrant would receive an additional entry.

Instagram giveaways Insights Impressions

The main objective of Nicky’s giveaway wasn’t to boost sales, but to gain exposure and grow her Instagram following. That’s why following CATPARTY was the primary entry criteria. She had hoped that by combining this with the two-person tag criteria, she would increase her following considerably. Every additional person tagged by an entrant was another potential follower.

Similarly to choosing a suitable prize to give away, deciding on the entry criteria for your Instagram giveaway is about balance. You need to ensure that whatever you ask of potential entrants will help you achieve your primary goal, but you also can’t ask too much of people or you risk limiting the size of your entry pool.

Instagram giveaways WordStream web form AB test example

This is just like optimizing a web form; include too many fields and you’ll probably turn off a sizable number of people who would have otherwise entered the contest (or clicked through from your landing page, to continue the web form analogy). Include too few fields and you risk failing to achieve your goal of growing your following (or capturing too little data about your prospects).

Step 3: Decide How Long Your Instagram Giveaway Will Last

The next decision you need to make is how much time you’ll give your audience to enter your Instagram giveaway.

Nicky opted to run her Instagram giveaway for seven days. She had originally planned to launch the contest on a Monday – which meant it would have ended on the Sunday night – but due to an unforeseen last-minute complication, she had to push the contest back by a couple of days. In the end, she ran the giveaway from Tuesday morning to Wednesday evening, giving entrants a full seven days to enter.

Instagram giveaways deadline

The length of your Instagram giveaway might depend on several factors.

For one, there’s the size of your existing following. It may make more sense, for example, to run a shorter giveaway if you have thousands of followers. For Nicky, who has a much more modest following, a full week seemed the right amount of time. It’s also worth considering that your giveaway may run out of steam or hit the wall of diminishing returns the longer it runs, so think carefully about this before making any public announcements.

Also, think about time zones and international audiences. Not all of your entrants are likely to be in the same time zone, so be sure it’s crystal clear precisely when your contest ends. You could also post reminders to help people remember that the contest is coming to a close – which is another way to encourage last-minute entries!

Instagram giveaways Air Mail stamp Australia

Nicky had to consider whether international entries would be accepted at all due to additional shipping costs compared to the overall value of the prize. In the end, she decided that she would accept international entries, but she had to include a short disclaimer about shipping costs to avoid nasty surprises if someone in, say, Australia won the contest.

Step 4: Create the Perfect Instagram Giveaway Post

So, you’ve done all the prep work, and now you’re ready to actually launch your Instagram giveaway. Before you can do this, you’ll need an actual Instagram post to use.

The “perfect” Instagram giveaway post will vary widely from one account to another. However, there are a couple of elements that every Instagram giveaway post should include. These are:

  1. A strong, color image to serve as the basis for the post
  2. Efficient use of text announcing the giveaway

For her Instagram giveaway, Nicky used the following image:

Instagram giveaways CATPARTY contest post

As you can see, the main image of the post features a bold, colorful visual as well as text announcing the contest. Although she could have used more text in the image itself, Nicky wisely chose to keep the inclusion of text in the image to the bare minimum, instead using the caption section of the post to let people know how to enter.

While there are no hard-and-fast rules about how to create Instagram posts for giveaways, it’s worthwhile considering your post from the audience’s perspective. If you’re giving away a specific product, it makes sense to include an image of that product in your announcement post; it would be misleading to include an image of a Maserati sports car in an Instagram giveaway for a weekend yoga retreat, for example.

Once you’re happy with your post, publish it and start the clock!

Step 5: Create ‘Reminder’ Posts to Share Throughout Your Instagram Giveaway

Although Instagram posts may not be quite as “disposable” as tweets, the sheer volume of posts you can see at any given time on an Instagram timeline is considerable, especially if you follow a lot of people.

As such, Instagram giveaways aren’t quite “set it and forget it,” and you should be prepared to provide regular updates on how much time is left to enter your giveaway to ensure a steady stream of entrants continues throughout the duration of the competition.

Instagram giveaways reminder post

Only you can decide how often to publish “reminder” posts. Nicky opted to publish a single reminder post on Day Three of the contest. She decided early on that, based on her research, multiple updates per day was way too much, and since her giveaway lasted for seven days, the single mid-week reminder worked well.

The reminder posts themselves should be primarily visually striking so that they catch people’s eye as they browse their timeline. The captions should reiterate the rules of the giveaway, but it might be worth experimenting with the length of your captions depending on the frequency of your reminder posts. In Nicky’s case, a simple variant of the original post with a shortened caption was enough, but you may want to create more elaborate posts depending on your needs.

Step 6: Tally the Results of Your Instagram Giveaway

So it’s been a week (or however long your giveaway ran for), and you’ve amassed a list of Instagram followers who entered your contest. Now all that remains is to pick the lucky winner! 

Tallying up the entrants of your Instagram giveaway can be a piece of cake, or it can be a logistical nightmare – it all depends on your entry criteria and the volume of entrants.

After her giveaway had concluded, Nicky went through her Instagram feed and entered all the names of entrants who had abided by the rules into a spreadsheet. Each entrant’s name was entered onto a different row. Individuals who only entered once – by following CATPARTY and tagging two other people – were entered on a single row, while other entrants who tagged more people were entered into multiple rows to reflect the number of entries.

Instagram giveaways winner announcement post

The lucky winner and their swag

To find the winner of her Instagram giveaway, Nicky used a simple online name-picking tool to select a winner from the list of entrants. Unfortunately, none of the software tools we came across supported CSV upload functionality, meaning that each name had to be entered manually, with entrants who submitted multiple entries being entered the relevant number of times. (If you know of a tool that supports uploads, let me know in the comments!)

No matter which way you slice it, actually determining the winner of your Instagram giveaway is likely to be at least a little work, so choose a system that allows you to select a winner as efficiently – and fairly – as possible.

Step 7: Spread the News About the Winner of Your Instagram Giveaway

Well, that’s it. You’ve ran your first Instagram giveaway and selected a lucky winner from the horde of entrants. All that’s left to do now is notify the lucky winner!

Sure, you could just send the winner a direct message, but that would be a missed opportunity. Why not make the announcement of the winner as much of a spectacle as the rest of the contest?

Instagram giveaways winner announcement post

ALL ABOARD THE HYPE TRAIN

Letting the lucky winner know they’ve won your Instagram giveaway is yet another opportunity for exposure and growing your following. It lets the winner know they’ve won in a fun and exciting way, and also gives you the chance to thank the unlucky entrants as well as let your audience know about relevant forthcoming sales or future competitions.

Using Your Instagram Giveaway Data in Future Campaigns

Instagram giveaways aren’t just a great way to boost your following and create buzz about your store – they’re a veritable treasure-trove of data just waiting to be explored.

You probably already know that you can access analytics data for your Instagram feed if your account is a Business account. If you’ve never checked out this data, immediately after an Instagram giveaway is the perfect time to start.

Once Nicky’s Instagram giveaway had concluded, she delved into her analytics data to learn more about her audience.

Instagram giveaways follower analytics

Nicky learned all sorts of interesting information after her contest. For instance, she learned that she had a loyal (and growing) following in London, despite being based on the East Coast of the United States. This is largely because the enamel pin community is very tight-knit, and is generally pretty trendy in the British capital. Nicky has also made multiple sales to customers in London, which could also help account for this trend.

Next up, Nicky looked at some more audience demographic data. She learned that the majority of her audience is female, and between the ages of 25-34 – a very lucrative and desirable demographic.

Instagram giveaways audience demographics

Unlike some analytics data, demographic information may not be impacted as significantly by Instagram giveaways. Unless you’re offering a significantly imbalanced (or unfair) advantage to one demographic over another – say, giving women twice as many chances to win as men – you can probably be quite confident in the integrity of your demographic data before or after you run your contest.

It’s important to note that while Instagram analytics data can be immensely useful, you should approach this data carefully if you’re examining it after a giveaway. For example, you can see in the screenshot above that many of Nicky’s followers started following CATPARTY’s Instagram feed on Thursday afternoons. However, given that her Instagram giveaway ran from a Tuesday morning to a Wednesday night, this follower data could have easily been skewed by the contest.

