How to Do Contests and Giveaways on Instagram: A Comprehensive Guide to Running an Instagram Giveaway Effectively

By: Ellen Bartolino

Welcome to the exciting world of Instagram contests and giveaways! Whether you’re looking to grow your Instagram presence, attract new followers, or simply engage more deeply with your current audience, mastering the art of a successful Instagram giveaway or contest is key. In this article, we will guide you through a step-by-step guide to not only host an Instagram giveaway but also ensure it’s a hit with your audience.

From crafting the perfect giveaway post to leveraging Instagram stories to promote your Instagram event, we’ve got you covered. Learn how to encourage participants to tag a friend and enter your giveaway, turning a simple Instagram post into a powerful tool to grow your Insta following. We’ll dive into the nuances of creating a successful Insta giveaway, understanding the importance of an attractive giveaway prize, and ensuring your contest or giveaway aligns with Instagram rules.

Navigating the realm of Instagram giveaways and contests isn’t just about posting and waiting. It involves strategic planning, from selecting the right type of Instagram giveaway to understanding the Instagram algorithm to promote your giveaway effectively. So, get ready to transform your Instagram following and make your mark with a successful contest!

How to do contests and giveaways on Instagram

Understanding Instagram Giveaways and Contests

The Appeal of Instagram Giveaways and Contests

Instagram contests and giveaways are a magnet for engagement and a powerful strategy to grow your presence. The appeal lies in their ability to create excitement and anticipation. A well-executed Instagram giveaway or contest taps into the universal love for free stuff, offering followers a chance to win something valuable in exchange for simple actions like following your Instagram account, liking a giveaway post, or tagging a friend in the comments. This excitement not only encourages new followers to enter your Instagram contest but also boosts overall interaction on your profile.

Moreover, these activities are a goldmine for increasing visibility due to their viral nature. When participants tag a friend or share your contest post on their Instagram stories, it amplifies your reach, bringing more eyes to your Instagram post and potentially your products or services. It’s a win-win; participants get a chance to win, and you get enhanced exposure and engagement.

When I first tried running an Instagram giveaway, I was surprised by the level of engagement it generated. I asked participants to share creative photos of my product, and the response was overwhelming. Not only did it increase my follower count, but it also gave me a treasure trove of user-generated content that I could use for future marketing.

Key Differences Between Instagram Giveaways and Contests

While both contests and giveaways are effective for promoting your Instagram, it’s essential to understand their differences to run a successful contest or giveaway. A giveaway is typically luck-based, where winners are chosen at random. This could involve actions like liking a giveaway post, following your profile, or tagging friends. Giveaways are great for quick engagement boosts and are relatively straightforward to participate in, making them ideal for attracting a large number of giveaway entrants.

Contests, on the other hand, require participants to engage in a more involved activity, like creating content, answering questions, or participating in challenges. Winning a contest often hinges on skill or creativity, not just luck. Contests are excellent for deeper engagement and user-generated content, which can provide valuable content for your Instagram feed. They require more effort from both the host and the participants, from setting up detailed giveaway rules to judging entries.

In essence, while giveaways are about casting a wide net to grow your Instagram following, contests are about deepening engagement and building a community around your Instagram presence. Both strategies, when executed well, can contribute to a victorious Instagram giveaway or contest, aligning with your overall Instagram marketing goals.

How to Plan and Run an Instagram Giveaway

Planning and executing a successful giveaway requires thoughtful strategy and attention to detail. Here’s a step-by-step guide to ensure your giveaway not only attracts participants but also helps you achieve your marketing goals.

Choosing the Right Type of Instagram Giveaway

The first step is to select the appropriate type of Instagram giveaway that aligns with your objectives. Whether you aim to grow your following, promote your IG post, or increase engagement, your giveaway type should reflect these goals. Common formats include ‘like and follow to win’, ‘tag a friend’, or ‘share this post’ giveaways. Each type has its own appeal and is effective in different scenarios. For instance, ‘tag a friend’ giveaways can rapidly expand your reach on Instagram, while ‘like and follow’ ones are excellent for boosting your Insta following. highlights the importance of clear participation rules and reasonable expectations for Instagram giveaways. They recommend that the effort required from participants should be proportional to the prize’s value​​. This insight is crucial for designing a contest that is both engaging and fair.

