If you want to get closer to your community, contests on Instagram are a great option to increase engagement on your profile. According to digital strategy specialist Neil Patel, posts related to sweepstakes tend to get approximately 64 times more comments and 3.5 times more likes compared to other types of content.
Also, if you want to gain more followers, this is the best (and fastest) way to do it without investing in advertising.
Remember that you don’t need to be an influencer with millions of followers to connect with your audience.
here’s how to create original contests on Instagram step by step!
1. Raffle a product from your page
have you just launched a startup and don’t know how to make it known? A great option is to raffle a product of your brand. For example, many people who have started selling desserts have launched contests on Instagram to present their sweets.
This way, you can not only get the word out about your page, but also present what makes your product unique. If you sell desserts, you can ask users to choose an option from your menu and write in the comments why.
Image: Tartine Homemade Bakery
2. Ask your followers to describe a photo
This alternative bets on the creativity of Instagram users and is a pretty fun option. Remember that generating engagement is one of the keys to Instagram contests. what better way to achieve this than to invite people to think for a while?
what does it consist of? Upload a photo and invite your followers to name it. Obviously, the funniest and/or most creative will be the winner. Of course: the photo must be related to your profile or your brand.
3. Bet on “tag a friend”.
We already mentioned this strategy for Instagram contests, but it’s so good that it deserves a few more words. Don’t know how to get followers on Instagram without paying for advertising? A simple and quick way to reach more people is with this type of sweepstakes.
what does it consist of? Invite your followers to tag their friends to participate (it can be from 1 friend to the number you want). By stating in the rules that the participant and their friends must follow the page in order to participate, you will be sure to gain more followers.
Image: Neil Patel
4. Play with movies and series
For example, if you have a dental office, you can ask users to name a movie or series to describe their visit to the dental office. The idea is to play with your followers to generate more engagement.
Here the funniest comment can be the price, which, in this case, could be the discount on a service or the complete service.
5. Use a hashtag
This idea for contests on Instagram is even more daring, it will require a real commitment from your community: invite your followers to share a photo on their Instagram feed with a creative hashtag.
Here’s an example: if you have a company that offers pet accessories, you can run a sweepstakes that invites people to upload a photo of their pet with the hashtag in question. This will create an entertaining dynamic on social networks. Note: if you do this type of contest, it is ideal that the participating profiles are in public mode and make it clear in the rules. You can also check out this creative example from GQ magazine.
Image: Instagram GQ
how to use hashtags well for Instagram contests?
We’ve all seen those posts that use hashtags for everything. is it an effective resource for running contests on Instagram? The answer is it depends.
The “#’s” are meant to classify or categorize the millions upon millions of content used on various platforms. These tags started on Twitter and were quickly embraced by Instagram.
For this reason, you may come across some “sweepstakes hunters“. We are referring to users who thanks to hashtags discover contests on Instagram. You might think that everything is fine because you were still going to give away a product. But, don’t forget, the goal you had was to get followers who are interested in your products, not in your giveaways.
On the other hand, using hashtags is a way to get more reach, it’s true. So how can we use them well in contests for Instagram? The key is to use interesting trends for your target audience. That is, don’t lift your post using “#contest”, try better to use trends that interest your target.
is your store a pet store? Use #petfriendly #petstore. You can check your competitors’ posts and see what “#” they use, remember, the success of your contests on Instagram depends on reaching your target audience.
6. Reward the comment with the most likes
how about the idea of creating a contest to generate more interaction on your page and involve your entire community? The idea of this sweepstakes is that you ask a question and the comment with the most likes is the winner.
Not only will many people be encouraged to participate, but they will also start sharing your page with their friends and thus have more chances to win.
7. join forces with other brands
joining forces can be a big help in the social media arena! In this case, you could make a sweepstakes even more eye-catching by inviting other brands to participate. If you’re looking for contests on Instagram to gain followers, you can’t lose sight of this alternative.
For example, if you offer makeup products, you can contact different brands in the beauty industry to make a bigger contest. The idea is that the contestants follow all the Instagram pages involved.
