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How to run an engaging Instagram giveaway


Why you should run an Instagram giveaway

With 90% of Instagram users following at least one business, it makes sense you want to increase your visibility and reach on the platform. Still, it can be challenging to accomplish with such immense competition.

Instagram giveaways can help you hit a few different Instagram KPIs. Here are the top reasons you should consider including Instagram giveaways in your strategy:

  • Grow your following – Running a giveaway on your Instagram account is a great way to grow your audience. Contests tend to attract new viewers to your page. Also, the prospect of winning something draws users in and gives them a chance to familiarize themselves with your brand.
  • Engage your audience – Giveaways, by nature, give your audience a chance to interact with your brand and your content. Sure, they can bring in algorithm-friendly engagement in the form of likes and comments. But more importantly, they can encourage the sort of engagement that statistics can’t measure. It gets people talking on and off social media about what your brand is doing and can increase overall brand awareness of both web and brick and mortar retail.
  • Collect user-generated content – Contests can be an excellent opportunity to allow your audience to generate (free and creative) content for your page. Whether it’s caption contests, photoshops, or art, it’s a way to get the creative side of your followers going. Plus, your followers will love to see it — UGC serves as social proof, showing your followers and first-time account visitors that the community loves your brand.

In our blog post, check out what we wrote on this subject back in 2019.

hand holding a sign giveaway in the shop

How to set up an Instagram giveaway

Here is a step by step guide.

1. Determine your marketing goals

The first step toward running a successful Instagram contest is understanding what you want to achieve.

The best and most successful Instagram contests are intentional and well thought out, with a clear underlying goal.

Do you want to grow your following? Give back to your community? Promote a product? Boost brand awareness? Raise awareness of a social issue? Increase engagement? Show affinity with another brand?

Having a crystal clear vision of your goals will help fine-tune your strategy and keep your campaign on track.

2. Choose the prize for your giveaway

A fun part! Decide what it is your followers will be competing for. It could be a product or assortment of products, a gift card, or something else. Just make sure you choose a prize that makes your Instagram contest worthwhile.

It’s also wise to make sure the prize is related to your brand. Offering products and rewards related to what your page revolves around is more effective. It ensures that anyone who enters and follows you for the contest is engaged with what you do.

That will ensure plenty of leads come to your page – and that your current followers are rewarded for their loyalty!

3. Set the entry criteria

Your entry criteria depend, again, on your ultimate goal. For instance, if you simply want to spread brand awareness, you might ask each participant to like your post and comment with a friend’s name. This allows you to increase your reach quickly and result in new followers.

Alternatively, maybe you want to draw attention to your blog or another page on your website. If this is the case, you might ask participants to visit your blog or web page to find entry criteria. Such as a question you then want them to answer in your Instagram comments section.

Lastly, perhaps you’ve partnered with a brand, and, in exchange for one of their products as a prize, they’ve asked you to include a request to follow their brand as part of your entry criteria.

4. Promote your giveaway

Now it’s time to launch your giveaway.

For example, if you’re on Instagram, announce your contest through a grid post, story, and Reel – take advantage of all avenues.

​​Use a strong image for the post and include a clear call-to-action in your caption to encourage as many entries as possible.

Instagram giveaway rules

Based on Instagram’s promotion guidelines (as well as some of our own best practices), here’s a list of rules we recommend you include in your contest or giveaway:

  1. Acknowledge that your Instagram contest or giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram
  2. Include the name of the company hosting the Instagram giveaway or contest
  3. Set the dates the campaign will run
  4. Include participation restrictions — such as age and location
  5. Write clear guidelines on how to enter
  6. Outline how and when the winner(s) will be chosen
  7. Share details about how and when the winner(s) will be announced and how/when the winner should claim the prize
  8. Disclose details about how the prize will be delivered, including whether the recipient is responsible for delivery (shipping costs) or pick-up

Exclamation mark on red color background. 3d illustration

Instagram giveaway ideas

Now that you’ve gotten the boring part done, the fun can begin! Instagram contests and giveaways can be an exciting way to engage your target audience. Here are some of the best and most reliable giveaways to run:

  1. Like to win: Have followers like your post for a chance to win a free product or service. This helps you boost engagement.
  2. Tag a friend to win: Have followers tag one of their friends in the comments section for a chance to win. This allows your brand to reach new potential leads on Instagram and grow your audience.
  3. Like and share to win: You might ask followers to like your giveaway and repost it on their channels for the chance to expand your brand’s reach greatly. If ten followers with 100 followers each re-post, that’s a chance to reach 1,000 new people.
  4. Follow to win: Ask followers to follow your brand or a partner (or both) for the chance to win. This is a popular tactic since it’s an easy way to increase your follower count.
  5. Photo contest: Ask participants to upload a photo of themselves using your product or service. This is another easy opportunity to spread brand awareness since your participants’ posts will be seen by their network of followers and friends. It would help if you asked participants to include your brand’s hashtag or tag your brand for optimal visibility.
  6. Caption this: Some brands post images and leave the caption section blank with a “Caption this for a chance to win” command. Your participants will enjoy the chance to offer creative captions for your image, and you’ll be able to add the caption to your post with credit to the winner once your giveaway ends.

screenshot of an instagram giveaway like to win

screenshot of an instagram giveaway photo contest


If you want to grow your following on Instagram, hosting a giveaway can be one of the most effective tactics.

You can reach thousands of potential new followers with the right strategy while building a stronger sense of community around your brand. First, make sure you set up your giveaway the right way, including the rules. Then, have fun with it and good luck.

You can read how to get more social media engagement on your platforms here.