How To Run An Instagram Giveaway

Instagram giveaways are one of the most effective ways to create a buzz about your brand, reach a wider audience, and grow your following.

In this article, we’ll explore the step-by-step process of setting up an Instagram giveaway.

Take inspiration from Nestlé, Nike, and Nutella, and learn how to host giveaways like a pro.

Benefits of hosting an Instagram giveaway

Successful giveaways can bring your brand to light, increase its visibility, and boost its reputation. Here’s how:

Grow your audience. Giveaway statistics reveal that Instagram hosts over 53 million giveaway posts in total, and they receive 3.5 times as many likes as regular posts.

Nurture your community. Besides attracting new followers, giveaways are a great opportunity to give something back to your followers.

Boost your business profile. Instagram giveaway rules usually request users to add comments, tags, or brand mentions. All of these can support your Instagram SEO efforts, increase traffic to your profile, and help push your content on the Explore page.

How to run an Instagram giveaway in 8 steps

Let’s dive into how to run an Instagram giveaway and explore ideas used by some of the most influential brands.

1. Define your Instagram contest goals

Designing an effective contest or giveaway starts with outlining the campaign’s goal. Do you want to gain new followers, boost your engagement rate, or drive potential customers to your website? Also, think about how these goals align with your marketing objectives.

Here’s an Instagram giveaway example from Nutella. It has three main goals:

  1. Generating social media around Nutella and its products. This Nutellamania campaign started a week before “Nutella Day” with a bold move. It encouraged fans to add brand mentions in their Instagram bios. Typically, competition rules might require mentions in a post or story, but with over 1.5 million Instagram followers and a substantial fanbase, Nutella aimed higher by targeting user bios.
  1. Strengthening brand reputation by bringing the community closer. Fans identified themselves in their Instagram bios and created user-generated content, which Nutella re-shared on its profile.
  2. Boosting sales during the duration of the campaign. Followers were offered an incentive: a Nutella prize pack that included a pancake pan, a custom jar of Nutella, a Nutella mug, and several types of Nutella biscuits.  

2. Understand Instagram’s promotion guidelines

Instagram is known for its laid-back approach to promotions, allowing users to choose how they want to engage with their audience.

Whether it’s a giveaway or an Instagram contest, the platform encourages creativity and flexibility in its promotional content. Its promotion guidelines are clear on the two most important rules:

You can’t violate Instagram’s terms and conditions, especially inaccurate tagging (or asking people to tag themselves in photos inaccurately).

You can’t imply that Instagram is part of your promotion – it is only a social media channel for your business.

3. Select a prize for your contest

Be creative and original with the prize. Tell a story, design a game, or a one-time offer to encourage your followers to join.

Nestlé’s social media strategy includes growing its Instagram profile. To this end, it launched a giveaway of limited-edition custom cookie cutters. Here we see another example of combining good storytelling with a well-picked date: National Cookie Day.

4. Outline the participation requirements and restrictions

It’s time to decide on the rules of the giveaway and the entry criteria. How can users join in? Is it open internationally? Do multiple entries from the same user count? 

To amplify your post’s reach, you can ask users to tag their friends in the comments. Tagging is a common strategy for promoting events—tag someone to bring with you in the comments.

Asking for user-generated content is another great way to engage your audience and build a strong brand community. Ask users to create playful content or turn it into a challenge to inspire participation. Kick off the challenge by sharing a series of pre-prepared content from your team, encouraging your audience to create and contribute their own.

Instagram giveaway rules should also be clear on any restrictions such as age and geography. Prioritize your primary target audience and design a promotion for that demographic.

5. Decide how to choose the winner

Choose a fair and transparent method for selecting the giveaway winner and follow the rules you’ve set at the beginning. Failing to keep your promises or deadlines can harm your brand’s credibility and reputation.

There are two ways to choose the lucky winners – manually or automatically. Manually picking a giveaway winner is time-consuming and more likely to result in an error.

However, if your giveaway gets only a limited number of replies, it is still an option. For instance, you can log all entries into a Google Sheet and use the RANDBETWEEN () formula to select a winner.

