Everyone loves free stuff! So, why not give it to them? Running a giveaway on Instagram is great for brand exposure, social sharing, building a following, and engagement with your followers. It’s a perfect social media barter. Here are 6 thorough steps to conducting a successful Instagram giveaway.
Pick a prize
Depending on your business, blog, or brand, choosing a prize that is related to it is key. If your business has products that are sought after by your followers, pick one or several of those to give away. If your company does not have its’ own products, then we suggest to purchase products that are in tune with your brand for the giveaway. Make sure to keep your current audience and target audience in mind when choosing the prize. The more sought after the products are, the more engagement your giveaway will receive.
Holiday giveaways are also great for picking prizes. AdWeek states, “Seasonally timed prizes are a great way to tie in a promotional theme, as well as attract new users.” With seasonal prizes, you have the luxury of utilizing all of the seasonal hashtags! This is a great way to reel in an audience and build your brand awareness. It also makes for great holiday photo opps, which increase engagement as well.
Rules to Enter
We recently ran an Instagram giveaway for our client, Angel Shave Club. Angel Shave Club is a mailing subscription service that provides quality, cruelty-free shaving products. Their focus is being made by women for women, with a portion of each sale going to the Malala Fund.
Knowing that women and girls are the target audience for this client, we figured we’d focus on the bond that women and girls have with one another. We created “The Bestie Giveaway”! The winner and their bestie would win up to four months free of shaving products. The incentive was to bring awareness to the brand and its’ cause by involving our followers and their friends. We posted engaging photos and boomerangs that involved the products from the giveaway, and put the rules to enter in the caption. Shortstack advises to do the same, “If you’ve decided to host a simple Instagram contest that doesn’t require a lot of rules, then it’s best to display your rules in the caption copy of your Instagram post.”
Here were our rules to enter:
1. Like this post.
2. Tag your bestie.
3. Follow ASC on Instagram.
4. Wait for us to announce the winner. It's that simple!
The rules were simple, easy, and convenient for those that wanted to enter. It would take the entrant less than 30 seconds to enter our giveaway and involve their best friend! With our rules, we were able to gain engagement, brand awareness, and build our following while giving each entrant a chance to win. It was an all around success. According to Business to Community, “You need to ensure that whatever you ask of potential entrants will help you achieve your primary goal, but you also can’t ask too much of people or you risk limiting the size of your entry pool.”
Another way to have people enter and engage is the use of tailored hashtags to track entries. As the entries come in, be sure to engage. Follow entrants back, like the posts on their pages, and comment back if you can. It shows that you care about your audience and makes for a more personal experience with your followers.
This part is pretty straightforward. When taking photos of the products you are giving away, be sure the quality of the photo is great (high-resolution, nice background, bright colors, etc.). It is still Instagram. The image itself should draw people in, whether they know about the giveaway or not. A good thing to keep in mind is paying attention to what you end up clicking on on the explore page. If your giveaway photo was among the crowd, would you click on it?
The best part about Instagram is, you’re not limited to using photos. You can utilize Instastories, boomerangs, video features, and slideshows to promote your giveaway. The more creative you get, the better. For more tips on how to creatively utilize Instastories and video content to grow your brand, read our recent blog post here.
So, what is the perfect amount of time for a giveaway? With thousands of followers, a shorter giveaway would suffice. If you have a modest following, it would make more sense to run a giveaway for a week at the very least and about two to three weeks at most.
We ran the Angel Shave Club Bestie Giveaway for two weeks. Out of those two weeks, we had 7 posts and 11 Instastory posts go live. It gave us a chance to mix in our day to day content (so the giveaway wouldn’t overwhelm our followers), while keeping a constant casual reminder of it on our timeline. Oversaturating your timeline with the same content will quickly veer followers and potential followers away. The risk of running a giveaway for too long is that it could run out of steam. If the period of time exceeds one week, make sure to keep it fun and/or interactive.
Another important point to remember is to keep an eye on posting times. Your followers may be in different time zones. Spread your posts out to reach each time zone your target followers and followers fall into.
Deciding A Winner
Deciding a winner depends on the premise of your giveaway. If your rules of entry involve something more personal, like writing a piece on why they feel they need your prize then it will be up to you or your team to decide who you feel should win. If your product/products are the prize and your rules of entry fall into the same guidelines as our Angel Shave Club giveaway then you have several options. You can sift through each entry yourself and choose a winner yourself or use a simple online name-picking tool to find your winner.
If you choose to use an online generator, you have to gather all of the names of your entries and list it in the system you choose to use. There are several great generators for different social media platforms. Woolbox is a great tool to use if you’re just getting started with giveaways. They’re also beneficial for marketing campaigns.
Announce The Winner
Now, for the exciting part...stating the winner! You will need to announce the winner across all of the social media platforms you promoted the giveaway on. Be sure to thank all those that entered and show appreciation for their time/effort. Keep them engaged by stating that another giveaway/contest will be coming shortly (you also have to keep that promise).
If the prize is something you will need to send via mail, be sure to get all of the necessary information from the winner to send their prize out. Thank the winner for entering and be sure to keep in contact with them. Creating personal bonds with your followers is key.
Once you’re done with the giveaway, collect all of your data (the number of entries, posts, engagement, and the winner). See what methods worked and didn’t work for you. Compare those methods to your next giveaway and continue to pull from your success and failures moving forward. Good luck :)!