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How To Host an Instagram Giveaway

Are you a small business owner or entrepreneur who wants to attract attention to a new business or a new line of products or services? Have you been in business for some time but need to bring in new clients to keep your company afloat? Alternatively, do you run a large, successful business but want to keep growing? If so, a giveaway could be just the tool you're looking for.

Statistics show that giveaways have a conversion rate of nearly 34%, ranking higher than many other types of content. What's more, it boosts social engagement for your Instagram business account, increases the number of social media followers, and is an ideal way to collect information for an email marketing campaign. As an added benefit, a giveaway generates valuable user feedback that can help you better understand your target audience.

Instagram, one of the world's most popular social media networks, is an ideal venue for a giveaway. Following is some insight into how to do a giveaway on Instagram that will attract current and future customers.

Why Host an Instagram Giveaway?

Instagram has one billion monthly users. Of these, about half log on to the social network on a daily basis. Instagram's massive audience makes it an ideal spot to host a giveaway, but it's not the only reason to consider using this site as your giveaway host.

illustration of a polaroid camera with text that reads, “Instagram has an audience of more than 1 billion users.”

Instagram has some great features and amenities to make your Instagram giveaway planning easier than it would have been otherwise, including live video, reels, and instant translation to make it possible for people who don't speak English as their first language to join your giveaway.

Just about any business that has a visually appealing product or service can host a giveaway on Instagram. However, it's important to bear in mind that not all target demographics use Instagram. Well over half of all Instagram users are between the ages of 18 and 34, and men in this age range are more likely to use Instagram than women. An additional 15% of users are between the ages of 35 and 44; however, the numbers drop off significantly for older age demographics.

Still, Instagram offers an excellent opportunity for many businesses.

Illustration of a man holding a megaphone instead of an Instagram post border with text that reads, “Some of the most common types of Instagram giveaways include: 1. Like/Follow; 2. Caption Contest, 3. Comment to Enter; 4. Create a Hashtag; 5. Product Photos & Videos; 6. Tag a Friend; 7. Share/Repost”.

Types of Instagram Giveaways

What is the best way to do a giveaway on Instagram? The truth is there is no "one-size-fits-all" answer to this question, as a lot depends on your products, services, target demographic, and other factors. However, the following overview of giveaway types can help you get to know the options and pick the one that best suits your needs.

1. Like / Follow /Share

This type of giveaway is one of the simplest to join. All you need to do is put up a picture of the item being featured in the giveaway Instagram post and then explain if people need to like, follow, and/or share the contest post in order to be entered into the giveaway.

This type of giveaway is ideal for brands that need to grow a social media following or spread the word about a new product or service.

2. Caption Contest

As the name implies, a caption contest means putting up an attention-grabbing image online and having contestants come up with a caption for it. The person who writes the best caption for your Instagram giveaway post wins the prize. This type of giveaway can be great if you want to allow consumers to help with the creative for the product or service. It can also help you ideate.

3. Comment to Enter

A comment-to-enter Instagram giveaway requires individuals to leave a comment in order to be entered into the contest. This type of Instagram contest is great for learning more about your target audience because you can choose the type of comment you want people to enter in order to qualify.

For instance, you can ask people which product in your lineup they would be most interested in winning or ask how they would spend a $100 coupon on your site.

4. Create a Hashtag

Do you need some help generating a buzz around your social media posts? Do you struggle to create or find appealing Instagram hashtags because you don't have a lot of experience working with Instagram? If so, a create-a-hashtag Instagram contest can give consumers the opportunity to help you out.

Put up a contest post and encourage users to create a hashtag to best describe it. Award a prize to the user that posts the best tag in line with your instructions.

5. Product Photos & Videos

If you need more visual content for your brand on Instagram, consider a product photo or product video Instagram contest. To enter, users have to post a picture or video of themselves with one of your products and then tag you in it. These Instagram contests are very popular and you can likely find some examples to help inspire your own.

Make it clear that users don't necessarily need to make a purchase to join this Instagram contest, and make sure contestants know if you intend to use these photos/videos in your promotional materials at a later date.

6. Tag a Friend

A tag-a-friend Instagram giveaway requires users to leave a comment under the giveaway post and then tag one or more friends. It is often used in conjunction with a like/follow/share contest. However, you can run an Instagram giveaway that just requires them to tag a friend.