To choose a winner automatically, you can use one of the Instagram picker tool like RaffleKey. It allows you to filter entries based on different criteria and select a random winner. For instance, you can limit multiple entries from the same account.

You can also create a social media wall that offers a reactions feature and have your audience vote for their favorite Instagram giveaway contest entry. This is a great way to choose your winner, especially if you are running a UGC hashtag contest.

6. Partner up with brands or content creators

Strong brand partnerships can go a long way in a social media campaign. To help you grow your follower count, aim to partner with a brand with a larger audience than yours. However, it’s more important to choose a partner brand that shares the same target audience.

For example, the sneaker brand Solebox designed a campaign for Sneaker Freaker, a sneakers magazine with 1.5 million followers. Thanks to the Instagram collaboration feature, both brands could share the giveaway in a single post and increase their reach.

You can also partner with content creators who have an established audience that would be interested in your products or services. 

Here’s a social media giveaway idea from Nike Strength. The brand partnered with recovery technology provider Hyperice and wellness influencer Betina Gonzo.

With this giveaway, Nike Strenght (83k followers) taps into the fanbases of Hyperice (587k followers) and Betina Gonzo (77k followers). The brand also gains extra visibility and engagement by offering an exciting prize and encouraging bonus entries.

If you use Instagram to promote your business, consider using a CRM with Instagram integrations to bring all your marketing and sales efforts under the same roof. With it, you can create detailed customer profiles, track previous interactions with customers, and re-engage them on a different platform (say, website or email).

7. Choose your Instagram contest deadline

Allow enough time to give your giveaway post optimal visibility. Most giveaways last for two weeks, but you can also make them shorter or longer depending on the size of your campaign.

Prepare a project timeline so everyone on your team knows what steps they need to follow. The timeline should include key dates and times, such as when influencers need to sign their contracts or when you’ll close the giveaway.

Many prominent brands also sync their giveaway efforts with popular events, national holidays, or dates relevant to their industry. 

8. Run your Instagram giveaway with Keyhole

To make the most of your giveaway, you have to promote it and monitor user engagements as they happen. With Keyhole’s tools, you can do this from a single interface.

Before launching, use our Unlimited Smart Publishing to prepare a detailed content calendar. Draft the Instagram posts and Stories you’ll publish to announce the giveaway and prep the content you’ll use to sustain interest.

Introducing Social Publishing & Scheduling

Here’s what to do during the giveaway: Use Keyhole’s social listening capabilities to monitor direct or indirect brand, product, and hashtag mentions. This will allow you to get a bird eye’s view of how your campaign is going.

Keyhole | Real-Time Social Media Analytics & Reporting Tool

If you’re partnering with influencers, you can also measure the ROI and impact of your collaboration with our Influencer Analytics. All data is tracked in real time, so you can adjust your positioning even once the giveaway has launched.

Keyhole Influencer Analytics Dashboard

Running a successful Instagram giveaway

Instagram giveaways have enormous potential to grow your audience and brand awareness while building a connection with your loyal followers. 

Careful preparation will ensure optimal results. Every small detail—such as who you partner with, when you launch your giveaway, or what prize you offer—has an impact.

Good luck with your giveaway!  And If you want to see how it helped in the growth of your brand’s Instagram presence, grab Keyhole’s 14-day free trial today.

Author Bio

Radostin Anastasov is a Content Specialist at SE Ranking, a leading SaaS SEO tool. He has acquired his marketing and PR experience across various industries, such as SEO, AI, finance, and communications. When he’s not busy writing, he plays basketball to rock music.

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Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can you do a giveaway on Instagram?

Everyone can do an Instagram giveaway. All you need to do is choose a prize, post a visual about it, describe the rules, and hit the post button.

2. Do Instagram giveaways really work?

Launching Instagram giveaways and contests is one of the most effective marketing techniques. In fact, Instagram is the most popular platform for giveaways, with 53 million posts containing a related hashtag. Also, 91% of posts that get over 1,000 comments are giveaways.

3. How do you pick a winner on an Instagram giveaway?

The simplest way to pick an Instagram giveaway winner is to use an Instagram giveaway picker tool like RaffleKey that randomly selects an eligible submission from a post’s comments.