Step-by-Step Guide to Running Your Giveaway

  1. Define Your Goals: Clearly identify what you want to achieve from your giveaway. This could range from increasing Instagram followers to driving traffic to your website.
  2. Set the Rules: Establish clear giveaway rules that are easy to understand and follow. This includes the length of the Instagram giveaway, entry methods, eligibility criteria, and how you’ll select a winner.
  3. Choose a Prize: The giveaway prize should be appealing to your target audience. It could be your products, services, or something else that aligns with your brand.
  4. Create an Engaging Instagram Giveaway Post: Craft an attractive Instagram giveaway post that stands out in your Instagram feed. Use compelling visuals and an engaging caption to explain the giveaway details.
  5. Promote Your Giveaway: Use different strategies to promote your giveaway, like leveraging your Insta stories, sending out newsletter blasts, or collaborating with influencers.
  6. Monitor and Engage: Throughout the giveaway, monitor the engagement, respond to queries, and keep the excitement alive by interacting with participants.
  7. Select and Announce the Winner: Use a fair method, like an Instagram giveaway picker, to select a winner. Announce the winner publicly on your Instagram post and stories.
  8. Analyze and Learn: After the giveaway, analyze its performance using Instagram insights. This helps understand what worked, what didn’t, and how to improve future giveaways.

Remember, a victorious Instagram giveaway isn’t just about the number of entries; it’s about engaging meaningfully with your audience and achieving your set goals. With careful planning and execution, your giveaway can significantly boost your Instagram presence and create lasting connections with your audience.

After the giveaway, analyze its performance using Instagram insights.

Tips for Hosting a Successful Instagram Contest

Running a successful Instagram contest demands creativity, careful planning, and a deep understanding of your audience’s preferences. It’s an excellent way to use Instagram giveaways to grow your brand’s presence and connect with your audience. Here’s how you can create a contest that not only entertains but also aligns seamlessly with your marketing goals.

Crafting Engaging Contest Ideas

Begin by brainstorming contest ideas that resonate with your brand’s essence and attract your target audience. Aim to craft concepts that inspire creativity and active participation. This could be a photo contest where followers share an image featuring your product or a caption contest linked to a post on Instagram. The ultimate goal is to make these contests both enjoyable and relevant, fostering a genuine connection between your brand and its followers.

Using an Instagram Giveaway Picker for Fair Selection

Ensuring fairness in your contest is crucial to maintain trust and credibility. An Instagram giveaway picker can be an invaluable tool for this. It randomly selects winners from the pool of participants who meet your contest criteria. This tool not only simplifies the winner selection process but also helps demonstrate transparency, reinforcing participants’ trust in your brand and contest.

Promote Your Instagram Contest Effectively

A successful contest requires effective promotion. Use various channels to promote your giveaway or contest. This includes your Instagram stories, posts, email newsletters, and even collaborations with influencers or other brands. The more visibility your contest gains, the more participation you can expect.

Encourage Participation and Engagement

In any social media contest, engagement is key. Encourage your followers to enter the contest, tag a friend, share your contest on their stories, or interact with your posts in creative ways. This not only boosts participation rates but also significantly extends the reach and visibility of your contest.

In any social media contest, engagement is key

Follow Instagram’s Guidelines and Rules

Ensure your contest complies with Instagram’s promotion guidelines. This includes setting clear rules for the giveaway, defining contest terms, and ensuring that your contest does not promote spam-like behavior. Adhering to these guidelines is essential for a smooth and issue-free contest run.

Analyze and Reflect Post-Contest

After concluding your contest, take the time to analyze its performance using Instagram insights. Assess key metrics such as engagement rates, reach, and the influx of new followers. This analysis will help you understand the strengths and areas for improvement, providing valuable insights for your next contest or giveaway.

In another instance, I collaborated with an influencer for a contest. This move significantly amplified my brand’s reach. The influencer’s followers, many of whom hadn’t heard of my brand before, participated enthusiastically. This collaboration not only boosted the contest’s success but also brought long-term followers to my page.

Promotion Strategies: Maximizing Reach and Engagement

To ensure the success of your Instagram contest or giveaway, effective promotion strategies are essential. These strategies not only increase the visibility of your giveaway but also play a significant role in attracting new followers and boosting overall engagement on your Instagram account.

How to Promote Your Instagram Contest Effectively

  1. Leverage Instagram Stories: Stories are a dynamic way to keep your audience informed and excited about your contest. Use them to share updates, countdowns, and showcase entries. This keeps your contest top of mind for your followers.
  2. Engage with Followers: Active engagement on your Instagram posts related to the contest can significantly increase its visibility. Respond to comments, feature interesting entries, and keep the conversation going.
  3. Collaborate with Influencers: Partnering with influencers can amplify your contest’s reach. Choose influencers who align with your brand values and have an engaged audience that would be interested in your contest.
  4. Use Hashtags Wisely: Create a unique giveaway hashtag for your contest and encourage participants to use it. This not only categorizes content but also increases discoverability to non-followers.
  5. Paid Promotions: Consider using Instagram’s paid promotion features to reach a wider, targeted audience. This can be particularly effective in reaching potential participants who don’t already follow your account.

