Instagram Social Media Marketing

Instagram Giveaways – Great Ideas And Tips For 2020

May 14, 2020
Instagram Giveaways Featured Image


Instagram Giveaways – Great Ideas And Tips For 2020

As a social media platform that boasts with more than 500 million active users, there’s no doubt that Instagram has to be part of your social media marketing campaign. More than 71% of American businesses make use of Instagram for marketing purposes because it works. Instagram giveaways are part of any good marketing plan that uses the platform and we’ll discuss how you can use them to your advantage.

For the best results, we suggest that you have a complete and verified account. If you need help on getting verified on Instagram, check out our useful guide. Having a verified account is the first step towards having success and growing followers on the platform.

So, Just What Are Instagram Giveaways?

Instagram allows brands and companies to have contests on their platform in an effort to increase sales and awareness. These are called Instagram giveaways.

Such a giveaway is a contest that has a specific time limit and it helps to share information about the brand and enhance relationships with customers. Companies are able to reach a much wider audience with Instagram giveaways than they normally would.

In general, Instagram giveaways are pretty simple – you select a prize (or prizes) that you will be giving away. Then you inform your audience of the competition and set things in motion. Once the time limit has been reached, you announce the winner and viola! Your competition is over and you reap the rewards throughout and afterwards.

Why Do People Like Instagram Giveaways?

This is quite straight-forward – people love anything that allows them to walk away with free stuff. Honestly, who doesn’t? The word ‘free’ has impressive power over all humans, young and old.

These contests are especially great for brands who need to build their following – it is possible to increase your growth with up to 70% with a good Instagram giveaway.

In this guide, we’ll show you how to use these giveaways and which are the best practices. We’ll also tell you what to avoid when creating your own Instagram giveaways. Once you’re done, you’ll know just what to do when creating your contests.

Why You Should Have Instagram Giveaways

As we mentioned above, there are some serious benefits to having Instagram giveaways. One of the best things about the contests is that they deliver great results with little effort. This makes them a social media marketer’s best friend. 

Instagram giveaways are also a really nice way to increase engagement with your audience. You will notice that any posts that are related to contests get over 60 times more comments. They will also earn about 3 times more likes than your ‘normal’ content would. 

Boosting brand awareness is much more effective if you’re running a contest. With so many people engaging with your posts, you’re bound to see an increase in your following. And you don’t need to be constantly running Instagram giveaways for long-term results either. It is suggested that you do have proper and high-quality contests every so often though.

Important Rules For Instagram Giveaways

As with anything on social media, there are certain rules that you will have to stick to with your contests. Unlike Facebook, Instagram’s contests aren’t as strict. With that said, there are important details to remember.

Statement Of Release

Few people are actually aware of this, but you must have a proper statement of release when you’re announcing an Instagram giveaway.

Consider adding such as the following example to your post to make sure you’re playing it safe:

Users have to know that Instagram is not responsible for whatever happens to them if they take part in the giveaway.

Instagram requires clarity when you have contests.
You need to make it clear that Instagram isn’t involved. (

Also, anyone who takes part in Instagram giveaways that are content-based must acknowledge that they will abide by the terms of the platform. You can’t break existing rules of usage for a contest.

Instagram’s Endorsement (Or Lack Thereof)

When having an Instagram giveaway, you have to make sure that you make it very clear that Instagram is in no way involved. You simply have to ensure that no one thinks Instagram is part of your contest or endorsing it.

Tagged Content

You are not allowed to tag content if you’re not featured in the highlighted photos. Many brands and companies have been guilty of this before. You can’t ask followers to tag images or posts if they’re not featured in them as this goes against Instagram’s rules. Instead, ask your audience to use appropriate hashtags. Speaking of hashtags…

Correct Hashtag Use

You have to make use of the right hashtags so there is no confusion as to what it is referring to. You can’t just use #contest or #sweepstakes, you must have a clear hashtag related to your competition. Something like #bensbunsgiveaway would be more appropriate and it’s easier to create something catchy this way.


The IRS (Internal Revenue Service) will want you to behave responsibly if your Instagram giveaway is hosted in America. If your prizes are worth more than $600 each, winners will have to fill in IRS Form W-9. Winners will also have to give their Social Security Number and you have to inform them that they have to report to the IRS. Any deadlines with documentation should be made clear as well.

Brand Sponsorship

If you are partnering up with brands, there are many benefits but some additional rules as well. Influencers and brands must always be clearly identified and tagged in any contest-related content. 

Location-Specific Rules

Every country may have its own additional rules that come into play, and the different states in the US could also have varying rules. You should do your research to make sure you’re sticking to what is expected of you.