That said, this data could also indicate strong interest in entries on Day Two of the competition – potentially valuable insight for future giveaways.

How Did CATPARTY’s Instagram Giveaway Go?

By now, you might be wondering how successful CATPARTY’s inaugural Instagram giveaway was.

I mentioned earlier in the post that the primary goal of CATPARTY’s giveaway was to increase the number of followers CATPARTY has on Instagram – any sales would be gravy, but boosting sales wasn’t the main objective.

Before the giveaway, CATPARTY had approximately 200 Instagram followers. Afterwards, it had 340 followers – an increase of 70%!

If we use traditional marketing metrics as a barometer of success, we can calculate the cost-per-acquisition of each new Instagram follower. We can do this by dividing the value of the prize Nicky featured in her Instagram giveaway (around $12) by the number of followers she gained during the contest.

Instagram giveaways follower statistics

CATPARTY attracted roughly 140 new followers during the competition, so we can calculate that each new follower cost just eight cents to acquire – not too shabby at all, especially when you consider that each of these followers is genuine and authentic (unlike followers Instagram profiles can pay to acquire), and has the potential to become a paying customer further down the road. In terms of ROI, this is pretty awesome, even if the figures themselves are rather modest.

Using Third-Party Instagram Analytics Tools

Out of sheer curiosity, I wanted to delve a little deeper into Nicky’s Instagram analytics data to see other aspects of CATPARTY’s Instagram presence had been impacted by the giveaway.

Although Instagram offers some decent tools of its own, it’s still a little lacking. I used a free online tool called Gabstats to evaluate other performance metrics during the week of Nicky’s Instagram giveaway.

During the week of the contest, CATPARTY made 10 posts to Instagram. In this time period, CATPARTY’s Instagram posts received:

  • 536 total Likes
  • 54 Likes per post on average
  • 111 total comments
  • 12 comments per post on average

We can take a look at each of Gabstat’s performance metrics individually. Below is a graph of Likes made on CATPARTY’s Instagram posts throughout the duration of the giveaway:

Instagram giveaways Likes graph

As you can see, Likes of CATPARTY’s posts during the contest rose dramatically between March 5 and March 6 – the day that Nicky published her reminder post.

We can also see which posts were the most popular during our custom date range:

Instagram giveaways most popular posts

Interestingly, in terms of Likes, each of the top three strongest posts performed similarly. As you can see, however, comments were very strong for the announcement post, yet there was only a single comment on the reminder post six days later. (The second-strongest post was part of a month-long “Meet the Maker” series in which CATPARTY was participating.)

Instagram giveaways hashtags

In the figure above, we can see which of the hashtags Nicky used throughout her Instagram giveaway that correlated with the most Likes. The hashtags #pinstagram and #pingiveaway were tied for second place (#pinstagram is a very common and popular hashtag among the enamel pin community, as is the third hashtag, #pingame). This provides you with further data to optimize your posts.

Rather frustratingly, Gabstats doesn’t offer graphed or tabular data for follower counts, so we’ll have to rely on other data for this information. Still, it’s not bad for a free tool. If you have recommendations for similar Instagram analytics tools, let me know in the comments.

Give It Away, Give It Away, Give It Away Now

No matter what kind of business you’re in, Instagram giveaways are an excellent way of reaching new prospective fans with your products or services, growing your social following, and engaging with your fans. Obviously some kinds of businesses will be better suited to Instagram giveaways and promotions more than others, but hopefully, this post has given you some ideas for things to try during your next – or first – Instagram giveaway.

Have you used this kind of contest in your own social media campaigns? Get at me in the comments with ideas, suggestions, and tips of your own for running an Instagram giveaway.

Sours: https://www.wordstream.com/blog/ws/2017/05/11/instagram-giveaways

With 80% of Instagram users following at least one business, it makes sense you want to increase your own visibility and reach on the platform -- but with such immense competition, it can be a difficult task to accomplish.

Fortunately, there are a few specific Instagram marketing strategies you can implement that have proven effective. For instance, you might optimize your posting times to ensure maximum engagement, partner with an influencer to spread awareness, or designate a content creator to craft more compelling content.

Additionally, to delight your current followers and attract new visitors to your page, you might consider hosting an Instagram giveaway.

Simply put, an Instagram giveaway allows you to offer something for free in exchange for an Instagram like, comment, or other pre-determined requirement.

For instance, take a look at this giveaway from Fabletics:

Fabletics hosts an Instagram giveaway.

Image Source

There are a few reasons why this giveaway works -- first, Fabletics partnered with Blissworld, which enables both businesses to reach the other brand's audience. Second, Fabletics asked viewers to "tag your bestie" and follow both brands. This doubles the reach they might've had if they'd only asked one follower to comment.

When done correctly, giveaways can help you establish your brand on Instagram, cultivate a loyal following, and share your impressive products or services with a larger audience than you could organically.

Here, we've created a complete guide on how to run your own giveaway, to ensure you're able to delight and engage both new and existing followers on Instagram.

New Data: Instagram Engagement Report [2021 Version]

How To Do a Giveaway On Instagram

  1. Choose the prize for your giveaway.
  2. Determine the entry-criteria for your contest.
  3. Decide on a goal for your Instagram contest.
  4. Consider a brand partnership.
  5. Select a campaign hashtag.
  6. Put a time-limit on your contest.
  7. Launch and promote your Instagram contest.

1. Choose the prize for your giveaway.

The first thing you'll want to do is decide on the product, service, or experience you'll giveaway as your prize. This will vary depending on your goal -- if you want to spread awareness around a product launch, for instance, you'll likely want to giveaway that specific product as your prize.

Alternatively, perhaps you want to partner with a brand and create a unique prize that will appeal to each of your audiences.

Lastly, you might try offering an experience instead of a specific product or service -- like a weekend trip, a spa day, or the chance to meet a leader in your industry.

2. Determine the entry-criteria for your contest.

Your entry-criteria depends, again, on your ultimate goal. For instance, if you simply want to spread brand awareness, you might ask each participant to like your post and comment with the name of a friend -- this allows you to increase your reach quickly, and could result in new followers.

Alternatively, maybe you want to draw attention to your blog, or another page on your website. If this is the case, you might ask participants to go to your blog or web page to find entry-criteria there -- such as a question you then want them to answer in your Instagram comments section.

Lastly, perhaps you've partnered with a brand and, in exchange for one of their products as a prize, they've asked you to include a request to follow their brand as part of your entry-criteria.

3. Decide on a goal for your Instagram contest.

By determining a specific goal, you're able to tailor your strategy more specifically and keep track of whether or not your giveaway was successful.

Your goal might be an increase in website traffic, more followers, an increase in engagement, or a boost in sales -- it's to you to choose what makes the most sense for your brand.

4. Consider a brand partnership.

To explore the benefits of brand partnerships for Instagram giveaways, I spoke with Conor Janda, an Associate Manager of Marketing Partnerships at Chomps. He told me, "A giveaway is a nice way to align with peer brands and partners, and drive traffic to your account."

Janda also mentioned giveaways are particularly successful when new brands partner together. "For instance, a brand might post a recipe, and then mention specific brands in the ingredients section," he told me. "A successful giveaway is typically when a brand partners with a content creator or influencer to make something specific, and then they push that prize out through both of their channels."

Ultimately, a giveaway could allow you to reach a similar brand's followers, and vice-versa -- a win, win.

5. Select a campaign hashtag.

On Instagram, hashtags help your content surface on Explore channels, and oftentimes increase visibility on the platform. Consider creating a compelling and unique campaign hashtag to help spread awareness of your giveaway. For instance, along with #giveaway, you might include #winitwednesday #[yourbrand]giveaway #[yourbrand]contest, or something of similar nature.

6. Put a time-limit on your contest.

Tell your participants how long they have to complete your requirements by putting a time limit in your caption, and then adding "Giveaway Closed" at the end of that time. For instance, you might put, "Giveaway! Over the next 24 hours, please tag a friend in the comments and include your favorite place to travel for a chance to stay overnight at one of our resorts."

The time-limit will ideally create a sense of urgency, and incentivize followers to engage with your post more quickly -- which will also help your giveaway stay at the top of your followers' Instagram feeds.

