Do you want to quickly increase the follower count on your Instagram profile or give an instant boost to an engagement rate?
A popular method to gain new followers is to host Instagram giveaways. This method has gained lots of popularity, and as a result, some people started abusing Instagram giveaways to the point where the said giveaways got a bad rep. However, they are still a great way to gain new followers, if done correctly and transparently.
So, how do you run an Instagram giveaway? How do you ensure transparency? What rules do you need to know and follow surrounding Instagram giveaways?
First, let’s get clear on what is a giveaway. Giveaway is a content of sorts where participants need to do something in exchange for a chance to win a prize. Usually, giveaways require a participant to follow a specific account or accounts, tag their friends, repost an image, or use a specific hashtag in order to enter the contest. Usual prices involve gift cards or products.
There are three types of giveaways:
- And group giveaway.
Individual giveaway would be you giving away something of value, like your product or service or a gift card. Participants would need to follow you and then you would randomly select a winner.
Partnerships would involve two or more accounts. Let’s say you’re a photographer and you have partnered with Canon or Nikon to give away a lens or a camera. In this case, you would provide the exposure and another company would provide the prize.
Finally, there are group giveaways, particularly popular among bloggers. In this type of giveaways, also called loop giveaways, all partnering accounts would post the same image and tag the next person in line, until the last person tags the first person, creating sort of a loop. In this instance, a participant hoping to win a prize would need to follow all of the account to enter the contest, where there is usually one prize that all of the accounts chipped in.
There are a few important things to keep in mind and consider before hosting a giveaway.
The type of an Instagram giveaway
The first is clearly what type of a giveaway do you want to host? Do you want to do it all on your own, giving away your offer, do you want to find a sponsor who will provide the prize, or do you want to chip in into one prize and join forces with multiple other creators in the space to leverage the collective exposure and following?
The choice is yours and it will depend on the needs of your business, but I would suggest at least experimenting with it and participating it at least one of each giveaways to see what works best for your business.
Selecting a prize
Second consideration that is extremely important as it will dictate the success of your giveaway and the results you get is to align a giveaway with your brand as much as possible. It shouldn’t look like a one-off experience.
So, what do I mean? Think about what you want participants to do – follow you, tag their friends, repost your image, etc. And secondly, what kind of prize will they get for their efforts?
Clearly, the more you’re asking the better the prize should be. So, if you’re participating in a loop giveaway where they need to follow 15 accounts, the prize better be sizeable. Of course, if all you need them to do is to comment, then the prize can be smaller.
However, what’s even more important is that the prize makes sense for your audience. For example, if you’re a fashion blogger or a stylist, it makes sense to offer a gift card from your favorite clothing brand. If you’re a productivity coach, it makes sense to offer a yearly subscription for Asana or some other project management software.
Your prize should make sense and it should entice your followers to enter the giveaway.
If you’re a baker, you can offer a gift card for a grocery store. If you’re a photography teacher, you can giveaway a lens or a gift card to a photo store. You get an idea.
Your prize should make sense and it should entice your followers to enter the giveaway. If you’re a fashion blogger, offering a gift card to Whole Foods doesn’t make sense. It may be enticing for some, but it’s so confusing for your brand.
Instagram giveaway rules
The next important step is the rules. You have to clearly spell out the rules on how to enter the contest, what s the time frame for it, and whether there is something that improves your chances, such as tagging each additional friend grants you an additional entry.
Once the giveaway is over, you have to be very transparent as to who won, so an additional post announcing the winner is a great idea. I also saw some people recording a video of randomly selecting a winner and posting it to their Stories. Talk about transparency and fairness.
If you decide to run the contest for a week or so, it also might be a good idea to post consistent updates. This will ensure transparency as well as give an additional boost to contest participation. You can delete those additional posts after sometime to polish your Instagram feed.
The more your prize is aligned with your audience and the more precisely you target new people, the higher the chances are that they will stick afterwards.
Finally, if you do decide to participate in a loop giveaway, I would recommend keeping the number of participating account to 5 or so. The chances of participation are higher and the tracking is easier. People usually don’t want to follow 15 accounts.
Also, make sure that all accounts share a similar audience. This is the only way your giveaway will be fruitful. You don’t need exposure from a car mechanic crowd or a local coffee shop if you’re a business coach. So, make sure that all accounts share similar interests and audience, but are not directly competing with each other.
Hosting a successful Instagram giveaway
Finally, while giveaway are a great way to gain a lot of new followers fast, be prepared to lose some of these newly-found followers as fast as you’ve gained them. Some people might choose to follow your account just for a chance to win $500 Amazon gift card and will unfollow your account as soon as they find out the winner.
This is why it’s so important to remember your branding and your target audience. The more your prize is aligned with your audience and the more precisely you target new people, the higher the chances are that they will stick afterwards.
Have you hosted an Instagram giveaway before? What kinds of results did you get? What type of a giveaway did you host? I’d like to know! Share in the comment section below or head over to Instagram @lesyaliu to continue the conversation!