7 Ways to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway

7 Ways to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway

Introduction to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway

Instagram, the powerhouse of visual content and social connection, has become an essential platform for brands and individuals alike. It’s where photos, stories, and videos come to life, and where your audience eagerly awaits the next big thing from you. One of the surefire ways to capture their attention and drive engagement is by hosting an Instagram contest or giveaway. It’s a bit like throwing a party, where you’re the host, and your followers are the delighted guests. But how do you ensure your event is a smashing success?

In this article, we’re going to dive into the 7 Ways to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway. We’ll unravel the secrets to increasing your reach, boosting engagement, and turning casual scrollers into loyal followers. So, grab your party hat and let’s get started!

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1. Define Your Goals for Instagram Contest

To host a successful Instagram contest or giveaway, you need to start with a clear sense of purpose. What do you want to achieve with your event? This step is like drawing up a treasure map before you go on a quest – it guides you toward your goal.

What’s the Treasure at the End of Your Contest?

  • Gain more followers?
  • Increase brand awareness?
  • Drive sales or website traffic?
  • Collect user-generated content (UGC)?
  • Promote a new product or service?
  • Celebrate a milestone or special occasion?
  • Engage with your existing followers?

Your goal will serve as the North Star throughout the contest planning process. It’ll dictate your strategy and help you measure your success.

Know Your Audience

Just like at a party, you want to cater to the tastes and preferences of your guests. In the Instagram world, your guests are your followers, so you need to understand what they like and dislike.

What Makes Your Followers Tick?

  • What type of content do they engage with the most?
  • What are their interests and hobbies?
  • When are they most active on Instagram?
  • Do they prefer funny, inspirational, or informative content?
  • Who are your competitors, and what is their audience like?

Once you’ve gathered this information, you can tailor your contest or giveaway to resonate with your audience. It’s all about giving them what they want and ensuring they have a great time at your “party.”

3. Choose the Right Prize for your Instagram Contest

Imagine throwing a party without enticing snacks and drinks. Your Instagram contest or giveaway is no different; you need a prize that will make your followers excited to participate.

What’s in Your Prize Basket?

  • Is it something your target audience desires?
  • Does it align with your brand and contest goals?
  • Can you make it exclusive or unique?
  • Is it visually appealing for Instagram posts?
  • Does it have a perceived high value?

Your prize should be the shining star of your contest. It’s what will attract participants and keep them engaged. Remember, a party with a fantastic prize is a party to remember!

4. Set Clear Rules and Guidelines

Nobody likes going to a party with confusing instructions or no rules at all. Similarly, your Instagram contest or giveaway needs clear and concise rules to ensure a smooth experience for participants.

The Rulebook for Your Contest

  • How can participants enter your contest?
  • What are the eligibility criteria?
  • What’s the submission deadline?
  • How will you select and announce the winners?
  • Are there any restrictions on the content participants can post?
  • How will you handle disputes or issues?

By establishing these guidelines, you create a sense of transparency and fairness, making your guests (followers) feel comfortable and eager to join in.

5. Create Engaging Content

Now that you’ve sent out your party invitations, it’s time to decorate the venue and set the mood. In Instagram terms, this means crafting compelling and eye-catching content to promote your contest or giveaway.

Dressing Up Your Instagram Party

  • Design visually stunning graphics and images.
  • Write captivating captions that explain the contest and its benefits.
  • Use popular and relevant hashtags.
  • Post teaser content to generate excitement.
  • Share user-generated content from previous contests, if applicable.

Remember, the more appealing your content, the more likely it is to be shared and noticed by your followers and their friends. It’s like having a beautifully decorated party that everyone wants to attend.

6. Promote, Promote, Promote

Even the best parties won’t be a success if nobody knows about them. Your Instagram contest or giveaway is no different; you need to promote it vigorously.

Spreading the Word

  • Share contest posts across your social media platforms.
  • Collaborate with influencers or partners for wider reach.
  • Utilize Instagram Stories, Live, and IGTV for additional promotion.
  • Engage with comments and DMs to answer questions and build excitement.
  • Consider running paid ads to reach a broader audience.

Think of promotion as sending out invitations and reminders to your party. The more effort you put into it, the more guests you’ll have.

7. Engage and Interact

Once the party is in full swing, you, as the host, should mingle and engage with your guests. Similarly, during your Instagram contest or giveaway, you should actively interact with participants.

Be the Life of the Instagram Party

  • Like, comment, and share user-generated content.
  • Respond promptly to questions and comments.
  • Announce winners with fanfare and gratitude.
  • Consider hosting a live event to connect directly with your audience.
  • Encourage participants to continue engaging with your brand even after the contest ends.

This interaction not only makes your participants feel valued but also helps build lasting relationships with your followers.


Q1: How long should an Instagram contest or giveaway run?

Answer: The ideal duration varies, but a common range is one to four weeks. It should be long enough to generate buzz but not so long that participants lose interest.

Q2: Can I ask participants to tag friends in the contest posts?

Answer: Yes, encouraging participants to tag friends can help increase your reach and engagement, but make sure it’s not the only entry method.

Q3: How do I prevent fake accounts from participating in my contest?

Answer: To minimize fake entries, set clear eligibility criteria, verify winners’ accounts, and monitor participant activity throughout the contest.


Running a successful Instagram contest or giveaway is like hosting the party of the year – it requires planning, engagement, and a dash of creativity. By defining your goals, knowing your audience, choosing the right prize, setting clear rules, creating engaging content, promoting vigorously, and actively interacting with participants, you can throw an Instagram event that your followers won’t forget. So, don your virtual party hat, follow these 7 Ways to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway, and let the festivities begin! Cheers to your Instagram success!

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