7. Launch and promote your Instagram contest.

Once you've chosen your prize, entry-criteria, potential partners, hashtag, time-limit, and goal, you're finally ready to launch and promote your post! Remember, Instagram users favor posts during a certain time in the day, so you'll want to plan wisely.

Additionally, you'll likely attract further attention to your giveaway if you also post giveaway details on a blog post, Facebook page, or another social channel. Consider where else you can promote your giveaway for optimal results.

Instagram Giveaway Rules

Instagram's rules are relatively simple when it comes to giveaways.

First and foremost, it's critical you include a statement like the following, so viewers know your promotion is not tied to Instagram:

"Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram's terms of use."

Additionally, you'll want to ensure you don't ask participants to tag themselves in your content, or tag something that isn't in the photo -- Instagram will penalize you for this.

Take a look at Instagram's promotion guidelines for a full list of rules and regulations.

Instagram Giveaway Ideas

Once you're ready to post your giveaway, there are a few different action items you might ask your participants to accomplish in exchange for the chance to win.

Here's a list of some of the more common giveaway ideas:

  1. Like to win: Have followers like your post for a chance to win a free product or service. This helps you boost engagement.
  2. Tag a friend to win: Have followers tag one of their friends in the comments section for a chance to win. This allows your brand to reach new potential leads on Instagram and grow your audience.
  3. Like and share to win: You might ask followers to like your giveaway and repost it on their own channels for the chance to greatly expand your brand's reach -- if ten followers with 100 followers each re-post, that's a chance to reach 1,000 new people.
  4. Follow to win: Ask followers to follow your brand, or a partner (or both) for the chance to win. This is a popular tactic since it's an easy way to increase your follower count.
  5. Photo contest: Ask participants to upload a photo of themselves using your product or service. This is another easy opportunity to spread brand awareness, since your participants' posts will be seen by their own network of followers and friends. You should ask participants to include your brand's hashtag, or tag your brand, for optimal visibility.
  6. Caption this: Some brands post images and leave the caption section blank with a "Caption this for a chance to win" command. Your participants will enjoy the chance to offer creative captions for your image, and you'll be able to add the caption to your post with credit to the winner once your giveaway ends.

Instagram Giveaway Picker Tools

Once you've closed your giveaway contest, it's time to pick a winner -- but how can you do that and ensure fairness?

There are a few tools you can use to truly randomize your winner. Here are a few options:

1. Use a free number generator.

While admittedly tedious, particularly if you have hundreds of entries, you might consider counting the total number of participants who engaged with your giveaway, and then using a number generator to select your winner.

For instance, let's say you count 500 participants in your comments section. Go to Google and type "random number generator" into the search box, and Google's number generator will appear as a box in the search results (you can also use another number generator tool, if you want).

Your minimum should stay 1, and your maximum should be the total number of participants. When you click "Generate", the tool will provide a random number. Now, simply go back to your comments section and count until you land on the username that matches that number.

2. Use Easypromos' Instagram Sweepstakes App.

You might consider using a tool like Easypromos' Instagram Sweepstakes App to organize your giveaway, which can help you ensure fairness and efficiency when choosing a winner.

With Easypromos' app, you can filter finalists based on number of mentioned friends. Once you've closed your giveaway, the tool can randomly select between one and 1,000 winners, and alternate winners automatically. The tool provides a test run that you can try before the final draw.

Best of all, Easypromos' offers a link to a certificate of validity that guarantees the draw has been random, ensuring a level of transparency and honesty between you and your participants. You can customize the certificate for your brand.

3. Use a random name picker.

This last option is likely the most tedious, but if your giveaway participant pool is relatively small, you could consider using a random name picker to choose your winner by username instead of number. Particularly if you've already compiled your list of names into a spreadsheet, this could be a good option for you.

To use a random name picker, go to a website like Miniwebtool.com and input all usernames, each on a separate line, into the text box. Then click the "Pick a name" button.

3 Tools To Run Your Contests and Giveaways

  1. Wishpond
  2. Easypromos
  3. Woobox

1. Wishpond

Wishpond is a great tool that can help you organize and track your Instagram giveaways.

With Wishpond, you can run an Instagram hashtag giveaway and view all the entrants on your dashboard. You can even add a voting capability for users to vote on the best entry.

The goal of this type of tool is to help you take your giveaway and promotions to the next level. If you want to run regular contests on Instagram, it might make sense to invest in a platform like this.

2. Easypromos

Similar to Wishpond, Easypromos makes running an Instagram giveaway or contest a seamless process.

This tool will help you track comments on one or several posts. It will help you determine if people tagged the right amount of friends in the comments section and help you randomly choose the winner.

The basic plan is affordable, with no-frills added. This is a great option if you want to run simple giveaways without adding on landing pages or marketing automation.

Alternatively, if you are running enterprise level giveaways, there are other paid options that will include the features you need.

3. Woobox

With Woobox, you can easily create and run successful contests, giveaways, polls, coupons, forms, and more.

You can download your Instagram comments and pick one or several random winners. Additionally, this tool allows you to easily collect winner contact info and export Instagram comments.

If you're looking to use an affordable tool, this is an excellent option. There is a free plan for smaller giveaways, but also an enterprise level power plan for larger contests.

Using a tool is a great way to organize and track your giveaways. Now, let's see what a giveaway looks like in action.

Instagram Giveaway Examples

1. Domino's

Dominos Instagram giveaway.

One of the more impressive giveaways in this list, Domino's offered the chance to win $10,000 for any participant who followed @Dominos, posted a picture to prove they're a superfan, and used the hashtag #PieceofthePieContest.

With simple, clear instructions, I'm willing to bet this was a successful giveaway as followers quickly spread the word about their love for Dominos -- and likely incentivized followers to order a pizza from the brand.

2. Ali Fedotowsky

Ali Fedotowsky hosts an Instagram giveaway.

Ali Fedotowsky, a lifestyle and fashion blogger and ex-Bachelorette, partnered with Sole Society to giveaway a pair of loafers and a purse. Since she's also well-known as an affordable fashion influencer, the partnership makes sense, and likely resulted in new followers for both Ali and Sole Society.

Additionally, Ali wisely instructed participants to check out her blog for the final requirement, likely resulting in an up-tick in traffic.

3. Cakesmiths

Cakesmiths hosted an Instagram giveaway.

Cakesmiths does a giveaway every Friday and uses the same hashtag, #FridayFavourite, to evoke loyalty and engagement from their Instagram followers. Cakesmiths is proof you don't need any outrageous prizes for a giveaway -- sometimes, a simple treat will do.

4. Dig Local Asheville

Dig Local Asheville Instagram giveaway.

Dig Local Asheville partnered with @findyourspiritfest to inspire people to visit distilleries in the local Asheville, N.C. area. This is a good example of how you might use your giveaway to increase awareness and excitement regarding one of your company's upcoming events.

5. SojoS Vision

SojoS Vision sunglasses giveaway on Instagram.

SojoS Vision cleverly asked participants to like six of their photos instead of just one, which likely helped them increase their Instagram engagement rates. Additionally, SojoS included 'Giveaway' text at the top of the image -- if your followers don't often stop to read captions, this is a smart way to draw more attention to your giveaway.

If you're interested in learning more about Instagram marketing, consider taking an online course, like HubSpot's Instagram Marketing Course.

Ultimately, running a social media giveaway should help you increase your brand recognition and attract more followers.

Editor's note: This post was originally published in April 2019 and has been updated for comprehensiveness.

instagram statistics

Sours: https://blog.hubspot.com/marketing/instagram-giveaway
  1. Siberian ragdoll
  2. Cactus crossbody bag
  3. Monster led walmart

6 Best Instagram Giveaway Ideas (And How to Execute Them)

Listen to the article (narrated by a real person):

When Instagram was launched by Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger in October 2010, it took the social media world by storm. Since then, the popular photo-sharing app has grown by leaps and bounds to surpass 1 billion monthly active users .

It is only natural that marketers and brands are dedicating more time and resources to using Instagram to build their brands. This means that your target audience on Instagram is flooded with pictures and videos on a regular basis.

It can be difficult for you to grab the attention of your followers and connect with them effectively.

So, how do you overcome this challenge?

In one word, Giveaways.

