How to Run an Instagram giveaway

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Whoever said “nothing in life is free” has obviously never won anything. Everyone loves a free gift and there are few things quite as exhilarating as feeling like a winner! In this blog, we will be taking you through best practice, step by step, on how to run an Instagram giveaway, as well as some ideas for you to try.


Instagram is one of the most popular social media platforms in the world with over 1 billion active monthly users. With this being said, there are many advantages to running a giveaway on your Instagram business page.




The first and most obvious advantage of running a giveaway is that it will enhance brand awareness and broaden your reach. You are also able to grow your followers at a much higher rate, increase brand loyalty and build a lasting relationship with your current and potential customers. Running a perfectly planned and well-executed giveaway will also shine a light on your brand and attract a new audience to your page.


Now that we’ve convinced you of the advantages, let’s get into the best steps to follow when running your giveaway.


 What is your freebie?

What is it that you would like to give away? Does your company offer a product or service? Will you be giving away an experience or something physical?


Whatever your prize will be you need to make sure that it’s attractive and exciting to the audience. The more appealing your prize, the higher the likelihood of having more entrants will be. The more entrants, the more reach and engagement your giveaway campaign will have.


It’s important to make sure you are attracting the right kind of audience to your campaign. Ultimately, your end goal is to have entrants who are of high quality, that make sense for your brand and will be credible in the long run.


You also need to make sure your prize is affordable for your brand and warrants the effort needed to enter. Everyone wants to win an all-expenses-paid trip to the Maldives, but is the simple act of liking a post enough to win that? Can your business afford that? You’ll need to determine the right balance of difficulty and reward. Only you can decide what’s right for your brand.



 What’s in it for you?

It’s all very well giving away a brilliant prize to the correct audience, but you need to think about what your business goal is and what you want to achieve from the campaign. Is the goal to gain more followers, build a database, generate web traffic, get more sign-ups for a newsletter, or to increase sales?


The next top tip is to identify your campaign goals in order to figure out your entry criteria. For example, if you want to reach new customers then one of the entry criteria should be to tag a friend. We will go into more details about this at the end of the blog so keep reading!




 Use your words

This is where we decide exactly what we are going to get our audience to do to be entered into the giveaway. For example, like this post and tag a friend or share this post to your stories and don’t forget to tag us.


Your first couple of sentences should be interesting and capture your audience straight off the bat. Use words such as “WIN!” or “GIVEAWAY TIME!” to avoid your audience scrolling past your post. It’s important to make sure you stick to your brand’s tone, voice and personality when writing up your entry criteria and limit your criteria to 2 – 4 simple steps.


Make your audience feel a sense of urgency by putting a time limit on your giveaway. This will encourage a quicker rate of engagement as people will feel hurried to enter and won’t want to miss out. Make the instructions clear, precise, and easy for your audience to follow. The more complicated the criteria, the less interested and engaged the audience will be. Remember, humans are lazy. If it requires too much effort, we will probably lose interest.


It’s also incredibly important to incorporate terms and conditions into your giveaway so there are no blurred lines if queries arise. These can be regulations such as entry age, location-based rules, eligibility etc. It’s also vital to remember that Instagram has a strict set of guidelines to follow when running a giveaway on your Instagram business page. If you don’t add these guidelines to your giveaway, Instagram has the right to remove your giveaway altogether. Make yourself familiar with Instagram’s promotional guidelines here.



In a perfect world, everything on social media would be a tremendous success, organically. Unfortunately,  that just isn’t reality. Throw in a couple of pounds to promote your giveaway on Instagram until it has gained good traction.


This will help boost awareness about your giveaway, reaching a wider audience. The more it filters into people’s feeds, the higher your chance of entries and so the circle continues.


Don’t be shy to cross-post your giveaway on your other social media platforms to reach an audience that perhaps isn’t following you on Instagram already and to increase awareness about your giveaway.


For more some helpful insights on paid advertising types and the ones best suited to your small business, read the blog we wrote here.




 Congratulations! You’ve won!

Time to pick your winner! Your entry criteria will determine how you will pick your winner.


If your entry criteria are simple, then there are lots of free online tools you can use to pick your winner. Pop “random name or number generators” into your Google search bar and look at the tools that best suit your competition requirements. Most of these tools will allow you to enter the rules for your competition and will make the selection process flawless.


If your entries need to be judged, then it’s up to you to go through the requirements and select the best one. Also, remember what it was you were asking the audience to do with their entry. Did they have to caption the photo? Write about an experience? Also, have they followed all the rules and requirements of the giveaway? All these factors come into play when selecting the winner manually.


 Was it worth it?

Time to track your results and find out if your Instagram giveaway was worth it. Align the results with the original goals you set to see the return on your investment and what impact the Instagram giveaway had.


Instagram insights will tell you all need to know on your Instagram page. Click on the “insights” tab on your profile and there you will find all the information you need such as new followers, the demographics, reach, and discovery. It will be able to tell you how many people clicked on your profile, visited your website, and signed up for your email. It’s a very clever and powerful little tool for small businesses.


After you have analysed the data to see if your goals were reached you will then be able to make tweaks and improvements for next time.




 Instagram giveaway ideas and inspiration

Now that we have gone through how to run an Instagram giveaway from start to finish, it’s time we gave you some ideas and desired outcomes to choose from to make sure your giveaway is a success.


Like this post – Get the audience to like your post or even better, a few of your posts, to help increase engagement.


Follow us – This will help you increase your followers and ultimately your brand will start to appear in other people’s feeds.


Tag a friend (or two) – Reach a whole prospective audience that isn’t following you already. This will help increase brand awareness and grow your audience.


Buddy up – Partner with a complementary brand to run a giveaway together. This will help you tap into the brand’s audience that you may have missed as well as increase engagement if the giveaway has more than one prize. Two is better than one, right?


Caption this / comment below – Get your audience to comment on your post for a chance to win. This could be focused on an entry that needs a bit more creativity to win. The more comments your post gets, the more potential reach your giveaway will have.


Campaign #hashtag – Use a campaign hashtag that your audience needs to use when they enter for prime visibility. This will be an easy way to search and find those who have entered the competition correctly and is a clever way to get your brand and the hashtag trending.


Sign up to a newsletter – If you are looking for an easy way to build a database then doing a giveaway where the audience must sign up to a newsletter is a great way of doing so. Just make sure that you have a disclaimer in your rules and regulations that notify the audience that they are signing up for email marketing and they can opt-out at any time as to protect their privacy rights.


Trivia/questions – Get your audience to answer a question about your brand to win. This is a fantastic way to generate traffic to your website and to get people to get to know a bit more about your brand by doing some research.




And that’s it! You are now well on your way to running a successful giveaway for your Instagram business page. We have given you all the steps on what to do, as well as some ideas and inspiration. Through these steps and ideas, you should be able to boost engagement, increase your following, broaden your reach, and build relationships with your audience.


Don’t forget to share this blog with other small business owners to get them inspired. Who knows, perhaps someday you will be partnering up with them for a successful giveaway!


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