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Instagram giveaways are an excellent viral marketing tactic to increase brand visibility and grow your Instagram account. Other advantages of Instagram giveaways include:

  • Opportunity to incentivize more user-generated content.
  • Build consumer loyalty
  • Encourage content virality

In this article, we’ll dive deeper into how to use giveaways to grow your Instagram account. Before we jump directly into the “how-to” process let’s start by building a strong strategic foundation for growth.

Instagram Giveaway Ideas and Planning

When an Instagram contest is well-run it can launch an unknown brand into the ‘Gram spotlight. That said, running a successful Instagram contest is easier said than done. Let’s jump into important concepts you should consider before launching your first giveaway.

Instagram Giveaway Pre-Launch Tips

1. Define a clear goal

The first step to running a successful Instagram contest is setting a clear goal. A goal will help you to know what you want to accomplish and from there you can start planning how to achieve the goal. Knowing what you want to achieve will determine the type of contest to run and how to calculate your result.

2. Plan contest details

Once you are sure about what you want to achieve with the Instagram contest, it is time to start planning. It is no secret that the key to a successful Instagram contest is planning. Below are some things to consider.

3. Describe how to participate

This is an important point to consider because this is the bedrock of the contest. Clearly state what the participants should do. Once this is done the contest kicks off.

4. Provide giveaway rules

Setting a rule is important in a contest. It helps to set everyone involved straight. Clearly state the criteria for winning and any other important rules that will help your Instagram contest excel.  Stating clearly the terms and conditions for the contest protects the participants as well as your brand.

5. What kind of content they should post

Stating the content that the participants should post for your contest is important to avoid unnecessary and irrelevant posts.

6. What hashtags should be included in the post

Hashtags are a big part of Instagram. So it will be great if you consider using one especially a branded hashtag. You need to include the hashtag on every post that promotes your contest.  Make sure that the hashtag you use is unique and easy to remember. 

7. How long will the contest be

Every contest has a beginning and an ending. As you plan make sure to state clearly when your contest is beginning and when it is ending. 

8. Describe how the winner is selected

Every contest must have a winner.  That is one of the things that makes it exciting. As you make your plan make sure to include how the winner will be chosen.

9. Share giveaway prizes

The prize is the major reason why people participate in Instagram contests and giveaways. You must be thoughtful with the prize that you want to give away.  The bigger the prize the more engagement and reach.  It is important to consider your audience when choosing a prize.

What’s next?

Tips to Grow Your Instagram Account Using Giveaways

Now that we addressed the fundamentals of launching a successful Instagram giveaway let’s discuss the different methods you can employ to optimize IG giveaways for more growth.

1. Run ads to promote the contest

Once you are done with setting a clear goal and mapping out a plan it is time to promote the contest. You can either run an Instagram ad or pay an influencer to promote it to their audiences.  Make sure to use popular hashtags in your promotion to increase your reach and visibility. Hashtags like #giveaway will come in handy.

2. Feature winners for greater reach and reputability

It is important to follow up with the winner once he/she is chosen. Post them on your page and how they passed the criteria to become the winner. When you send the prize to the winner also ask for a video or picture of them receiving it and post it on your page as confirmation. The video can also come in handy in the next contest you organize.

3. Measure contest results

At the end of the contest, it is important to measure the result. This will help you to know if the goal you set at the beginning of the contest has been achieved or not. The result will depend on the goal(s) you set.  Some points to consider are: Did your followers increase? Did the engagement level increase? Did you sell more products? How many people participated? Did the website or landing page get any traffic?  

4. Write down the insight and lesson learned

Every contest is an opportunity to learn something new.  At the end of the contest, it is important to seat down and do a review. This will help you know where you got it wrong and improve your performance in future contests.

5 Tools You Can Use to Manage Your Instagram Contest

An Instagram contest is the best way to increase followers, engagement, and brand loyalty.  It is an effective marketing strategy. When done correctly with the right tools it is sure to do wonders for any brand or business. Below are 5 tools that can help you manage your Instagram contest.


Woobox is one of the tools that will help you manage your Instagram contests and giveaways effectively.  It allows you to run contests, quizzes, and others. It also tracks your campaign performance which will help you to make changes and improve the outcome of your contest. This tool is perfect for Instagram. 


Woodbox makes it easier to set up your Instagram contest with their drag and drop feature which helps you to personalize your campaign


Shortstack is another effective tool for Instagram contest management. This tool enables you to run various contests like photo contests, voting contests, sweepstakes among others.