One way of increasing audience engagement and growing your followers is to use Instagram giveaways. Giveaways are a great way to start online conversations about your brand without being overly promotional.

Before we discuss some of the best Instagram giveaway ideas, let's take a deeper look at the concept. And the various benefits that you can get by hosting an Instagram giveaway.

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Disclosure: Please note that a few of the links in this article are actually affiliate links. If you click on them, I will earn a commission, without any extra cost to you. Please know that I have only selected the best affiliate marketing tools for you, which I personally tested and highly recommend. For more information, please read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

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What are Instagram Giveaways?

Typically, when you host an Instagram giveaway, you offer freebies to your audience, and ask them to do one or more of the following things:

  • Like and / or share your post
  • Use your branded hashtag
  • Tag their friends in the comments section
  • Follow your account on Instagram

You can also make your giveaway more engaging by introducing a competitive element to it. For instance, you could ask participants to upload a selfie featuring your product. Or participants could be required to take part in a poll in order to be eligible to win.

Let's take a look at one of the Instagram giveaway ideas that was used by Birchbox to promote their new product range.

Birchbox Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via  Instagram

The New York-based monthly subscription service gave their followers a chance to win an exclusive set of products before its launch . All they needed to do was choose the products they wanted to see in the set. The post received 2700+ likes and many comments, proving that it was successful at increasing the brand's visibility and engagement on social media .

Depending on your goals, you can explore a wide range of Instagram giveaway ideas. However, before we discuss those, let's delve deeper into the benefits of hosting an Instagram giveaway.

Why Should You Host Instagram Giveaways?

The biggest advantage of Instagram giveaways and contests is that they allow you to build brand awareness. Did you know that Instagram accounts that run regular contests grow 70 times faster than those that don't.

There are people who might be keeping track of your Instagram account without actually hitting the “follow” button. When you encourage them to hit that button in exchange for certain incentives, you can grow your audience effectively.

Also, if people can get freebies just by tagging their friends, they are more likely to do so. And people who get tagged on your post immediately receive a notification.

This, in turn, widens your reach by helping your brand connect with a new audience that may have been previously unaware of your existence. These people might further be motivated to participate in the giveaway by tagging their friends. Which enhances brand visibility and gets more people talking about your brand.

What more, you ask?

Another major advantage of contests and giveaways is that they improve audience engagement. The study by Tailwind also indicated that Instagram contests get roughly 64X more comments and 3.5X more likes compared to other content.

Also, the use of a branded hashtag improves brand visibility by showcasing your brand name to your audience. Thus, giveaways and contests can give you a chance to establish a connection with your audience and improve brand awareness.

Giveaways also provide access to a treasure trove of user-generated content. For instance, when you run a selfie contest, you can easily repurpose these contest entries on your own Instagram page. People who win a contest or giveaway and get featured on your page feel valued. This, in turn, reinforces loyalty by encouraging them to become genuine advocates of your brand.

In the long run, Instagram giveaways can also help generate leads for your business. When you reward the winner of a giveaway with free samples of your product, they are immediately drawn to your brand. If they enjoy using your products, they might even consider purchasing them. They are also likely to recommend your brand to others, thus encouraging more people to purchase your products.

But how can you ensure your Instagram giveaways are a hit?

Here is what you need to do to host a successful Instagram giveaway on your page:

How Can You Run Successful Instagram Giveaways?

While giveaways might seem quite simple and straightforward, executing a successful giveaway campaign isn’t easy. You need to ensure that your giveaway announcement actually reaches your target audience. Also, you need to be cautious so that the giveaway doesn’t land you in any kind of legal trouble.

Set Your Goals

There are different types of Instagram giveaway ideas that you can choose from. However, your selection will depend on the ultimate objective you want to achieve through your campaign. It will determine the rules and rewards of your giveaway.

Is your goal to see more engagement on your Instagram posts? Do you want to attract more followers and build brand awareness? Or would you like to generate leads for your business?

Your answers to these questions will determine which of the Instagram giveaways ideas you should use.

Draft a Detailed and Transparent Description

The first step for hosting a giveaway is to announce it on your Instagram profile.

This requires you to articulate a comprehensive description that outlines the following:

  • Mode of entry – Clearly specify what a user must do in order to participate in the giveaway.
  • Deadline – Set an end date to create a sense of urgency and encourage more people to participate in the giveaway.
  • Eligibility criteria and rules – If you want to attract entries from a particular geographic location or to target a specific age group, make sure you specify that in your announcement.
  • Prize – Don’t surround the reward in an air of mystery. Instead, you feature it prominently in your giveaway announcement to attract more submissions. Without a tempting reward, your audience may not feel sufficiently motivated to participate.
  • Winner announcement – In addition to the deadline, you should also specify the date and time when you will announce the winner(s) of your giveaways. This keeps your audience glued to your Instagram profile, thus strengthening engagement even further.

You should also ensure that your giveaway announcement abides by Instagram’s promotion guidelines.

As a rule, you should make it clear that Instagram has no direct involvement in the campaign. Also, you shouldn’t encourage inaccurate tagging just for the sake of brand building. For instance, you can ask participants to tag their friends in the comments section and not on the picture used for the giveaway announcement.

Also, ensure that your content, visuals, etc. are engaging enough to grab people’s attention. You can do that by using tried-and-tested social media giveaway templates from VYPER.

It helps you with all aspects of designing and running social media giveaways in an easy, hassle-free manner.

Try VYPER Now!

Want to learn from an example?

Take a look at the following description CATPARTY used for one of their Instagram giveaway ideas.

CATPARTY Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

The design studio and enamel pin company celebrated the milestone of gaining 1000 followers by offering Instagram users a chance to get their products for free. Notice how the rules, reward, and deadline are clearly specified in the image caption.

It is also worth noting how the brand has used an attractive and quirky image to accompany the giveaway announcement.

Select the Right Reward

Offering an expensive prize that is unrelated to your brand might attract freeloaders who will unfollow you once the giveaway is over. Such users are not the ones you want to target, right?

The only way to keep such irrelevant entries at bay is by offering a prize that is related to your brand. It could be in the form of an exclusive gift basket containing your products, loyalty points, or free membership.

To get more ideas on the type of rewards that you can give use VYPER. It does not just help you design viral social media giveaways but also provides tons of reward ideas.

Such rewards give the winners a taste of your products or services. If they like what they win, they might be willing to make a purchase from you. They can even turn into loyal brand advocates who recommend your products or services to their friends and family. Clearly, this is a great way to drive conversions and increase sales.

You should also ensure that the reward is proportional to the amount of effort required from a participant. A few product samples are enough to encourage people to like your post or follow your page. However, if you want them to upload pictures with a branded hashtag, you will need a more compelling prize.

Craft Your Own Hashtag

One thing that most popular Instagram giveaway ideas have in common is the use of a unique branded hashtag. In addition to increasing brand visibility, it also simplifies the entry process for participants.

Branded hashtags also make it easy for you to keep track of the entries. Make sure your hashtag is simple, concise, and easy to read. It should also showcase your brand name for maximum impact.

Announce the Winner

Make sure you actually announce the winner of your giveaway on the stipulated date and time. By delivering on your promise, you can create the image of a brand that is transparent and true to your potential customers. This can help reinforce the credibility and trustworthiness of your brand.

You can make the winners feel more special by highlighting their names and Instagram profiles on your own page. This special gesture can position your brand as one that truly values your audience. It can also help you build an army of brand evangelists.

Once you have announced the winner, make sure you edit any posts that announced the content and add a line such as “Giveaway Closed.”

Promote Your Giveaway

Merely coming up with a bunch of fancy Instagram giveaway ideas won’t guarantee results. In fact, even the best Instagram giveaway ideas might fail to achieve the desired reach and engagement in the absence of adequate promotion.

So, what do you do?

You need to ensure that your giveaway announcement grabs the attention of your target audience.

In order to solicit maximum participation, you should promote your Instagram giveaway on all social media platforms. Use popular hashtags such a #contestalert, #giveaway, etc. in your giveaway description. This is extremely useful to increase the visibility of your post. You can also use other relevant and trending hashtags in order to maximize reach.

In addition, you can collaborate with a relevant influencer to promote your content. Ask them to post your giveaway announcement on their own Instagram profile. This will help you tap into the loyal and engaged fan base of the influencer which, in turn, expands your reach even further.

