Tips for Running a Successful Instagram Contest

Giveaways and contests on Instagram are a great way to get more followers, build an engaged audience, and grow your brand. But with so much content on the platform, it can be difficult to stand out.

So, before you start a contest, you’ll want to review these helpful tips on how to run a contest on Instagram that delivers!

1.   Review Instagram’s Contest Rules

The first thing to do before you launch your giveaway is to take a few minutes to learn the rules for Instagram contests. For example, contests must include rules, terms, and eligibility requirements. You also have to make it clear that your contest is not sponsored or associated with Instagram

2. Use a Branded Hashtag

Every contest you run should have a branded hashtag to go with it , as this will help you track entries and conversations about the giveaway.

Make sure it’s a specific branded hashtag. Generic and common hashtags like #giveaway or #contest will be nearly impossible to track or measure, as there are millions of posts using those same hashtags.

At the same time, you do still want to include those generic hashtags in your caption so that your contest will show up when people search for them.

3. Have an Amazing Photo or Video to Promote Your Contest

Instagram is all about being visual, so ensure that your contest graphic is engaging and eye-catching! Create a design theme or template so that when you promote your Instagram contest on your website or other social networks, the branding is consistent.

4. Make It Easy to Enter

The more user-friendly you can make the contest, the higher rates of engagement you’re likely to have. Having several ways to enter the contest will be confusing for your audience, plus it will make it more difficult to track. The rules and regulations should also be clearly stated and easily accessible. You can include guidelines in the caption or have a dedicated page on your website where all the information is listed. This will make you compliant with Instagram, as well.

5. Encourage User Generated Content

When it comes to entries, you have a couple of different options for how people will enter your contest. Some brands prefer to have users reply to a post, while others will require you to have a photo or repost a picture. 

Generally speaking, the less you ask people to do, the more entries you’ll get. However, getting people to perform a certain action, such as posting a photo or tagging your brand, will generate more engagement and build your following. User Generated Content has also been shown to be more memorable and more trusted than other types of media, so take advantage of that power to promote your brand!

The photos that participants submit should be directly related to your brand somehow, such as including a branded hashtags, tags, products or your logo. This fills your Instagram feed with self-promotional posts and lets your audience market your brand for you.

6. Consider the Timing

How long should an Instagram contest last? There isn’t a “right” answer, but generally speaking, most Instagram giveaways should last around a week. This allows enough time for people to discover and enter your contest.

The problem with running your contest too long is that there isn’t a sense of urgency; they may procrastinate or forget to enter altogether. Make sure your start and end dates are clearly stated so users don’t flood your comment section with questions about when to enter.

7. Promote Your Contest on Your Profile

If you post regularly, your contest post will get buried very quickly, and you can’t trust the algorithm to deliver your contest post to user’s feeds. To combat this, include a sentence or two about your current contest in your profile. Some reminder posts as the closing date of your contest nears would also be a good idea.

8. Use the Right Tools

Managing a contest on Instagram can be very difficult. You have to do everything manually, including finding the entries, tracking votes, and monitoring the conversations. Thankfully, there are tools out there to make your life easier. Be thorough to ensure you’re covered.

Ready to Launch?

We hope these tips will put you ahead of the competition when it comes to your Instagram contests! When done correctly, it can be much more than a way for people to get free stuff. It can also be an effective marketing tool to grow your brand and build a stronger community online.

Are you currently struggling with maintaining a presence on social media channels? Is it difficult to find time to post regularly? Frontline Web Consulting can help. Contact us today to discuss our social media marketing services. 780-760-6922.