Shortstack has 65 unique page templates that will come in handy if you want to create a landing page.  All these qualities make short stack a powerful all-in-one tool for your Instagram contest management.


Wishpond is a social contest tool that allows brands or businesses to run contests on social media. It helps businesses and brands to gain engagements and leads. You can create landing pages for your content using this tool. 


This tool gives a real-time report about your campaign and gives you the time to make changes and improve the final result. And when the contest is over you have the option to download the data generated into excel.


Vyper allows brands to run different types of contests on social media. It is super to use and has been designed to get you more customers, traffic, and leads.


This tool allows the brand or business to create categories of rewards and create bonus actions to reward people for following or referring someone.


SweepWidget is an impressive tool for Instagram contest management.  It helps brands and businesses to easily grow followers, shares, engagement, and likes on different social media platforms including Instagram. 


This tool has a sophisticated custom CSS builder and design editor. It also makes it easier for you to track, delete, disqualify and manage entries.

5 Best Instagram Contest to Inspire You

Like and Share to Win

This is one of the most popular types of Instagram contests. It is a favorite for brands and followers alike because of how uncomplicated it is. It involves encouraging followers to like and share your posts to stand a chance to win a prize. This increases the brand’s visibility and is a good way to get engagement.


An example of this kind of contest is the Meraki Notebook Giveaway.  To celebrate their 1000 followers and thank their followers the brand Meraki organized the contest where the participants were asked to like the post among other things to be eligible for the prize.

Tag a Friend and Comment

This is another simple and easy-to-do contest. It is a good way to gain followers and engagement. This type of contest exposes your brand or business to people who have never heard of it.  It involves participants tagging their friends and leaving a comment to be eligible to win.


An example of this type of contest is the one organized by Atl Bucket List.   Atl Bucket List is one of the best food Instagram right now and works with restaurants and influencers in their industry to organize Instagram contests and giveaways.

Photo Contest

This is an interesting contest because it involves pictures and Instagram was designed for users to show off pictures. This is also a good way to increase engagements and gain followers. Participants upload their photos using the brand’s hashtag. This contest generates an unlimited pool of user-generated content.


IGers Boston held a contest where the participants are to upload pictures that there took without leaving their homes and post on Instagram using their branded hashtag.

Selfie Contest

This Instagram contest is closely related to the photo contest. It works great with products. The participants can take selfies using the brand’s product or show it in the background. A selfie contest is a  great way for business to show their potential customers how their product(s) is used.  It is also a great way to get user-generated content.


Hen + Bear held a selfie contest where participants had to take a selfie wearing one of their products and tag them.

Create a Caption Contest

This is a very popular Instagram contest. It is a way to test people’s wit and humor.  This involves a brand or business posting an unusual picture and asking the followers to caption it.  The best caption wins the grand prize.

Trifecta organized a create a caption contest where the best caption will win a lifetime premium subscription to the trifecta app.

Important Things to Note When Running Giveaways

While you are running an Instagram contest and giveaway there are certain things you should know and below are some of them.

1. Follower drop off after contest/giveaway

It is important to note that majority of the people who came to your page during the contest were there for the giveaway and after the contest is over many will unfollow your page and not look back.  If you understand this it will help you not to dwell on the disappointment. 

2. Increased potential for bot following

Another thing to note is that you might get more bot following. It is one of those things that come with contests and giveaways.  You can block accounts that are leaving unusual comments on your page.

3. Clean up your followers after the contest/giveaway

This is something you should do at the end of every contest. This will help you fight off bots.  Block accounts that you suspect are bot accounts.  This will reduce your followers but will allow you to only interact with real people who are interested in your brand or business.

Final Thoughts

An Instagram contest is a great marketing strategy for anyone who wants to grow their followers, brand, engagement, and sales. To run a successful Instagram contest you need to set a clear goal, plan carefully, promote it. Keep in mind to follow up with the winner, check the metrics, and review the lessons learned.

Picture of Tirza N

Tirza N

Tirza is an advertiser, human rights advocate, and dancer. She is passionate about creating creative content and arts. She is a lifetime learner and always goes beyond her limit.

Tirza N

Tirza is an advertiser, human rights advocate, and dancer. She is passionate about creating creative content and arts. She is a lifetime learner and always goes beyond her limit.
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