Instagram Giveaways Tip 

Display a list of your contest rules on all your websites and related blogs or social media accounts This isn’t a strict rule but is highly recommended. If your giveaways have many rules, it could clutter up your content. That’s why it would be better to link to pages that explain the rules to your audience.

Now that you know the rules for Instagram giveaways, let’s get into how to make contests that are interesting and fun.

Establish Your Goals

You have to be clear about exactly what the goals of your Instagram giveaways are right from the start. You could be aiming at growing engagement or your following, adding more people to your emailing list or producing creative user-generated content. Whatever the case is, it should be decided upon at the beginning. 

When launching a new product or service, having an Instagram giveaway can be a great marketing plan. As long as you know what your goals are, you’ll know which way to go with the giveaway.

Plan Your Instagram Giveaway

When you’re sure you know the goals of your giveaway, you can go ahead and plan the contest(s). 

The Prize

It goes without saying that your prize(s) should be related to your brand or service. It’s not a good idea to give away items such as an iPad just to generate traffic. You’ll get participants that won’t prove beneficial to your company at all. Sure, people will enter your competition, but you won’t get anything more from them. Instead, give away something that matters to your audience. For example, if you’re in the painting business, give away free paint or let the winner choose which room should be painted in their home, free of charge.

You can also consider giving away hampers that are loaded with your products, free memberships or loyalty points that result in exclusive perks. These kinds of rewards will give users a better idea of your products and services. If they liked what they won, or saw what is up for grabs, they may just become loyal supporters and advocates of your brand.

Ask For Reasonable Participation

If you’re asking your audience to go to some trouble, the prize you offer will have to feel ‘worth it’. Say, for instance, you’re asking people to share photos with your product or do an activity with it, they’ll expect a bigger prize. 

But if you’re simply asking them to use a hashtag and say something witty, they won’t expect so big a prize.

Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on. There is an example to be learned from – a clothing company promised free bathing suits to everyone who would repost their photo in 24 hours. It was a success, the company went from 7 000 followers to more than 750 000 followers almost overnight. However, they could not keep their promise and their reputation suffered for it.

Instead, have a limit if you’re going to give away to ‘the first people to do x’. Having a limit also creates a sense of urgency with your audience, prompting them to act faster.

Make It Clear How People Can Participate

You have to make sure there is no confusion when it comes to how your Instagram giveaways work. You can ask your audience to mention people in posts (this is different from tagging them). Or, you could (as mentioned above) get them to do an activity. Incorporating hashtags is essential and you could even build your whole giveaway around hashtags. If you so wish, you could even use a combination of the methods.

Establish The Rules And Conditions

You know now that making the rules very clear is important. There aren’t all that many and sticking to them isn’t too hard. Just make sure that there’s no vagueness about it. If there are conditions, stipulate these clearly as well. 

Conditions could be that only American residents can take part or someone of a certain age, for example. You should also establish how long the contest will be running. Anything between 1 or 2 weeks is the most recommended. Longer than that and your audience might lose interest. Remember that if you ask for time-consuming action to be taken, you need to give people enough time.

Select Your Instagram Giveaways Hashtags

The hashtags that you use are very important for the success and exposure of your contest.  It will also help you to keep better track of your analytics and how well everything is going. As we’ve mentioned above, make sure that your hashtags are related to your contests for the best results. The theme, product, service and your business must all tie together. It should also be exclusive to your brand and campaign.

Before selecting a hashtag, make sure that no one else is using it. Make use of branded hashtags for even better results. It will make keeping track of your contest a whole lot easier and get more interest from your audience.

Determine How You’ll Choose And Inform The Winner

While you are planning your Instagram giveaways, you need to make sure you know how you will be choosing your winner(s). You could use a random generator tool – there are many online tools that are free – or you can have a team that judge entries. Then, you’ll have to decide how you will let users who have won know. Will you send them a private message, mention them in an exciting post or use another method?

It is suggested that you first notify the winner(s) before making it public that they won.

Launching Your Instagram Giveaways

By now, you know what you want to achieve and how you hope to get there. It is time to launch your contest and then promote it.

You will announce the contest with a contest post in which you will communicate your giveaway. The graphics and text you use have to stand out so your audience will know something special is going on. 

Make sure that your image isn’t just about grabbing attention it should also be related to your content and the theme of your Instagram giveaway. How you promote your campaign will be influenced by how long you’ll be running it. You should use Instagram Analytics to determine when will be the best times to post about your contest. This may differ depending on your audience.