Image: Califa Farms
9. Online scavenger hunt
You can use your feed as a playground to simulate an online scavenger hunt. The idea is that you share various clues in the images and explain to users how they can play.
For example, you could tell them: how many times has the color red appeared in the month? Although this contest may seem a bit difficult, your users will do their best to play and participate.
10. Invite your customers
would you like to reward your customers? In that case, this alternative is for you. The idea is that you offer a contest where only people who have one of your products can participate. Let’s say you work at Coca-Cola, a contest idea could be with the following caption.
share a bottle of Coca-Cola in your favorite spot at home with the hashtag #CocaColaEnCasa and participate!
Image: Mint App
11. give Reels and Instagram Stories a chance!
Although they only last 24 hours, some brands are already betting on Stories to do their sweepstakes on Instagram, especially if what they are looking for is a simple and fun option. how to do it?
You can invite users to answer a question or you can create a trivia for your followers to answer. The only negative aspect of this alternative is that other users will not be able to know who the other participants are and that takes away transparency points from the contest.
In addition, currently one of the types of publications that gives you more visibility in the Instagram finder are the Reels. You can take the opportunity to create a contest for Instagram by asking them to comment on your Reel or by sharing the one they prefer the most in their stories.
how to run contests on Instagram successfully?
Before drawing the first thing that comes to your mind, it is very important that you think about the relationship between the prize you are going to offer and your page. As Social Media Examiner explains, many profiles give away iPhones or iPads just to get followers without thinking about the purpose of their profile.
Therefore, it is very important that you take some time to analyze what your objectives are. It is not the same to raffle something to get more followers than to publicize your product. These are some basic tips that you should take into account before launching your first contest on Instagram:
Image: Georgia de Lotz (Unsplash)
1. Define the basics of your sweepstakes
Many people are encouraged to offer a prize without making it clear what the rules are. For example, does the winner have to bear the shipping cost, can the winner live in any country, what is the minimum age to enter the sweepstakes, is it a sponsored Instagram contest together with other brands or is it only yours participating, etc.
This is very important as it will save you from several problems with other participants.don’t forget to write it down in the caption and in a very clear way!
2. Explain the contest in a simple way
Use emojis and/or short sentences to explain the rules of your Instagram contest. Remember that if your post is too confusing, no one will be encouraged to participate!
As Metricool suggests, “don’t complicate and get straight to the point”. Instagram users will thank you for it.
3. Don’t forget the end date
It’s not only important to leave in writing the date on which your contest ends, but also to stick to it. Many pages on Instagram run sweepstakes and then leave them in oblivion.remember to follow through with your followers and other users!
We suggest that after the end of the contest date on Instagram, you unsubscribe the publication, even if it is archived to avoid possible confusion. Of course you must communicate this action beforehand
4. Be transparent with the process
We recommend you choose the winner in real time (either with a live video or by uploading the process via Instagram Stories). why? Your followers will greatly appreciate that the process is completely transparent and that the winner has met all the requirements of the rules.
Also, a great idea to maintain the transparency of your contest on Instagram is for the winner to contact the brand by some previously agreed means, to demonstrate that there are no preferences or bad intentions when it comes to delivering the prize.
5. Start the text with a call to action
As we mentioned earlier, the important thing is to get straight to the point. Therefore, start your post with a call to action. Here are some examples:
like us and enter the contest!
tag a friend and participate!
This way, you won’t leave it to chance that your followers meet the requirements to participate. The key to make a contest for Instagram and make it successful is to follow the rules of this social network: for that you must keep it attractive, short and to the bottom.
6. Make the most of it to make your brand known
If you have your own brand of products or services, this point seems a bit obvious. But, what you should do is to focus on choosing the product that best represents you when organizing an Instagram contest. Remember that if you leave a follower happy because they won and on top of that they like the prize, it’s a win-win.
On the other hand, if you have a personal blog or are an influencer, yes you can ally with other brands to do a sweepstakes and take advantage of a potential follower from another audience. remember the concept of biology called cross-pollination? You can apply it in your contests to win followers on instagram, you win the followers of the other brand and vice versa.