For instance, HoMedics partnered with mom blogger, Joceline Raad, to announce a giveaway on Instagram. Her post received more than 1000 likes within a day of posting and was flooded with comments from ardent fans of Joceline.

HoMedics Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

In order to achieve the final objectives of your Instagram giveaway ideas, it is crucial to have a proper promotion plan.

Now, let’s take a look at some of the most popular Instagram giveaway ideas.


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Best Instagram Giveaway Ideas

Instagram giveaway ideas can range from something as simple as asking the participants to like a post to encouraging the creation of user-generated content. It depends on the end goals you want to achieve through the campaign. And it also depends on the budget you have for the reward of the giveaway.

1. Like and Share to Win

One of the simplest Instagram giveaway ideas is to encourage participants to like your post and share it on their own profiles. You can even ask them to use your unique branded hashtag while reposting the announcement. By getting your content shared, you will be able to increase brand awareness and attract more people to your Instagram profile.

Here’s an example of this kind of giveaway from Gardenscapes, a mobile game.

Gardenscapes Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

Users are given the option to earn coins by reposting the announcement with the hashtag #gardenscapecontest. This is an effortless way to reach a new audience without bombarding them with overly promotional content.

2. Follow to Win

Another one of the best Instagram giveaway ideas, this one requires participants to follow your Instagram profile to enter to win the prize. Needless to say, this is a great way to grow your follower count and build brand awareness. It is often used in combination with other Instagram giveaway ideas.

Found Wild Project, a photography collective, frequently hosts such Instagram giveaways. For instance, in the example below, users need to follow FWP on Instagram and tag at least three of their friends to enter to win a pair of polarized shades. Such campaigns have helped the collective garner a loyal community of 31,000+ Instagram followers.

Found Wild Project Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

You can grow your audience further by encouraging users to like and follow your profile on other social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter.

3. Tag a Friend

This is one of the most effective Instagram giveaway ideas to grow your audience. The concept is fairly self-explanatory – participants need to tag one or more of their friends in the comments section to be eligible to win the prize.

The users who have been tagged can further tag their friends to participate in the giveaway. This is an effective way of expanding your reach in a fast yet subtle manner.

When people get tagged in your post, they will take notice of your giveaway announcement and your Instagram profile. This enables you to reach an audience that may not have been accessed via other modes of communication. That is why tag-a-friend is one of the most popular Instagram giveaway ideas.

Atlanta Bucket List (ATL Bucket List), one of Atlanta’s most popular food-based Instagram accounts, often collaborates with restaurants and brands to announce such giveaways. In this particular example, they have partnered with Honeysuckle Gelato to give away free servings of their desserts.

Atlanta Bucket List Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

The first rule of the giveaways asks participants to follow both ATL Bucket List and Honeysuckle Gelato on Instagram. This helps both the brands grow their audiences in an effective and speedy manner.

A slight variation of the tag-a-friend giveaway is to ask participants to nominate their friends for a prize. Instead of winning the prize for themselves, participants can indirectly reward their friends with your freebies. This strategy offers the same benefits as other Instagram giveaway ideas.

4. Photo Contest

This is one of the most popular and prevalent Instagram giveaway ideas.

Want to know how it works?

Read on to find out…

Your audience uploads content (pictures, selfies, and videos) on Instagram regularly. You can incentivize this behavior for your own benefit by encouraging them to upload a picture showcasing your product/brand. You should also encourage the use of your branded hashtag in order to ensure maximum brand visibility.

This is one of the best Instagram giveaway ideas for boosting brand awareness and engagement.

When participants upload pictures with your branded hashtag on their Instagram profiles, their network of followers and friends becomes aware of your brand. With the right incentive, you can even encourage some people from this extended network to take part in the giveaway.

Another reason why this is one of the most popular Instagram giveaways ideas is that it presents you with an endless pool of user-generated content.

This content can be repurpose d at a later stage when you are running short of creative ideas for Instagram posts. Such a giveaway becomes even more effective when your audience includes photography enthusiasts. In addition to presenting them with material rewards, you can also give them a chance to get featured on your Instagram page.

For instance, take a look at the photo contest that was announced by a Boston news channel.

Boston news channel Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via  Instagram

The description clearly outlines eligibility criteria and rewards, leaving no room for ambiguity.

5. Create a Caption

One of the most common and simplest Instagram giveaways ideas is to post a picture without a proper caption. The trick is to encourage users to post their own captions in the comments section.

The winner, in turn, is rewarded with freebies. In addition, you can also edit the posts to showcase the winning caption.

Create a Caption Instagram Giveaway IdeasImage via Instagram

6. Scheduled Giveaways

One way to create buzz about your Instagram giveaways is to announce them at regular intervals. For instance, you could start a weekly or monthly giveaway series. This gives your audience something to look forward to. Such anticipation is extremely beneficial for boosting engagement and reinforcing loyalty through your Instagram giveaway ideas.

You can create and run all these kinds of social media giveaways and promotions using VYPER . It has templates for different types of campaigns and is your one-stop-tool to run such end-to-end campaigns.

Use VYPER Now

FAQs

Q1. What are good giveaway ideas?

A. Here are some of the best giveaway ideas for Instagram:

  • Like and Share to Win
  • Follow to Win
  • Tag a Friend
  • Photo Contest
  • Create a Caption
  • Scheduled Giveaways

Q2. How do I do a giveaway on Instagram?

A. Here are the steps that you need to follow to do a giveaway on Instagram:

  • Decide on the prize for the giveaway
  • Figure out the goal of your giveaway
  • Decide on the giveaway format
  • Consider partnering with another brand
  • Determine the duration of the giveaway
  • Decide on the method of selecting the winners
  • Launch and promote the giveaway

Q3. How do you pick a winner on Instagram giveaway?

A. There are numerous ways through which you can pick a winner for your Instagram giveaway:

  • Use a software solution
  • Leverage a randomizer after entering all the names in it
  • Select a winner manually through comments or likes
  • Pick a winner from those who have given the right answer

Q4. What are some good giveaway prizes?

A. Some great giveaway prizes that you can give to your audience are:

  • Free products
  • Free services
  • Discount vouchers
  • Gift cards
  • Promotional products
  • Free tickets

Q5. How do I do a free giveaway?

A. Here are the steps that you need to take to do a free giveaway on Instagram:

  • Decide on your giveaway goal
  • Determine the prize for the giveaway
  • Figure out your giveaway format
  • Fix the contest duration
  • Launch the contest and promote it

Q6. How to win Instagram giveaways?

A. Winning giveaways on Instagram is mostly up to chance, but you can improve your chances by using the below strategies:

  • Upload as many entries as possible
  • Ensure you’ve followed all the requirements
  • Answer the questions correctly
  • Be an active follower
  • Find low entry competitions

Q7. Does anyone actually win Instagram giveaways?

A. Yes, many people do win Instagram giveaways but as the number of winners are few, you may think of it as a hoax. While there may be a few giveaways that aren’t very legitimate, you should stick to giveaways from reliable Instagram accounts as those will be real.

Q8. How can I increase my chances of winning a giveaway?

A. To improve your chances of winning a giveaway, you can employ these tactics:

  • Try entering the giveaway as many times as possible
  • Follow the giveaway account actively
  • In case of a Q&A giveaway, make sure you answer the question correctly
  • Find giveaways that have fewer entries
  • Double-check to ensure you’re fulfilling all the qualifying criteria

Q9. Are fake giveaways illegal?

A. Yes, fake giveaways would amount to fraud as you’d have promised something and not delivered on it. Even if no legal action is taken against you, people will start losing trust in your Instagram account. So make sure you only launch real giveaways.

Q10. Does your Instagram profile have to be public to win giveaways?

A. No, it’s not necessary to keep your profile public to win giveaways. However, it could help your cause if the host wants to check if your profile is legitimate. In such a case, keeping your profile public can improve your winning chances.

Which of These Would You Try First?

A variety of Instagram giveaway ideas are gaining immense popularity among brands and digital marketers. They are great tools for reaching new audiences and engaging with them. In addition, long-term Instagram giveaway ideas help you generate leads and drive conversions. This is crucial for building an army of loyal brand advocates.