Important Note

Don’t stress if your contest doesn’t go viral overnight or generate huge results. Your very first Instagram giveaways may not be as successful as you would want it to be. But you must be able to learn from them. If you’re not hosting Instagram giveaways regularly, your followers may be hesitant at first. Give them time to get used to the idea and trust you more.

Consistency is key (as we always say!) and will help with creating trust and reliability. You can also cross-post your Instagram giveaways and get more exposure and reach more people.

Promote Your Instagram Giveaways

You are not the only one who knows the value of a contest on Instagram – millions of others are doing it too. So, it is important to promote your giveaways so they stand out. It is getting tougher to stand out from the crowd so this is an important part of your campaign.

A few ideas on promoting your contests

  • Announce the giveaway a while before it actually starts – this creates anticipation
  • Share links to your contest in your Instagram Stories and your bio
  • Create awareness on your other social media platforms
  • Share news about the competition on your website
  • Send notifications about your giveaway to your email subscribers

The more you do to get the news out about your Instagram giveaways, the more people you’ll attract and get involved.

Ideas For Effective Instagram Giveaways

There are many ways that you can ask Instagram users to be part of your contest. We’ll look at some of the most popular methods used to get engagement. You can use any of these suggestions or a mixture of them. If you have alternate ideas that are born from these, even better. The more creative you are, the better your contests will do.

Funny Captions

You can ask your followers to come up with funny captions (or just one caption) to your photo or series of photos. You can also ask them to be witty or sarcastic instead of funny. The type of caption you ask can be influenced by the tone of your company. However, funny captions are usually the most effective in this scenario.

Like And Share

Your followers will like this kind of contest. Ask them to like your Instagram giveaways and share them with their friends. This approach is also beneficial for expanding brand reach. If you can get only 10 people to repost your contest, you’ll already have better brand visibility than before.

Help Create A New Slogan

If you’ve been trying to find a nice and catchy slogan for your brand, you can always ask your followers for one. Use it as a way to participate in your contest and everybody wins. You can tell your followers more about your brand and ask them to come up with a cool slogan. Not only will this be a fun competition for your followers, but you’ll also have them feel important. Their input matters and you’ll be using one of their ideas for your marketing.

Ideas by fans can be left in the comments section of your post with the relevant hashtags next to them

Follow Page To Win

This is an old trick to get more followers – ask people to follow your page to be entered into the competition. You can ask them to announce their follows with hashtags in the comments section or they can tag you. It is an effective way to promote brand awareness as people will follow with the hopes of winning and likely be too lazy to unfollow you later.

Ask Why They Deserve To Win

You could ask your followers to comment with the reasons why they should win your prize. You can choose the answer you like the most and share that with your audience, showing everyone why this person won.

Share Creative Photos Of Products

If you sell physical products, you can ask Instagrammers to take selfies of how they use them and be creative. You should work in your hashtags here, asking them to share the photos with the hashtags to enter. You can share the best entries and create a sense of inclusion this way. This is also a super way to get some high-quality user-generated content to use later on.

Share Creative Photos Of Your Service

If you offer a service, such as bringing old furniture back to life, you can ask people to share photos of them making use of your service. An example of a qualifying photo would be the customer and your team working together to restore their furniture. Just remember that if entering your Instagram giveaways asks for a lot of trouble from users, your prize needs to be worth their effort.

Do A Quiz

A nice idea to get people to know more about your brand is to ask them questions and hide the answers on your websites. There are many ways to do this. This will attract more people to your website too, which is always nice.

Share Video Reviews

If you want to generate some good reviews that show your audience how great your brand is, this competition idea is a useful one. You can ask your followers to create a short video in which they review your products or service. The best video wins the prize. If your audience isn’t very large yet, you won’t get flooded with videos, but that’s okay. You will get more people involved as you grow and have more Instagram giveaways. This type of contest will give a better understanding of what your audience likes about your brand and what you could improve upon.

Work With An Influencer

You could rope in the help of a social media influencer, in this case, an Instagram influencer, to promote your giveaway. Having the exposure that comes with using these influencers is often underestimated.

Influencer marketing is much more than just a buzzword – it has become a legit and established form of digital marketing. For more information on how you can use it to enhance your marketing campaigns, take a look at our comprehensive discussion. We just love sharing all our knowledge with you!

You’ll be able to reach a much wider audience if you get an influencer to mention your Instagram giveaways to their followers, which are often hundreds of thousands or even millions.