7. Determine how you will release the name of the winner
It is also important that the winner knows how you are going to contact him or if he must be attentive to social networks to know if he won. It is advisable to tag him/her in a post and give him/her a margin of time to claim the prize.
8. Bet on advertising
do you want to get the most out of your sweepstakes on Instagram? Then we recommend you to add an amount of advertising on Instagram, so you can reach more people, especially those who don’t know your business yet.
Remember that the best advertising is organic, so we recommend you, to win followers in an Instagram contest, to make it a mandatory requirement to tag a friend in comments and have them follow you as well.
9. evaluate the results!
If your contest has several specifications (for example, tagging someone or sharing a hashtag), it’s important to review all those steps before choosing a winner at random.
The idea of running contests on Instagram is to obtain a certain type of benefit, such as increasing the number of followers your profile has, generating engagement, or receiving a higher number of visits to your store’s website. So, it is very important that you evaluate what the results were, to know how well you are doing things.
In addition, achieving this is very simple, especially if you use some tools to keep track of what happens. It makes no sense that every time you do contests on Instagram you have to check the number of interactions or followers you got manually.
Pages to do sweepstakes on Instagram
Once you’ve chosen the Instagram contest that best suits your audience and your goals, it’s important that you have the tools at hand with which you will determine the winner at random (don’t forget to test them first).
Although there are no 100% official Instagram contest applications, we can recommend simple and free pages. Be careful: these options work to choose winners randomly.
This is a page for contests on Instagram very easy to use. You just have to paste the URL of the post on the web page. Then, before choosing the winner (or winners), you can filter the options you see fit. For example, filter by a specific hashtag and/or if repeated mentions count, etc. Finally, you click on “Start” and the website will show you the winner.
It is not a tool specialized in Instagram sweepstakes, but it can help you pick a number randomly. For example, you can add the number of comments on the Instagram post and generate the winning number randomly. It is one of the most used tools on the Internet as it is super simple.
This is also an excellent tool for Instagram contests, especially since it is very easy to use. To do a sweepstakes using this app, you just have to enter the link of the post and select the selection parameters for the winners.
Also, we are sure that this application will be very helpful, because you can use it to control your Instagram contests from any mobile device. Simpliers allows you to make a sweepstakes of up to 300 comments for free, and its configuration options are quite complete. In addition, the interesting thing is that you can share the winner on your account directly.
If you want to pay for the pro version, in which more configuration options are included and the limit of participants for Instagram contests is wider, you can pay for one of the plans that start from 3.90 USD.
how it works In the “Your rules” option you can specify the details of the prize. For example, you can enter a keyword that must be mentioned by the participants, choose the number of winners, choose the number of substitutes in case the prize cannot be awarded to the first winner, among other details.
If you want an application to make contests on Instagram that exceeds the basic functions of the pages that we have told you so far, you have to start by analyzing the features of Woobox.
This web application not only allows you to carry out your contest ideas on Instagram, but it also provides you with advanced tools for analyzing the data of the people who participate, and to integrate the contests you do with your marketing strategies at a general level.
Its only downside is that the platform’s advanced features are only available under a paid subscription. However, if you want to run contests on Instagram with the basic format, you can use the free version.
how about a contest app for Instagram with sweepstakes management and video editor included? Easypromos has those features and much more, as it has functions to manage the sweepstakes you do with other brands or influencers, and has a tool with which you can generate a video of the sweepstakes automatically.
Similarly, when you run Instagram contests using Easypromos features, you give your followers the option to enter a landing page where they can verify their identity, send you their contact details and claim the prize.
This app also has a premium subscription plan, however, you can run the first of your contests on Instagram totally free.
The list of apps for running contests on Instagram could not be complete without including SweepWidget, an app that is characterized by a very simple user interface, and a very extensive list of sweepstakes tools.
Moreover, this app can be used to run sweepstakes on other social networks, so you can take your strategy much further and transcend to contest ideas on Instagram.