You can choose from a variety of Instagram giveaway ideas such as like-and-share-to-win, tag-a-friend, follow-to-win, etc. You can even combine one or more of these Instagram giveaway ideas to ensure maximum participation. Include a challenge such a caption creation, photo publishing, etc. further boosts engagement and visibility. Regardless of the Instagram giveaway ideas that you choose, make sure to promote the campaign on different platforms.

Have you successfully implemented any Instagram giveaway ideas? Please share your experience and views in the comments section below.

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Disclosure: Please note that a few of the links in this article are actually affiliate links. If you click on them, I will earn a commission, without any extra cost to you. Please know that I have only selected the best affiliate marketing tools for you, which I personally tested and highly recommend. For more information, please read my affiliate disclosure in my privacy policy.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in influencer marketing, product launches, sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.

Sours: https://shanebarker.com/blog/instagram-giveaway-ideas/
Instagram Giveaway Ideas

An Instagram contest is a great way to draw attention to your brand on the platform that has more than one billion users. Contests and giveaways will help boost engagement and get your content noticed by the Instagram algorithm.

Before you dive into your first Instagram contest, though, there are a few things you need to know—from how to stay on the right side of the rules to how to get the best results.

Table of contents

Instagram contest rules

Instagram contest ideas

How to run an Instagram contest

Bonus: Download a free checklist that reveals the exact steps a lifestyle photographer used to grow from 0 to 600,000 followers on Instagram with no budget and no expensive gear.

Instagram contest rules

Learning the Instagram contest rules is not the most exciting part of launching an Instagram contest. But understanding and following the rules is one of the most important things you can do to ensure the success of your contest, and protect your brand.

Here are the dos and don’t of running an Instagram giveaway.

Do follow the law

Sure, this sounds obvious, and most brands don’t intentionally set out to break the law when they run an Instagram sweepstakes. But laws and regulations governing contests and giveaways con be complex—especially on a platform where your contest could be seen by people from all around the world.

Make sure you understand the laws and regulations in your area. If you plan to allow entries from people outside of your area, and especially outside of your country, you’re wading into complicated legal territory and you might want to ask a lawyer to help you draft your Instagram contest rules.

If you work with influencers on an Instagram giveaway (for example, by giving them a sample of your product to offer as a prize), make sure you follow the appropriate disclosure rules.

Do create a clear set of official rules

And make them easy to find.

For example, you could post your Instagram contest rules on your website and include a link in your Instagram profile for the duration of your contest.

You could also post them as the first comment on your post. Either way, be sure to tell people where to find the full rules.

If your contest is only open to people in a specific geographic area, you may wish to include that information right in the post, since it will eliminate a lot of unqualified entries from people who do not bother to read the rest of your rules.

No matter where you post your Instagram contest rules, they must include a statement that releases Instagram from any responsibility for the contest.

Do make it clear that Instagram is not involved in the contest

According to Instagram’s promotion guidelines, you must advise potential entrants that your contest “is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.”

Do not encourage inaccurate tagging

It’s okay to ask people to tag themselves or a friend in the comments on a post, but you cannot ask them to add inaccurate tags to a photo.

For instance, you cannot ask someone to tag your brand in a photo that does not include your products or services. (Ask them to use a branded hashtag instead.) You also can’t ask them to tag a friend in a photo unless the friend actually appears in that photo. (Again, tagging friends in comments is okay.)

Do not request Instagram support

Instagram is pretty clear on this one: If you choose to use their platform for a contest, you need to figure things out yourself. They specifically say they “will not assist you in the administration of your promotion and cannot advise you on whether consent is required for use of user content or on how to obtain any necessary consent.”

You’re also on the hook if any problems arise: “If you use our service to administer your promotion, you do so at your own risk.”

Instagram contest ideas

Now that you know the rules of how to run and Instagram contest, you need consider what type of contest makes the most sense for your brand, and your goals for this particular Instagram promotion.

1. Like and/or comment to win

This is one of the most common Instagram contest idea. It’s also one of the easiest for people to enter—especially if a Like is all that’s required. It’s easy for you to moderate as well, not requiring you to track hashtags or review incoming entries.

The Italian lingerie brand Cosabella runs a weekly giveaway contest on their Instagram account, usually asking people to like the photo and follow their account, plus comment on something related to the photo.

The ease of entering this kind of contest can actually present a challenge for marketers. If you’re using a contest as a lead-generation strategy, you could bring in a large number of leads, but they may not be very good quality, especially if all you ask for is a Like.

Asking for a comment directly related to the photo, as in the Cosabella example above, will help ensure people learn something about your brand through the contest, and may weed out people who are just hunting for Instagram sweepstakes to enter.

2. Photo caption contest

It’s human nature to want to show off our wit and humor. A photo caption contest allows fans to do just that while also showing their loyalty to your brand.

All you need is an interesting or unusual photo. Post it on your Instagram feed and ask fans to post their caption in the comments.

The Sudbury Wolves OHL hockey team used this strategy to get fans excited about their first game of the season, offering a chance to win two tickets to the opening game for the person who commented with the best caption for this photo.

3. Tag-a-friend

A tag-a-friend contest can be a great way to expose your brand to people who may not have heard of you before, or who may not yet be following you on Instagram. The concept is simple: ask users to tag their friends in the comments of your post for a chance to win a prize.

Each person who is tagged will get a notification and will likely click through and see your post. If they like what they see, you may end up with a new follower.

St. Francis Xavier University asked students to tag three friends for a chance to win a $200 deposit on their school ring. With nearly 350 entrants tagging three friends each, the school’s X-Ring Store account was promoted to at least 1,000 students—an impressive result for a specialized account that has less than 1,000 followers.

4. Trivia or skill-based contest

A trivia contest can be a great way to bring in a lot of brand love, as people respond to questions and show how much they know about your and your products or services. You could also ask trivia questions about a subject related to your brand—for example, a travel company could ask questions about an area where they sell packages, rather than asking questions about the packages themselves.

People who don’t know a lot about your brand already may end up researching the answers and learning about your brand in the process.

Asking fans to show off a skill related to your product or brand is another great option, especially if you offer products or resources that help people learn or develop those same skills. The entries that come in can serve as social proof of how well your products work.

BeatJunkies.TV posts regular challenges on their Instagram account, encouraging followers to show off their DJing skills for a chance to win a month’s membership to their service. Rather than simply picking a winner at random, they choose the person who showed the best skill. When they announce the winner, they always say what about the entry made it stand out.

The videos regularly get thousands of views.

5. User-generated content contest

An Instagram contest is a great way to collect content from fans that you can share across your social channels. Make sure it’s clear in your contest terms that you may share the photos and text that people submit.

You could ask users to show themselves using your product, share a story of how your product or service has improved their life, or simply post photos that are related to your product or service (like photos from their run for an athletics apparel company, or photos from their travels for a travel brand).

The freelancing platform Upwork asked followers to share their freelancing success stories using the hashtag #UpworkSuccess, with a $1,000 visa gift card as the prize.

Contest entries gave Upwork a great source of user-generated content talking about how well their service works and what a positive effect it can have on people’s lives.

That’s better publicity than any house-crafted ad.

6. Instagram Stories contest

Don’t neglect Instagram Stories when thinking about how to run an Instagram contest. You can run a 24-hour contest from your Story using the questions feature to collect entries. Use a good prompt to get users engaged.

You can also run a contest that lasts longer than 24 hours using Instagram Stories ads.

The German car manufacturer Opel used carousel ads in Instagram Stories to encourage users to take a test to learn which model of Opel’s ADAM car best fit their personality.

In just two weeks, they received more than 1,800 entries.

Opel contest on Instagram Stories

7. Scavenger hunt contest

A scavenger hunt can be a fun way to get your Instagram community involved with your brand. You can use your Instagram feed to provide clues that people need to follow to find a prize, or give people a list of photo tasks to complete and post on their own Instagram feed or Instagram Story.

The coding training center DevMountain Dallas took a neat approach to an Instagram scavenger hunt by asking people to screenshot toys hidden in the Google Street View of their campus. They asked people to send their entries in by Instagram DM, but you could also ask people to post directly on Instagram or Instagram Stories.