7. Share/Repost

This type of giveaway requires individuals to either share or repost your content to their Instagram account in order to be entered. It's great for organic Instagram marketing as it incentivizes your followers to share your posts to their Instagram feed or stories where others in their circle can see it. By having them share or repost to their audience, you benefit from increased reach, which can help you grow your brand. Any of these giveaway types will be loved by your existing audience and potential new followers.

How To Do an Instagram Giveaway in 6 Steps

Ready to run an Instagram giveaway? You'll need to prepare first. Good planning is the secret to a successful Instagram giveaway. Here are some steps to get you started on the right track.

1. Determine Your Goals

Have a clear goal for your Instagram giveaway. It will help you not only choose the right type of giveaway but also assess the event afterward to see if it was a success.

Some good goals for a giveaway include increasing Instagram followers and shares, generating a buzz around a new product or service, collecting email addresses for an email marketing campaign, and gaining insight into what your target audience thinks about your business and what it offers.

2. Choose Your Strategy (and Costs)

What will you offer in the giveaway? If your giveaway requires individuals to create a thought-out entry or post video/photo content, your prize needs to be worth their while. Some giveaway prize ideas might be a gift card, their choice of several products, or something else that holds decent monetary value.

However, if you have a limited budget, it may be best to avoid offering an entire product line or your most expensive product. Rather, stick with an easy-to-enter Instagram contest while offering something of value to your audience.

Have your team get together to generate some Instagram giveaway ideas and then create a strategy around the best one.

3. Set Criteria for Entry and Winners

Not everyone is familiar with how to do a raffle on Instagram, so spell out your Instagram giveaway rules clearly to attract users and avoid hurt feelings. You'll likely also want to set rules barring company employees and their family members from Instagram contests to ensure the giveaway is totally fair.

You'll want to carefully outline the Instagram giveaway rules so there are no misunderstandings. For instance, will you pay for shipping, or is the winner expected to do so? Can the item be shipped abroad? Does the winner have a set period of time to provide a mailing address?

As part of the Instagram rules, you should also note that this giveaway is not affiliated with the social media platform. This will release Instagram from liability and protect you.

Providing these details helps set clear expectations and helps avoid disappointing your audience.

4. Plan When You’ll Do the Giveaway

Anytime you need to generate awareness of a new product/service, create social media buzz, or boost your email marketing list is a good time for an Instagram giveaway. Just make sure you're not trying to host one at a time when people are distracted by other attention-grabbing events (i.e., a major election, sports competition, etc.)

Allow three to five days for a simple giveaway that only requires a few clicks to enter. A time frame of one to two weeks is good for complex giveaways with large prizes.

Illustration of a calendar with a check mark accompanied by text that reads, “What to consider when picking a giveaway date: Seasonality; Promotional opportunities; Giveaway entry window”.

5. Promote the Post

Most giveaway types require users to share your post, but you'll need to be prepared to do some of your own Instagram giveaway post promotion, especially when the giveaway first starts. In addition to posting on Instagram, talk about your Instagram giveaway on other social media accounts and on your website. Tell those on your email marketing list about the giveaway and encourage them to forward the email to others.

6. Pick a Winner

Use software to pick the winner if they can be chosen at random. There are a variety of free Instagram giveaway picker tools out there you can use.

If the Instagram contest involves content creation, as is the case in a photo/video sharing contest or caption contest, have a team of two or three people in your company help choose the winner.

Make sure to explain when the winner will be announced and the criteria used for judging the contest.

Learning how to do a giveaway on Instagram is fairly simple once you walk through these steps.

Get Contestants Signed Up for Your Newsletter

When the Instagram contest is done, don't forget to get contestants signed up for your newsletter. Some companies do this by sending an email right as the contest starts, welcoming potential new users, and sharing some introductory information about the company. Others prefer to do this after the contest ends and use the first email to offer a discount or other "consolation prize" to those who didn't win.

In either instance, Mailchimp has the platform and tools you need to make it easy to add potential new subscribers to your newsletter. You can group new people by age, gender, geographic location, or other criteria to send targeted emails to meet consumer needs.

You can also use the platform to test which newsletters generate the best return on investment. Not all your contestants will want to hear from you long-term; however, with a winning pitch and engaging newsletters, you should be able to retain a sizable percentage of the people who took part in your giveaway.

Run Your First Giveaway

Hosting your first Instagram contest may seem intimidating. However, now that you've read this guide, you know how to do an Instagram giveaway.

You should have no trouble running your first successful Instagram contest or giveaway if you follow the steps above. With some preparation and engaging Instagram giveaway posts, you can boost brand awareness, increase your Instagram followers, and find new happy customers.

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