3 Tips to Running Successful Instagram Contests

August 14, 2017

Instagram contests are all the rage right now and it’s no wonder they’ve become so popular. Who wouldn’t love some free swag from a favorite brand as a thank you for being a loyal follower? We’ve orchestrated successful Instagram contests for a variety of clients and have discovered three of the best rules to follow in order to run a successful Instagram contest:

Keep the rules simple

Truly successful Instagram contests generally stick to a simple “Follow me here, leave me a comment here.” type of rule policy. If you’re trying to get a follower to repost a photo, follow a few different profiles, give away a first-born, recite a monologue from Macbeth and leave a comment on a photo, you must likely won’t get a lot of contest engagement. Contest entrants need to feel that the price of the prize is worth more than the amount of effort it takes to enter a contest. As a last bit of information, this comes directly from the platform giant themselves:

“Your contest post must include (1) acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way, shape, or form “sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with” Instagram; and (2) a release of Instagram by each person participating in the contest.”

Think outside of the typical Instagram contest box

It’s time to get unique fellow brands + small businesses + bloggers, because you can honestly create whatever type of Instagram contest you want! Post a picture with the copy “Caption this,” and give a prize away to the user with the most creative caption. Develop a custom hashtag and ask users to take a certain type of photo and include the hashtag in the caption. If you’re feeling especially daring, ask the first 50 users who see the photo to send you a DM and you will ship them a special prize. It’s your time to shine and create something fun (and memorable) for your online community!

Have participants get their friends involved

One of the many benefits of hosting an Instagram contest is the potential to expose your brand to people who have a) no idea who you are or b) know you, but have yet to use your products or services. How do you accomplish this you ask? You include within the rules that the user should comment on the post and include a tagged friend within the comment. Pro tip: this specific method works particularly well for hospitality brands as you can advertise a free getaway and the participant is required to tag the person they want to bring along with them on the adventure.

The bottom line is that brands that engage their communities in new and exciting ways will reap the rewards. Instagram contests are a great way for brands to get really creative in this space.

Have you participated in an Instagram contest before? What about the contest made it memorable for you in a way that you just HAD to enter? Let us know in the comments below!