This was a clever way to get people exploring the DevMountain campus.

How to run an Instagram contest

Set clear goals

Knowing what you want to accomplish with your contest is the first step. Do you want to expose your account to new potential fans? Get more Instagram followers?  Build a library of user-generated content to post later? Or simply learn more about how your customers use your products?

The answer to this question will help determine what kind of Instagram contest to run, and allow you to measure your results.

Like goals for any marketing strategy, your Instagram contest goals should be S.M.A.R.T.: specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and timely.

Plan out the details

Once you have clear and measurable goals, you can create a plan to reach them. Here are some key questions to consider

  • What do you want entrants to do? Once you know the answer to this question, write a simple statement to explain how people can enter. For example, if you want users to share a photo with a specific hashtag, say so.
  • What are the rules and parameters? Make the complete rules of the contest available online. You could link to a contest landing page or a blog about the contest.
  • How long will your contest run? Set a start date and an end date. Make sure these dates are clearly stated.
  • Will you use a campaign hashtag? A hashtag will make it easy to track entries to your Instagram contest. If you plan to use one, include it on every piece of promotional content. Triple check your spelling. And do an Instagram search to make sure the hashtag is not already in use by another brand.
  • How will you notify the winner? Think carefully about whether it makes sense to announce the winner, or simply announce that a winner has been chosen. For example, if your entrants are under 18, you may choose to announce that a winner has been chosen but not the name of the winner. Either way, make it clear how you will notify the winner—for example, by direct message or through a tagged post.

Make it easy for people to enter

Remember that Instagram is primarily a mobile social network. That means people are tapping on mobile screens rather than typing on computer keyboards, so your contest entry process needs to be simple. Minimize the amount of taps and typing required to maximize your number of entries.

Choose an appropriate prize

Your prize should be valuable enough that it motivates people to enter your contest but not so valuable that it encourages entries from people who have no real interest in your brand. A sample product or trial of your service could be a good Instagram giveaway that specifically interests people who might be interested in purchasing form you in the future.

The independent EastSiders TV series offered the chance to be an extra in one of the show’s episodes as a prize for an Instagram contest—and not in just any scene, but the wedding scene much anticipated by the show’s fans.

That prize doesn’t have much monetary value, but it would be of huge value to the show’s dedicated fanbase.

Cross-promote on other channels

Make sure fans know about your contest even if they’re not yet following you on Instagram. Promote your giveaway on your other social channels to reach the broadest possible audience and maximize the number of entries. This is also a great way to make sure people who already follow you on other social channels know about your Instagram account and give them a nudge to follow you there.

When you mention the contest on other channels, be sure to provide a link to make it easy for people to find. This may sound obvious, but it’s surprisingly common for businesses to promote Instagram contests on Twitter without providing a link. Even if your handle is the same, providing a link makes it much more likely people will actually click through and enter your contest.

Reach more potential entrants with Instagram ads

Promoting your contest with Instagram ads ensures you reach the exact target market you’re aiming to reach with your contest.

Measure your results

Decide on your key metrics and how often you’ll track them. For example, you might consider:

  • Number of entrants and comments
  • Engagement levels
  • Follower count
  • Website or landing page traffic
  • Product trials or purchases
  • Positive and negative sentiment

If you’re running an annual contest, don’t forget to look at year-over-year comparisons.

You might also want to analyze the kinds of comments and questions you got. For example, did people understand how to enter? What was the quality of the content your received? Did you learn anything about your potential customers?

This type of information can tell you how to improve your contest for next time.

Use custom audiences to follow up after your contest

You’ll likely see more interaction with your Instagram account than usual during the time you’re running a contest. You can use all those extra interactions to build a custom audience for Instagram ads once your contest is over to make sure you stay visible to people who may have liked or commented on your contest post but not followed your brand account.

Use Hootsuite to manage Instagram alongside all your other social channels. From a single dashboard you can schedule and publish posts, engage the audience, monitor relevant conversations, measure performance, run ads, and much more. Try it free today.

Get Started

Sours: https://blog.hootsuite.com/instagram-contest/

Giveaway ideas 1k

7 Instagram Contest Ideas to Grow Brand Awareness

Instagram accounts that hold contests can achieve up to 70% faster follower growththan accounts that don’t hold contests.

If you want a popular Instagram account, coming up with and executing some Instagram contest ideas is a great start.

In this post, we’ll explore how you can use Instagram contests to raise brand awareness for your business.

We’ll also dive into some of the best practices to keep in mind when running your contests.

By the end, you’ll know how to run a successful Instagram contest that will bring your business the attention it deserves.

Why Instagram Contests Are a Good Idea

There are other ways to get more Instagram followers, of course, but few other methods can increase your follower numbers so quickly, and with such minimal effort.

Not only that: Instagram contests can also help you achieve more engagement.

Posts that are related to Instagram contests tend to earn roughly 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes when compared to ‘normal’ content.

instagram contest ideas - driving more engagement

On top of that, 91% of the posts that have achieved 1,000+ comments are contests.

Instagram content ideas - posts with most comments are contests

All of these stats show that running Instagram contests is one of the best ways to improve brand awareness.

If you’re worried about being stuck in a cycle of constantly churning out contests, all in the name of boosting brand awareness, don’t worry; you don’t need to continuously run contests to reap the benefits that good Instagram contest ideas can offer.

That’s because you’ll notice a trickle-down effect on the rest of your normal content as a result of running contests. People will feel a greater affinity toward your brand due to the goodwill you’ve generated with your contests.

As a result, they’ll be more likely to share and engage with your normal content.

Plus, because contests generate more followers, there will naturally be more people exposed to your content. This increases the likelihood that share and engagement levels will be higher than ‘pre-contest levels.

Best Practices for Running Contests on Instagram

Before you run your first contest, you need to be aware of some important best practices. Failure to follow some of these best practices could mean that you’re going against the rules of Instagram.

It could also lead to your contest producing lackluster results, which can amount to a lot of wasted effort.

What are these best practices?

The first is to make sure that you write a clear and detailed description for your contest.

When writing the description for your contest, be sure to cover:

  • What the rules are
  • What people need to do to be eligible
  • Any restrictions on who can enter
  • The prize
  • The deadline
  • When you will announce the winner

Doing things this way makes it easy for you to stay on the right side of the promotion guidelines provided by Instagram.

Instagram contest ideas - promotion guidelines

It is important that you don’t stray from the guidelines, as doing so could put your account at risk.

Here’s a great example of a contest description.

instagram contest ideas - description example (meraki notebook)

They’ve done a good job of making this detailed, so it’s difficult to fit into one image.

Here’s the first part, which helps establish a reason for the competition while also describing what’s on offer.

instagram contest ideas - continuation of description

This second part does a good job of letting people know what they need to do to be eligible to win.

instagram contest ideas - gain an extra entry example

The next bit tells people how they can gain an extra entry. The terms of the contest are clearly shown, while also indicating how the winners of the contest will be announced.

instagram contest idea - terms of the contest

By studying how others are writing their contest descriptions, you’ll learn a lot about what separates a bad description from a good one.

You also need to ensure you’re giving away relevant prizes that your target audience will feel compelled to have.

If you focus on giving away prizes that are relevant toyour target audience, your contest will generate better results.

If the products you’re giving away aren’t specific to your target audience, you run the risk of attracting followers that don’t care about your business or the products or services it provides.

In the long term, this arguably does more harm than good.

Such individuals may unfollow your account after a contest, or simply not engage with your profile in the future.

By picking the right prizes, you can reliably attract the right kinds of followers and generate brand awareness among the best demographic for your business.

All of which helps increase the odds of you earning a return-on-investment from your efforts.

As you might have guessed, giving away items of high value tends to produce higher levels of engagement.

The chart below shows that prizes worth $1,000 or more generally achieve 5.8 engagements per 100 followers.

Instagram contest ideas - valuable prizes get more engagement

This figure is quite high when compared to the 1.7 engagements that brands enjoy when they give away prizes worth $99 or less.

If you want to give away a high-value prize, but you don’t have the funds to invest in one, consider arranging a partnership deal with another brand. Provided that you have a large enough follower count, there will be brands that are willing to provide a prize for your contest in exchange for some promotion.