But if you are satisfied with just one social network, SweepWidget gives you the possibility to run any of the types of Instagram sweepstakes you can think of. This tool has integrations with different instant messaging apps, and offers you the option to embed the HTML template code of your sweepstakes on a web page or blog.
7. Comment Picker
Last but not least, there’s Comment Picker, one of the tools most used by brands to implement their contest ideas on Instagram. But why is this app so widely used?
The main advantages of this tool are that it is free, that it can be used in a very simple way, and that it has no limit to the number of people who can participate in a sweepstakes.
By using it you can set filters on your contests for Instagram, starting with the use of keywords, duplicate users (those who participate more than once), number of tags per comment, and more. Its only disadvantage is that it is in English.
Source: Comment Picker
Rules for running contests on Instagram
Just as it is important that you take into account the policies or rules of your sweepstakes, it is also relevant that you know the rules for doing contests on Instagram.
First you should read the Instagram legal rules created for any influencer, brand, company or person who wants to carry out any contest or sweepstakes on this social network.
You may have noticed that some brands when running contests on Instagram (if they comply with the policies) place a somewhat long (legal) caption.
This is because Instagram has a lot of rules and guidelines in place to ensure that they are free from any liability in case any party fails to comply with any sweepstakes or contest.
Here’s a quick summary of the most important points you should take note of the contest rules on Instagram:
You are responsible for the legal operation of your contest.
Do not give incentives to people who tag themselves in images that do not appear.
Includes a release of Instagram from all liability on the part of each participant.
Public acknowledgement that the contest is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by Instagram.
Instagram will not assist you with the conduct of the contest.
You assume full legal responsibility for the contest or sweepstakes.
Now, after having thoroughly read the rules of promotions on Instagram, you are free to publish any contest as long as you respect its rules.
So always include the ‘fine print’ so that there is no problem with your followers and Instagram.
why run sweepstakes on Instagram?
If you’re still not convinced to run sweepstakes on Instagram because you may think it’s a self-serving way to generate conversation and attract new followers… Here are some reasons why you can be encouraged to run them, generating valuable content for your brand and followers.
It helps you to get user-generated content
One of the many benefits of doing contests on Instagram is that you can get your followers to create content for your posts in stories and feed. If you use Instagram contest ideas where you have to ask users to upload a photo using your product, you are very likely to get quality content.
Also, this type of content is very useful and usually generates high levels of engagement and curiosity about your brand. Testimonial posts are a good way to show the quality of what you sell, so getting content to post about your users is a benefit you can’t overlook.
Increase your followers’ engagement
A well-planned giveaway on Instagram helps to increase the quality of your audience, increase engagement and interaction with your posts and gain more loyalty from your customers.
If you are new to this platform or are looking to generate some excitement and recognition to your current audience, sweepstakes are an excellent way to boost and reward your followers’ following. For this, we recommend that you always have your social media calendar at hand and complement it with your business objectives.
You get more exposure for your sweepstakes on Instagram
If you decide to run a sweepstakes on Instagram, you’ll get more engagement from your community and this action signals the social network’s algorithm to feature your content more regularly in users’ feeds.
the result? More exposure organically and for free.
Image: Neil Patel
Helps you generate higher levels of sales
After you have increased the exposure of your products or services with your contests on Instagram it is only natural that your sales levels will increase. This is precisely why Instagram contests are so effective, because they improve business performance in the long run, and usually have an almost immediate return on investment.
Depending on the type of product or service you offer, it’s possible that even the people who won will be interested in consuming more of what you’re selling. If, for example, the contest was to promote food products, you have the opportunity to demonstrate the quality of what you sell and get regular customers.
Build stronger relationships through Instagram contests
If you want to recognize the loyalty of your users, a great way to do it is through Instagram contests. Here you will evaluate the engagement and affection they have with your brand or profile.
There is no better follower than the one who recognizes the value of your brand and shares it organically… So take the opportunity to make a contest or sweepstakes to thank them!
Remember that when you give something away, you help foster a strong emotional connection between your brand and your followers.