Scheduled Instagram Giveaways

Another way to get a lot of buzz created around your contests is to make them a regular thing. You can have monthly or weekly giveaways. This gives your followers something nice to look forward to and creates an exciting sense of anticipation. That is always good for boosting engagement. However, it can be difficult to have interesting enough giveaways on a regular basis to keep people interested. It is suggested that you plan this way ahead and plan it well. Don’t plan as you go because people will notice and they will not like that you didn’t put enough thought into the prizes.

Bonus Idea

If you want to make your Instagram giveaways more competitive, add a strict time limit to it. But be careful with this approach, it can backfire if you don’t give your followers enough time. Plan it very well.

Announcing The Winner

You have to actually announce who won your Instagram giveaways on the dates that you determined. You will be delivering on your promise and this will create a good image of your brand. People will trust you more and your credibility will be much higher. Most likely, more people will take part in your contests if they see people really winning.

Asking the winner to share their experience with the prize is also a good idea. Many brands promise prizes and never deliver, taking people for fools. This will show that you’re not like those bad guys.

If you want the winners to feel very special. You can highlight their names and profiles on your brand’s page and on your other social media accounts as well as your websites. This is a special gesture that will go a long way.

Evaluate Your Instagram Giveaway Results

It is highly recommended that once your Instagram giveaways are over, you share a post that makes it clear the contest is over. You want your audience to know that the giveaway is over so they don’t try to participate and waste their time.

If you want to know if your contest has been worth your time, you should check your analytics to learn more. See if you have grown more followers, got more engagement, had more clicks to your website and if you’ve met any of your other goals determined before you kicked off the campaign. 

In case you have run more than one giveaway, you can compare the analytics you have to data from previous contests. This way, you can learn which contests are successful and why.

How Do You Choose The Best Type Of Instagram Giveaways?

All of the ideas that we discussed here are effective and efficient in their own ways. Which you end up using will depend on your marketing plan. You could even end up using all of them as you create more and more Instagram giveaways. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, it is recommended that you experiment with different ideas and methods for the best results.

Examples Of Successful  Instagram Giveaways

Sometimes, the best way to know what works and what doesn’t is by seeing what other brands did. We recommend that you go and see what your competition is doing. Don’t even think about stealing their ideas though. That’s bad practice. Instead, use what they did and do it better.

To get you started, we’ll show you a few examples of brands that nailed Instagram giveaways. Learn from what these guys did and go and be more creative and original when you plan your contests.

Kopari Beauty

Kopari opted to use the ‘Comment and Tag a Friend’ method. They invited fans to comment with their favourite products and then tag their friends. This got them a lot of exposure to people who didn’t even support their brand. The prize was also a really good one – one of every product by the company as well as a special hat, sweatshirt and beach towel. Overall, a really good idea.

Kopari Beauty kept things simple and it was effective.
A visually pleasing and easy-to-follow contest made Kopari Beaty enjoy all the benefits of Instagram giveaways. (Source:

Pink Lime Salon & Spa

This contest was a very colourful and creative one, cleverly using Pink Lime’s colours. They also had lots of visuals to go with the giveaway, creating a lot of excitement. The prize was a really nice one and worth $500. In addition, they had not one, but three prizes, attracting many hopeful Instagram users. All people had to do was share a photo of their current hairstyle and add the competition’s hashtag. To get extra entries, users had to tag their friends, which really drove engagement.

Pink Lime used all the right visuals and colours.
By giving away something that their audience would love, Pink Lime had a successful contest. (Source:

Fabletics And Bliss

With a 12-day contest that had winners and a different giveaway on every day, this competition was a bit more complicated than most. But it worked, and it worked well. It was a joint giveaway between Fabletics and Blissworld, with both of them benefiting from each other’s audience. All people had to do was follow both brands on Instagram, like the contest photo and then tag their best friend. For a bonus entry, fans could also share the post with a specific hashtag. This Instagram giveaway incorporated many good ideas.

Fabletics had a collab with Bliss that was a great success.
This contest was unique and that’s why it was so popular. (Source:

EarthQuaker Devices

These guys were really creative with their contest and used humour in their post – always a good idea. In this case, it certainly made a difference between ignoring the competition and sticking around to take part in it. EQD also gave away a prize for every week of April so they attracted a larger number of hopeful participants. The post was straightforward and it was easy to understand. Music fans had to simply follow the brand on Instagram, share their guitar setup and studio and tag two friends. Pretty simple but an easy way to reach a wider audience.

EarthQuaker Devices had a really good Instagram givewaway.
By using a very funny invitation, this contest stood out. (Source:


And there you have it – some pretty cool ideas on how to nail Instagram giveaways and make the most of this creative and fun marketing strategy. If you want more advice and useful tips on making your social media marketing campaign as awesome as possible, check out our blog, we share lots of cool ideas!

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