How To Run An Instagram Contest

Aug 2021

Running an Instagram contest can be an exciting and rewarding way to grow your online presence and give back to your followers. You may have participated in a few social media contests before and know the excitement fans feel from being involved with companies and their communities. It’s enticing to want to share how much you love a business, knowing that you will receive a reward for your participation. Before you jump into your own contest, you need to understand what type of contest will work best for your business and what needs to happen before your launch date.

Types of Instagram Contests

The biggest question you need to ask yourself is, “What type of contest do I want to run?” With access to stories, feed posts and reels, the Instagram contest possibilities are endless. Here are the most popular social media contests businesses have found success with.

Like, Comment, Follow

This contest type is pretty self-explanatory. Your business posts a photo or video on your profile and asks followers to like the post, comment on the post, and follow your page in order to enter. Although this entry is simple for users, you could run into issues of losing followers after the contest is over and you must manually track which users followed all the entry rules. These types of contests are best run during a short period of time. 

Tag a Friend

Another popular contest method is tagging friends for entries. Many businesses use this tagging method as bonus entries, asking users to like the contest post and the business page. It’s a great way to create a ripple effect of awareness around your contest and business. Usually the prize for these is a product or service giveaway that works as a thank you to social audiences. 

User-generated Content and Hashtags

User-generated content (UGC) contests are a fun way to increase organic participation from your audience. In this method, Instagram users post their own photos or videos on their channels and use a specific branded hashtag that is provided by your business. You should also consider requiring users to tag your business in their posts as well. This will help increase attention to your overall profile and push your Instagram contest out to more people. Finding out who’s particated is simple with this method. Instagram groups all entries (stories, posts, and reels) under the same hashtag making it easy for you to view all entries at the same time. 

Giveaway Collaboration

Do you know another business or organization that would also be interested in running a contest? If so, collabs may be the right avenue for your contest idea. In this style, your business partners with another company and uses multiple audiences to promote your giveaway. Using this route requires users to follow both of your business profiles. You can also combine these collaborations with other entry options such as likes, comments, shares, and tags. This method is the best way to reach your largest potential audience. 

Getting Started

Now that you know the type of contest styles you can run, you need to start putting all the pieces together. 

Define Contest Goal

The first step in running a successful Instagram contest is to define your goal. Are you looking for more engagements on your content? Are you trying to build a bigger following and expand your customer base? Or are you just looking for new content created by your fans? Whatever goal you decide, ensure that every piece of your contest supports this main objective.

Establish Rules and a Prize

Your next step is establishing all the contest rules including entry methods and prize(s). For example, if you’re trying to build a following, you’ll want to make sure users like your page as part of the entry process. It’s also important to have the contest rules clearly stated on your post. This means stating the start and end date, when a winner will be chosen, and who is eligible (IE 18+, in the US, etc.) to enter. If you’re running a UGC contest, you’ll also want to note that users’ content will be featured on your business’s social media accounts. It’s important to be as specific as possible with these rules to avoid any compilations in the future. 

Create Assets

Now it’s time to pick your theme and get creating. You’ll want to put together graphics to cross-promote your Instagram contest on multiple platforms, in your email, and on your website. This will help you leverage your strongest customers and supporters and drive even more awareness of your contest. You’ll also want to get up some teaser graphics on your stories to excite your audience about the coming contest. 

Now that you know how to run an Instagram contest, it’s time to kickstart the planning phase. Remember to pinpoint your goal and make sure your entry method and contest objective support that goal.

megaphoneBusinesses that run Instagram contests grow their followers 70% faster.

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