Track results of sweepstakes on Instagram
This is an important point to make no matter what when you finalize your giveaways on Instagram. do you usually measure results on Instagram, do you have goals, do you know your metrics? Before running any contest or sweepstakes it is vital that you know what the objective is and what your main indicators will be to measure your results.
After you have chosen the winner of your sweepstakes, you have to enter the Instagram metrics to check how the interactions were during the contest days and if the main objective was met. This will help to see the ROI and create other proposals in the future.
Within Instagram Insights, look for interactions and discovery reports, both of which will provide you with valuable information about the success of your campaign.
If the main goal of your giveaway was to drive engagement, then the Interactions section will tell you what you need to know about who clicked on your post and who commented.
The Instagram Discoverability report will help you if your goal was to increase brand awareness (reach). It provides information on how many potential or new followers saw your post in their feeds.
Examples of contests on Instagram
The best source of inspiration to start planning your next Instagram contests is to look for examples of what other brands are doing. This can also help you learn how to fill your social media content calendar.
Finding good references will help you get a broader picture of how to build sweepstakes on Instagram and what are the best contest ideas that can work for your account.
Remember that the most important thing about finding examples of contests on Instagram is not to copy them and think that they will work great for your brand.
What you have to do, is to take only the best practices, transform them according to your needs and brand goals, create similar dynamics that breathe the personality and tone of your business. That’s all you need to do creative giveaways on Instagram.
ready to brainstorm?
Contest ideas for Instagram with influencers
If you have a startup and want to get more followers, one of the best tactics to achieve this is to tangibilize contest ideas on Instagram with the help of influencers.
how to do it? Here we explain what you should take into account to make free Instagram sweepstakes and get more than 1,000 comments:
Contact influencers who have an affinity with your brand profile.
Check the influencers’ profile: number of followers, frequency of publications, interaction with users, tone of communication and the design of their posts.
If they meet the requirements you are looking for someone who can represent your brand very well, then contact them.
Talk to the influencers and offer them a trade or gift so they can collaborate with your brand.
It is important that in the influencers’ publication of your brand it appears “paid collaboration with (the name of your business)”. This will give more transparency to the sweepstakes.
Remember to establish the rules of the sweepstakes or contest on Instagram. The influencers will only be in charge of publishing the post on their profiles.
You are responsible for contacting each winner. This action will benefit you because you will create a first contact with your potential customers.
Image: Misias pero viajeras Instagram
Online sweepstakes on Instagram with other brands
unity is strength right? An online sweepstakes dynamic on Instagram very; but very used is to make a contest with the collaboration of other brands.
how to make a contest on Instagram organic and successful? We explain it to you below:
It is advisable to join with 2 or 3 brands at most.
Find profiles that share your philosophy and have more followers than you.
It is important that the prizes are related and complementary. For example: a cake, a coffee and another dessert are good options.
The prizes should be of equal value.
You must include the image of all 3 prizes. You can use a single image with the prizes together or create a carousel.
Brands participating in the sweepstakes must post the contest on their walls and stories.
If they are entrepreneurial brands it is not necessary to have a “paid collaboration by”; but it is vital to tag them in your post.
Image: Aguitafrutada’s Instagram
Contest ideas for Instagram if you want to gain followers
The option of running contests on Instagram to gain followers, without the help of partner brands or strategic alliances, should have a big payoff in between.
how to achieve a successful contest idea on Instagram without the help of other businesses? We explain it to you right now.
You can use a special date or theme to launch the contest. Use that motif as a source of inspiration for your sweepstakes on Instagram.
The prize should be really promising and will depend a lot on the products or services you provide. It is not advisable to buy an “expensive” product to run the contest. It should be something that identifies your business.
If you know that many people want to purchase your company’s services, but they still don’t dare to try it because of their budget, then a sweepstakes is the best way to reward them and give them the complete experience.
If you can make a video of the experience they will live when they win the prize, then do it!
The hashtags that identify your brand should be used in each publication.
