If you’re struggling to gain traction on Instagram, running Instagram giveaways might just be your ticket to getting attention from the platform’s millions of users. After all, everyone loves free stuff, right? An Instagram giveaway done well means more likes, follows, and shares – plus, these contests can be a lot of fun for you, too.
“But how do I set up an Instagram giveaway?” you ask. Or, “What can I possibly give away that will get people interested?” If you’re not sure where to begin, don’t worry – we’ll cover the basic types of Instagram giveaways and eight stellar Instagram giveaway examples that get results.
How Do Instagram Giveaways Work?
There are different approaches for running an Instagram giveaway, and there’s no right or wrong way. Your strategy for the Instagram giveaway is based on your objective and the types of actions that you ask your target audience to take. If your audience is made up of a lot of selfie-haters, hosting a “post a selfie for a chance to win” contest will likely turn into a major #FAIL. As you take your audience’s preferences and desires into consideration, you can choose one of the following Giveaways generally involve some variation on one of the following types of contests:
- Like to Win Contests – These are the simplest Instagram giveaways to run. Because you’re simply asking people to follow your account and like a post, you’re not taking the risk of alienating anyone by asking them to do something outlandish (like post a selfie – gasp!).
- Tag a Friend – In this giveaway, followers are asked to leave a comment and tag a friend in your post for a chance to win.
- Post a Picture (or Selfie) – Ask followers to post a picture relevant to your brand (such as using or wearing a product) along with a contest-specific hashtag. If you’re not requiring selfies, you’ll get better engagement from any selfie-averse followers.
- Share This Post – Post an image specific to the contest and enter anyone who shares and tags the post with your #ContestHashtag in the giveaway. (Another simple giveaway option with broad appeal.)
While a lot of Instagram contests operate similarly, you can combine and mix up the requirements to boost engagement – but if you’re asking your followers to jump through several hoops, make sure the prize is worth it. And don’t forget to follow your usual Instagram best practices, like posting at the ideal times to reach your audience.
8 Examples of Amazing Instagram Giveaways
Not sure which type of giveaway to run? Here are a few examples of amazing and well-executed giveaways for more inspiration.
Hydro Flask: Follow & Tag Two Friends Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by Hydro Flask
In this giveaway, Hydro Flask celebrates the milestone of reaching the 200k followers by running a contest to earn a few more. They asked fans to follow @hydroflask and tag two friends in the post comments to enter to win a 32-oz. Hydro Flask. The post has more than 12,500 likes – engagement anyone? And the best part? Two winners = better odds of winning!
Kopari Beauty: Comment Your Favorite Kopari Product & Tag a Friend Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by Kopari
Similarly, Kopari Beauty celebrated its milestone of garnering 100k followers with an amazing giveaway. While there’s only one winner, the lucky winning fan scored one of every Kopari product AND a Kopari beach towel, hat, and sweatshirt. To enter, followers must comment on the post with their favorite Kopari product and tag a friend.
Simon and Schuster: Tell Us How You Make Trouble Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by Simon & Schuster
This Instagram contest has a trouble-making theme that sets it apart. Five winners score a copy of Cecile Richards’ book, Make Trouble, plus a tote bag, bookmark, and Make Trouble pins. The contest post highlights one of Richards’ most-repeated quotes: “You don’t have to be a professional troublemaker to take a stand.” Simon & Schuster wants to know: “How do you make trouble?” As the perfect tie-in, fans are asked to leave a comment sharing their trouble-making antics to enter to win. (Tip: You can get more Instagram followers by using quotes. Also, people love to talk about themselves, so ask for stories!)
Fabletics & Bliss: Like, Follow, and Tag Giveaway (with Bonus Entry!)
Screenshot via Instagram by Fabletics
This giveaway from Fabletics, part of a 12-day promotion with new contests and winners each day, is a little more complex than most, but there are a few perks to this setup: First, it’s a joint promotion between @fabletics and @blissworld, so both brands benefit. To enter to win the ultimate #SelfCareSunday package, fans had to follow both brands’ accounts, like the contest photo, and tag their bestie in the comments. To score an extra entry, fans had the option of sharing the contest post with #GiftsForMeSweeps. (Double the engagement = double the chances to win.)
Diaper-eez: Follow & Share Your Success Story Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by Diaper-eez
Diaper-eez knows how to package an Instagram giveaway for maximum benefit. The prize is a Colibri Double Duty Wet Bag plus a hanging diaper pail. To enter, fans have to follow @diapereez, like the giveaway post and comment on their cloth diaper success story in the comments. Followers can post multiple stories and tag a friend for extra entries, giving the brand tons of engagement plus a built-in way to gather user-generated content. This is smart marketing at its finest.
TheBeautySpy: Follow & Tag Friends Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by TheBeautySpy
One lucky winner scored a slew of beauty swag in this giveaway. To enter, fans had to follow @thebeautyspyofficial and @chelseabeautyspy and tag up to four friends in the comments. They could also score a bonus entry by reposting the contest post in their Instastory or on their feed and tagging both accounts. This is a smart strategy for boosting follower numbers and brand awareness for related brand identities.
Forever 21: Follow, Tag Two Friends and Tell Us Your Favorite Old-School Movie Giveaway
Screenshot via Instagram by Forever 21
Forever 21 gets nostalgic with this Instagram giveaway, giving three lucky winners three items each from the LA Gear Collection, plus a pair of LA Lights sneakers. Almost everyone older than 10 in the 80s remembers (fondly or not) the LA Gear brand, Forever 21 ties in the old-school theme by asking fans to comment with their favorite movie from the 80s or 90s, follow both @forever21 and @lagear, and tag two friends for a chance to score some LA Gear swag.
Domino’s: Prove You’re a Superfan with a Photo Contest
Screenshot via Instagram by Domino’s Pizza
Last (but certainly not least), how about a chance to win $10,000? While a $10k prize may be out of reach for smaller brands, you can take a cue from Domino’s and run a giveaway with a worthwhile reward that motivates your audience to engage with your brand. But are you a fan, or are you a superfan? For a chance to toss their name in the ring for an amazing $10k prize, Domino’s asked fans to share a photo that proves their superfan-dom using #PieceOfThePieContest, and it didn’t even require a selfie (although we’re sure pics of enthusiastic pizza-stuffed faces didn’t hurt anyone’s chances of winning).
From the simple to the elaborate, there are various ways to set up an Instagram giveaway. And because they’re easy to manage, you can experiment with a few different types of contests with smaller prizes to figure out what your audience responds to. When you find the winning formula, kick it up a notch with more valuable prizes and mix and match the requirements to maximize engagement.
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