Create a unique giveaway hashtag for your contest

Turning Giveaway Entrants into Long-Term Followers

Your contest or giveaway is also an opportunity to turn entrants into long-term followers and potential customers. Here are some ways to achieve this:

  • Provide Value: Ensure your contest provides value to participants. This could be through the prize, the entertainment value of the contest, or the community it builds.
  • Follow-Up Content: After the contest, post content that is relevant and engaging to the new followers you’ve gained. This could include product information, industry insights, or related contests and giveaways.
  • Build Relationships: Use the contest as a starting point to build relationships with new followers. Engage with them beyond the contest, showing interest in their content and creating a genuine community feel.

Remember, the goal of your promotion strategy should not only be to increase entries in your contest but also to build a lasting relationship with your audience, turning them into loyal followers and customers. With these strategies, you can maximize the reach and engagement of your Instagram giveaway or contest, ultimately contributing to your overall Instagram marketing success.

Leveraging Instagram Giveaways for Growth

Insta contests and giveaways aren’t just engaging activities; they are potent tools for growing your Instagram presence and business. Understanding how to leverage these events can lead to significant growth in your Instagram following, engagement rates, and even your brand’s overall visibility.

Instagram Giveaway Ideas to Grow Your Following

Creativity is key when it comes to Instagram giveaway ideas. Think beyond the standard prize draws; consider giveaways that encourage user-generated content, partnerships with other brands for cross-promotion, or themed contests that resonate with your audience’s interests. These approaches not only make your giveaways more interesting but also encourage more profound engagement, which is favored by the Instagram algorithm.

Utilizing Instagram Giveaway Templates for Consistency and Branding

Using an Instagram giveaway template can streamline the process of creating attractive and consistent giveaway posts. A well-designed template ensures that each giveaway or contest you run maintains your brand’s look and feel, making your posts instantly recognizable in your followers’ Instagram feeds. Consistency in branding helps in building trust and recognition among your audience, contributing to long-term growth.

Enhance your Instagram presence and foster a deeper connection with your audience


In the dynamic world of Instagram, contests and giveaways are more than just a trend; they are powerful tools for engagement and growth. By understanding how to effectively plan, run, and leverage these events, you can significantly enhance your Instagram presence and foster a deeper connection with your audience.

From conceptualizing engaging contest ideas to creating eye-catching Instagram giveaway posts, each step plays a crucial role in the success of your event. Remember, the key to a successful Instagram giveaway or contest lies not just in the number of entries but in how well it resonates with your audience and aligns with your brand’s objectives.

As you embark on your journey of hosting contests and giveaways, keep in mind the importance of adhering to Instagram’s rules, using creative promotion strategies, and continuously engaging with your audience. By doing so, you not only grow your Instagram following but also build a vibrant community around your brand.

In conclusion, whether you’re looking to run an Instagram contest or host a giveaway, these events offer a unique opportunity to expand your reach on Instagram, engage with your audience, and drive your brand’s growth. So go ahead, get creative, and watch as your Instagram transforms into an engaging, thriving community.

Frequently Asked Questions

How can I ensure my Instagram giveaway or contest is compliant with Instagram’s promotion guidelines?

To ensure compliance with Instagram’s promotion guidelines, clearly state that your giveaway is not endorsed or associated with Instagram. Include all contest rules, terms, and eligibility criteria in your giveaway post. Avoid encouraging spammy behavior, like repetitive commenting or tagging. Regularly review Instagram’s guidelines as they may update their policies.

What are some creative ideas for Instagram giveaways that stand out?

To make your giveaway stand out, consider unique themes or collaborate with other brands for a cross-promotion. Interactive giveaways, like photo challenges or creative caption contests, can also be more engaging. Personalizing your giveaway to reflect your brand identity or current trends can make it more appealing and relevant.

How long should my Instagram giveaway last to maximize participation?

The ideal length of an Instagram giveaway varies, but a good rule of thumb is 1-2 weeks. This duration gives enough time for participants to enter and promotes the event, without losing the urgency and excitement. Adjust the length based on your specific goals and audience engagement patterns.

Can Instagram giveaways really help in growing my business?

Yes, Instagram giveaways can help grow your business by increasing brand visibility, engagement, and followers. They create excitement and can introduce your products or services to a broader audience. However, it’s important to align the giveaway with your marketing goals and follow up with strategies to retain the new audience.

What are some best practices for selecting a prize for my Instagram contest?

Choose a prize that resonates with your target audience and reflects your brand. It should be valuable enough to encourage participation but also relevant to what you offer. Exclusive items, your products, or services, or even a collaboration with another brand for a prize can make your giveaway more enticing.

Author Bio

Ellen Bartolino

Ellen is a seasoned author and communication expert, with a particular focus on Instagram. Her extensive knowledge of the platform has allowed her to create engaging and effective content for businesses and individuals alike. Ellen has a proven track record of crafting compelling Instagram captions and influencer marketing.