Image: Iliveko on Instagram
Contest ideas for Instagram: flash giveaways
The sense of urgency works very well when you want your account to gain more followers and reach. Flash sweepstakes on Instagram will help you achieve them and it’s a plus if they are published by influencers known by your target.
what should you take into account for your contest on Instagram? Here we tell you.
Find an influencer that is related to your brand. For example, the Viking’s profile is of a fitness person and the brand makes silver products.
So, the business leveraged their products to design a charm with the official Viking logo. It was a good decision to organically reach the influencer’s followers.
In addition, they took advantage of “Women’s Day” to carry out this sweepstakes with a duration of 24 hours.
The use of hashtags such as #vikingasortea makes the contest personalized, close and truthful.
Asking the user to make as many comments as they want on the post will generate a greater reach and presence of the publication in the users’ feed.
In this case, the brand should not publish the sweepstakes on its Instagram feed. It is recommended that you only share it in your stories so that your followers go to the post to participate.
Image: The official Viking on Instagram
Everyone wins, among the most successful Instagram contest ideas
how many times has it happened to you that you’ve been tagged in a comment on some giveaway on Instagram and only the person who tagged you wins, a bit unfair, right?
If you’ve been through this too, then don’t do it to your brand. In Instagram contests everyone should win, and by that we mean it shouldn’t just be the person who tags their friends. but also the tagging, why not?
Try running a sweepstakes on Instagram where not only the person who tags but also the friend wins. You will see that the results and reach will be greater.
You can create a fun name or theme. Example: “Double sweepstakes, you and your partner win”.
Contextualize the prize by creating a fun storytelling to use the product or service with your winning duo.
Use fun emojis that indicate: urgency, sweepstakes, contest or prize.
Publish the winners in the same post of the sweepstakes. You will only need to edit the text with the update and tag the winners.
In addition, you can ask them not only to tag but also to comment on how they will use the prize.
Image: Coraceramics on Instagram
Contest ideas for Instagram: anniversary sweepstakes
It’s not necessary to “go all out” when you celebrate another year with your Instagram community. You can hold sweepstakes that highlight the affection you have for your followers and, in addition, reward them for their loyalty.
how do you do something cool to giveaway on Instagram? it’s simple!
Give context on why they’re having an anniversary and what they’ll be doing to celebrate with the community.
Give them a special, unique and exclusive gift. For example, on Trinbucha’s Instagram page they raffled off the new flavor of their product.
An exclusive prize invites followers to participate to take it away.
You can use a celebratory gif or mini video announcing your brand’s sweepstakes.
Ask an interesting question. Knowing why users consume your product will help you create more valuable content, learn new insights and new opportunities to explore your business.
Image: Trinbucha’s Instagram
Instagram contest ideas: sweepstakes on special dates.
Classic Instagram contests will always work for your brand as long as they’re done quickly and don’t require bulky budgets.
Team up with enterprising brands like yours.
Find a special date to give away a classic prize that goes hand in hand with the theme. For example: on February 14, chocolates and stuffed animals are very traditional and beautiful items to give away.
Be careful not to force the prize to fit the theme or celebration of the moment. Try to be creative.
If you think it is necessary, you can include the economic value of the prize. This is very important if you have a business (value means effort).
The simple steps to participate will make users enter the sweepstakes in less than 45 seconds.
If the accounts are private, provide solutions… Ask them to send you the print and that’s it!
Image: Happyjolu’s Instagram
are you about to launch your contest on Instagram? Check out this checklist
Optimize your Instagram account (include a description in your profile).
Be consistent with your publications (make a publication calendar).
Schedule your content in advance (publish on days and times with greater reach).
Repost and share if your followers tag you.
Respond to comments from your followers and potential followers.
Post real and natural content about your products in your Instagram stories.
Use Instagram Reels to create valuable content.
Doing a sweepstakes on Instagram is not difficult, but it is important that you take a few minutes to define the purpose of giving away a prize so you can develop it in a coherent way with your brand. Trust us: this can be a great opportunity to connect and interact even more with your audience.
Plus, it’s a fun activity that will gain you more followers.
see you later!