Instagram Giveaways – How to run an Instagram Giveaway in 2021
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. Running Instagram giveaways (also called Instagram contests) are part of any good marketing plan that uses the platform and we’ll discuss how you can use them to your advantage.
First, have a complete and verified account. If you need help on getting verified on Instagram, check out our useful guide. This is the first step towards having success and growing new followers on the platform.
If you’ve ever wondered how to run giveaways on Instagram, stick around. Our Instagram how-to will show you the way.
So, Just What Are Instagram Giveaways?
Instagram allows brands and companies to run giveaways 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 a giveaway than they normally would.
In general, running Instagram giveaways are pretty simple – you select a prize (or prizes) that you will be giving away. Then you inform your target audience of the competition with a giveaway post and set things in motion. Once the time limit has been reached, you announce the winner and viola!
Why Run Instagram Giveaways?
This is quite straight-forward – people love anything that gives them the chance to win 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% when you run a good Instagram contest.
In this guide, we’ll show you how to run a giveaway on Instagram and which are the best practices. We’ll also tell you what to avoid when creating your own contest post. Once you’re done, you’ll know just how to successfully run an Instagram giveaway.
Best Way To Run Instagram Giveaways
One of the best things about running a giveaway on Instagram is that it delivers great results with little effort.
Doing a giveaway on Instagram is also a really great way to increase engagement with your audience. You will notice that any Instagram posts that are related to contests get over 60 times more comments. Running Instagram giveaways will also earn about 3 times more likes than your ‘normal’ content would.
The best way to run an Instagram giveaway is to be creative and dedicate. And remember all the knowledge we share on how to run a giveaway on Instagram, of course.
Important Rules For Instagram Giveaways
As with anything on social media, there are certain rules that you will have to stick to with when doing a giveaway on Instagram. 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 that you will run an Instagram contest.
Users have to know that Instagram is not responsible for whatever happens to them if they take part in the giveaway.
Also, anyone who takes part in a giveaway 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.
When running an Instagram contest, 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.
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 target 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 giveaway. 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 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. When doing giveaways on Instagram, you have to stick to the rules or risk serious trouble.
When partnering up with brands while doing Instagram giveaways, 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.
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. People should know where they stand and what affects their chance to win when you run a giveaway.
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 Instagram giveaways have many rules, it could clutter up your content. Link to pages that explain the rules to your audience.
Now that you know the rules for running Instagram contests, 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 giveaway are right from the start. You could be aiming at growing engagement or want to grow your audience. Also, you might also want to add more people to your emailing list or producing creative user-generated content. Whatever the case is, it should be decided upon at the beginning.
Plan Your Instagram Giveaway
When you’re sure you know the goals of your giveaway, you can go ahead and plan the contest(s).
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 something that matters to your target 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. People have to see what they gain when you are running an Instagram giveaway.
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. Give them a fair chance to win as well. No one likes a ‘rigged’ contest.
Don’t make promises you can’t deliver on with your giveaway.
Make It Clear How People Can Participate
You have to be sure there is no confusion when it comes to how your Instagram contest 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.
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 ensure that there’s no vagueness about it. If there are conditions, stipulate these clearly as well in your first Instagram giveaway post.
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.
Make it clear what the product or service that is up grabs are going to be – leave no room for complaints.
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.
Before selecting a hashtag, double-check 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. An added bonus of using a unique hashtag is that it will help grow your audience more organically. It is a great way to boost brand awareness.
Determine How You’ll Choose And Inform The Winner
While you are planning your giveaway, you need to be 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?
Launching Your Instagram Giveaways
By now, you know what you want to achieve when running a giveaway on Instagram. It is time to launch your contest and then promote it.
Make your announcement with an interesting Instagram giveaway post in which you will give all the details. 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 giveaway.
Don’t stress if your contest doesn’t go viral overnight or generate huge results. Your very first giveaway may not be as successful. But you must be able to learn from them. If you’re not running giveaways regularly, your Instagram 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 giveaway and get more exposure and reach more people.
Promote Your Instagram Giveaways
You are not the only one who knows the value of running 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. Choose a product or service to give away that will lure in more people.
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
If you create more awareness about doing an Instagram giveaway, more people will be attracted and get involved. You need to give your followers every chance to win, at least in their eyes.
Ideas For Great 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.
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 giveaway 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 giveaways 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.
Follow Page To Win
This is an old trick to get more new followers – ask people to follow your page to be entered into the giveaway. 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 product or service. 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. It will increase your follower count noticeably.
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 giveaway 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. Everyone likes contests with a twist or some fresh approach to it.
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 run 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 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 influencer marketing guide. 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. Their follower count is important when you want to reach more people.
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 competitions. This gives your followers something nice to look forward to and creates an exciting sense of anticipation. That is always good for boosting engagement.
If you want to make your contests 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 giveaway on Instagram 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.
Evaluate Your Instagram Giveaway Results
Doing a giveaway on Instagram will have many effects on your account. If you want to know how to run a giveaway on Instagram, you have to learn from your own contests.
You should check your analytics to determine if running an Instagram giveaway has been worth your time. 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.
How Do I Do A Giveaway On Instagram?
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 contests on Instagram. 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 Best Ways To Run 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.
To get you started, we’ll show you a few examples of brands that knew how to do Instagram contests. Learn from what these guys did and go and be more creative and original when you plan your contests.
1. Kopari Beauty
Kopari opted to use the ‘Comment and Tag a Friend’ method when doing an Instagram giveaway. 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.
2. 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. Now that’s how to run an Instagram giveaway!
3. 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. These guys were in the know on how to run Instagram giveaways. 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 giveaway incorporated many good ideas.
4. 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 Instagram giveaway was straightforward and it was easy to understand. Music fans had to simply follow the brand, share their guitar setup and studio and tag two friends. Pretty simple but an easy way to reach a wider audience. Clearly, they know how to run an Instagram giveaway!
And there you have it – some pretty cool ideas on how to run Instagram contests and make the most of this creative and fun marketing strategy. You can greatly grow your audience if you learn from these examples. If you want more advice and useful tips on making your social media marketing campaigns as awesome as possible, check out our social media marketing blog, we share lots of cool ideas!
Running Instagram giveaways may feel a bit daunting but can be a lot of fun. Once you know the best way to run an Instagram giveaway, you will be able to run more of them. But don’t expect to know this just from reading – practice makes perfect after all.