The way you promote the brand that provides the prize should be low-key. In the description of the contest, simply mention that the contest is sponsored by a particular company.

This Instagram post shows how you can pull this off.

instagram contest ideas - sponsored contests

You also need to put some thought into how you’re going to announce the contest.

It’s a good idea to use a custom image within the post that announces the contest.

Here’s an example of how you can do that.

instagram contest ideas - custom image for giveaway posts

As shown above, there’s also the option of adding the terms of the competition to the image, too.

With all of that out of the way, let’s check out some of the contest ideas you can use.

Instagram Contest Idea #1: Tag to Win

The tag-to-win contest idea is nice and straightforward.

All you’re doing is asking people to tag a friend in the comments section so that they can enter the contest, as well, and become eligible to win the prize.

This contest format does a great job of improving your profile’s organic reach.

That’s because once people are tagged by someone, they’ll likely receive a notification.

These people will then check out your profile and potentially become a follower.

They may also tag others. This will create a viral feedback loop, bringing more people into the competition.

To increase the impact of this feedback loop, you can also ask people to follow your account in addition to tagging someone.

Here is an example of a brand that uses this strategy.

instagram contest idea - to enter, tag a friend

If you want to be brave, you can ask people to tag two people. This, again, increases the potential reach of your contest.

The contest below shows how this can be done.

instagram contest ideas - tag two people

Here’s another example.

instagram contest idea - example 2 of tagging 2 friends

Once the competition is over, pick someone at random from the comments section. You can use an automated system to do this so that the contest remains objective.

If one of the entry conditions is to follow your profile, cross-reference the winner’s account with your follower list to make sure that everything is in order.

An alternative take on this format, the ‘nominate a friend to win’ contest, can work equally well.

Instead of asking people to randomly tag someone, you can instead suggest that they tag someone they believe deserves to win.

With this kind of format, the winner of the contest will be the person who has been tagged, and not the person who left the initial comment.

Instagram Contest Idea # 2: Like to Win

With this Instagram contest, you ask people to like your content if they want to enter the contest and have a chance of winning.

You can even use the phrase ‘double-tap to win’ since, on the Instagram app, double-tapping a photo automatically likes it.

There’s also the option of asking people to like your brand on Facebook, making it easy to increase the visibility and, therefore, the impact of your contest.

If you want to boost your follower count, mention that people also need to follow your profile if they want to be eligible to win.

Here’s an example of how that can be done.

instagram contest ideas - example of "like to win"

This profile has used the combination of asking people to follow and like, thereby increasing the potential engagement this contest can produce.

Instagram Contest Idea #3: Selfie Contest

Instagram is arguably the home of selfies, so this kind of contest is a great match for the platform.

It’s a type of contest that works particularly well with products.

With a selfie contest, you ask people to post a picture of themselves while they’re using your product, or with the product somewhere in the background.

This contest format is especially useful for a business because it helps show potential customers how a product can be used. It’s an excellent form of user-generated content.

When writing the description for a selfie contest, create a unique hashtagand then ask people to use this hashtag whenever they post their photos.

You can find the pictures people have uploaded for this contest by searching for the hashtag on Instagram.

At the end of the contest, pick the picture that you think is best.

Make sure that, when you create the rules for a selfie contest, you add that you might use the content at a later date.

User-generated content can provide an excellent source of social proof. Long after the contest is over, you can repost the content that the contest generated.

Here’s an example of how you can do a selfie contest.

instagram contest idea - selfie contest

Similar to the ‘like-to-win’ example from earlier, you can combine the format of the selfie contest with the other contest formats we’ve already covered.

You could mention that people need to like the post that announces the contest as well as posting a selfie.

Instagram Contest Idea #4: Photo Contest

The photo contest is closely related to the selfie contest we just covered.

The difference, however, is that you’re not asking people to take a selfie. Instead, they can take any type of photo they wish.

Like before, you ask people to submit photos using a relevant hashtag that you create.

You then search Instagram using this hashtag so that you can find a winning photo.

With this kind of contest, you don’t always have to offer a physical prize for the winner.

You can just let people know that the prize is that you’ll feature their content on your profile.

Here’s an example of a photo contest of which relates to a Boston News channel.

instagram contest idea - photo contest

Here’s another one from the Empire State Building Instagram account.

instagram contest ideas - example 2 of a photo contest

It may be that you have a product or niche that is perfectly suited to photo contests. GoPro is an exampleof such a product.

instagram contest ideas - example 3 of photo contest idea

If so, you should place a special focus on running photo contests.

That’s because this format will be especially easy to pull off while also providing you with an abundance of user-generated content that you can feature on your Instagram account.

Instagram Contest Idea # 5: Voting Contest

A voting contest revolves around the following steps:

  1. You ask people to upload a piece of content alongside a designated hashtag. You also ask people to tag your profile in the description.
  2. Your followers then search Instagram using this hashtag and vote for the one that they think is best. The easiest way to collate votes is to ask people to like the photo that they think should be the winner.
  3. The person with the most likes is deemed the winner of the contest.

Here’s an example.

instagram contest idea - voting contest example

This contest format is great at generating engagement because you’re asking people to take a lot of social actions. Plus, the people who enter the contest will promote their own entries through their social channels.

However, you could argue that such a format is potentially asking too much from people.

Because of this, you may want to use this contest format only when you have a highly-engaged audience that cares about your profile and its content.

With that being said, another way you can run this contest is by having people submit photos first, and then only you find them using the assigned hashtag.

Based on what you find, you pick 3-5 finalist images and host them on your own profile.

You then ask your followers to like the one that they think is best, and the photo with the most likes wins.

This approach can help you achieve great results with a voting contest without asking too much of your followers.

Here’s an exampleof a profile that is doing something similar, but instead asking people to submit the photos to the host’s account directly.

instagram contest idea - voting contest example 2

Here’s a bit more context.

instagram contest ideas - voting contest example rules

Here’s an example of how someone might post their own content in the hopes of obtaining a vote.

instagram contest ideas - voting contest, example 3

When running this kind of competition, you can also ask people to post their contest content to Facebook, as well.

Then you can count the likes that people have gathered on that platform and combine them with what they’ve achieved on Instagram.

Doing things this way can help expand the reach of your contest, improving your ability to generate brand awareness.

Instagram Contest Idea # 6: Caption Contest

A caption contest is a contest in which you ask people to caption a photo that you’ve uploaded.

From that point, you can either:

  1. Pick the best caption using your own judgment, or
  2. Tell others to like the best caption.

The caption with the most likes is the winner.

While the second option can be a good way to engage your audience, the first option can help prevent people from artificially inflating their likes.

Here’s an example of a caption contest:

instagram contest ideas - example caption contest

You may want to edit the image you use to announce the contest so that it highlights the fact that you’re in need of a caption.

instagram contest ideas - caption context example 2

The speech bubbles in the above post are a good example of how this can be done.

Instagram Contest Idea # 7: Challenge Contest

If you’re in a position where you need to put together a contest in a short amount of time, a challenge contest can work wonders.

With this contest format, you just need to come up with a simple challenge for people to meet, and the person who solves the challenge wins.

The challenge doesn’t need to be complex. In fact, simpler contests generally draw more social engagement and participation.

The post below shows how this can be done.

Instagram contest ideas - challenge contest

All that’s being asked of in this contest is that people guess which number the account owner is thinking of.

It’s simple and fun. The spontaneous feel helps to increase the authenticity of the profile, too, which helps boost long-term engagement.

Here’s another example, this time using a ‘guess the marbles’ challenge.

instagram contest ideas - challenge context example 2

This contest format is simple and low-effort, making it a good choice for anyone who is new to running contests on Instagram.

Conclusion

You should now understand how to use Instagram contests to grow brand awareness.

As soon as you run your first contest, you’ll find that the whole process is a lot of fun. It’s also probably much easier than you expected.

Decide on a contest theme, create the rules, and establish a dedicated hashtag. Increase user engagement by cross-posting the contest on Facebook.

If you’re feeling nervous about setting up your first Instagram contest, get in touch and we can help you strategize (and assist you with your other digital marketing efforts).

If you can encourage people to invite their friends to participate in the contest, do so. The more people who see your contest and content, the better.

Do you have any tips related to running Instagram contests?

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