You’ve likely seen many blog and website giveaways over the years, but social media giveaways might be pushing them into oblivion soon. The quick-reaching abilities of social media platforms like Instagram can garner lots of giveaway entries in a short amount of time.
It might be time for your brand to branch into Instagram giveaways, which could help you boost your followers, increase brand awareness, and possibly lead to more business sales. Before you start, keep reading to learn the secrets to running a successful Instagram giveaway.
What Are Instagram Giveaways?
Screenshot from @kimchichicbeauty via Instagram
Instagram giveaways are contests held on the social media platform. Instagram accounts — usually brands — offer a prize to give away for free to one or more followers. To enter, Instagram users have to complete some sort of task as an entry, like following the account, commenting on the post, or signing up for the brand’s email newsletter.
The purpose of Instagram giveaways is to trigger an action from Instagram users. Usually, brands use giveaways to drive brand awareness or grow their Instagram accounts.
The best part of running these giveaways is that they give you the chance to get the outcome you want. For example, you can encourage participants to gain an entry by posting content to their account and tagging your brand or using a brand hashtag. Or, ask entrants to repost your giveaway picture to bring more traffic over to your page.
How to Run a Successful Instagram Giveaway
Screenshot from @dmoose via Instagram
Follow along with these steps to set up your Instagram giveaway:
Step 1: Understand Instagram’s Rules
Like other platforms, Instagram details several rules for people running giveaways, not only to make them fair for everyone but also to ensure that you’re not doing anything illegal or unethical in the process.
Most importantly, giveaways must have terms and conditions attached to them outlining age restrictions, participation dates, the exact price, etc. You’ll also need to include that your giveaway is not in any way affiliated or endorsed by Instagram.
Another important rule: Don’t make entrants spam your post by flooding it with meaningless comments for entries. This goes against its mission of authentic engagement and could make the algorithm ding your post and decrease engagement.
Step 2: Determine a Goal and Entry Criteria
Now, consider what outcome you’d like your Instagram giveaway to have, as this will affect what type of entries might work the best.
For instance, if your goal is to get more followers, you might encourage people to follow your account for an entry and tag other Instagram users for additional entries. However, if you want more newsletter subscribers, you could ask your followers to sign up for your newsletter and comment with the email they used to sign up. Check out these examples for some inspiration.
Step 3: Use Giveaway Hashtags
There are several Instagram hashtags that could increase engagement and entries on your giveaway post. Some popular ones include:
You can also use brand-specific or industry-related giveaway tags, like #techgiveaway or #[yourbrand]contest.
Learn more about Instagram hashtags and how to use them.
Step 4: Promote Your Instagram Giveaway
With the right entry tasks, your Instagram giveaway will almost promote itself, thanks to the engagement it will get from entrants. Still, you should consider promoting it, too, to maximize its success.
Here are some ways to do that:
- Write a blog post pointing people to your Instagram giveaway
- Syndicate the post or promote it on your other social media channels
- Tell your email subscribers to enter on Instagram
- Work with influencers to get the word out
- Cross-promote a giveaway with another brand
- Add your giveaway to websites with giveaway directories
Step 5: Choose a Winner (Fairly!)
Choosing a winner for your giveaway must be a fair process, or you’ll risk leaving a sour taste in your followers’ mouths. The fairest way to determine a winner is to use a random number generator or name picker.
The easiest option is Google’s number generator. To find it, go to Google and search random number generator. Type the number of entries you have into the Max field. Then, assign each valid entry a number. For instance, each comment on your giveaway post can be a numbered entry. Click Generate to get your winner’s number. You can do this multiple times for giveaways with more than one winner. Be sure to take a screenshot of the winning entries to show your participants.
Let the winners know as soon as possible via the method of contact you noted in your giveaway terms.
Don’t forget to add the Instagram Follow Button to your website to let your visitors know where they can find and follow you on Instagram.