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7 tips for running engaging Instagram giveaways (+tools to get you started)

. 5 min read . Written by Vanshika Goenka
7 tips for running engaging Instagram giveaways (+tools to get you started)
  • 90% of Instagram users follow a business
  • 81% of people use Instagram to research products and services
  • 83% of people stated that Instagram helps them to discover new products/services
  • 50% people said they are more interested in a brand when they see it featured in ads on Instagram

Looking at the above Instagram statistics, it is conclusive that to flourish on Instagram, one has to increase brand visibility and reach on the platform. But, this is easier said than done.

Among the several marketing strategies that you can use to achieve this involves optimising posting times to guarantee maximum engagement, tying up with influencers to increase brand awareness, or hiring a creative guy to produce content that works.

But you should also think about hosting an Instagram giveaway. What an Instagram giveaway does is give you the chance to offer something for free to your audience or followers. In return, you get Instagram likes, comments, or any other requirement that you may have. If done in the right manner, giveaways can build brand awareness on Instagram, build up a loyal base of followers, and help you share your products with a much larger audience.

Here are 7 tips for running engaging Instagram giveaways:

1. Select the prize for your giveaway

This is the first thing that needs to be done for a giveaway. You have to freeze on the prize you are offering. It could be a product in the form of a free gift, a free service or an experience like a weekend holiday or a spa coupon. The giveaway could also be a meeting with a celebrity or star of your industry. If you want to build your brand’s image and awareness, you should consider giving away your branded product as a giveaway.

But ideally, the giveaway should appeal to your audience. For example, the brand Cakesmiths hosts an Instagram giveaway every Friday and uses the same hashtag. They give away their cakes to spike loyalty and engagement from customers. This proves that a giveaway does not need expensive prizes. A simple treat suffices sometimes.

2. Contest entry-criteria

Set the entry criteria for the contest you want to host for your giveaway. For example, if brand awareness is your desired goal, you can ask each person to like your post and comment with the name of a friend on Instagram. This way, your reach increases and so does your follower count. You could also re-direct new followers to your blog or website from Instagram to discover the entry rules for the contest, which could be the question you want them to answer.

3. Set a goal

Your Instagram contest should have a particular goal. This helps you define your strategy and ensure that the giveaway was successful with regard to your goal. This goal might differ from increasing traffic, gaining more followers, or enhancing sales. The pizza giant Dominos had only one goal in mind when they launched a giveaway- sell more pizzas! Dominos offered the chance to win $10,000 for any participant who followed @Dominos, posted a picture to prove they're a superfan, and used the hashtag #PieceofthePieContest. As word spread about the giveaway, people naturally ordered pizzas from Dominos as well.

4. Forge a brand partnership

You can also tie-up with a brand with the contest prize coming from the brand under the condition that people have to like the brand page. A giveaway also gives you access to the brand’s followers and vice-versa. But it’s a win-win situation for you.

5. Get a campaign hashtag

Hashtags help your content get noticed on Explore channels on Instagram. A unique and powerful campaign hashtag spreads the word about your giveaway. For example, along with #giveaway, you could include #winsmartsaturday #[yourbrand]giveaway #[yourbrand]contest or something on similar lines.

6. Put a time-limit

Every contest should have a time limit which should be highlighted in your caption. Add ‘Giveaway Closed’ after that. This creates a sense of urgency and followers act quickly when they know that time at hand is short.

7. Launch and promote your Instagram contest

After all the elements from 1-6 are taken care of, you are finally ready to launch your contest. Plan your launch and promotions wisely, keeping in mind when your audience is most active on Instagram.

Instagram giveaway picker tools

Using a tool is the best way to organise and track your giveaways.

How do you choose a winner after you close your giveaway contest? Here are a few tools that can help the cause.

1. A free number generator

You can count the total number of entries, and then use a number generator to select the winner. Google’s number generator is recommended.

2. Easypromos' Instagram Sweepstakes App

With Easypromos' app, you can filter finalists and randomly select between one and 1,000 winners automatically. This tool also has a test run.

3. Use a random name picker

If your total number of participants is considerably small, you could use a random name picker to choose your winner by username instead of a number. On a website like, input all usernames into the text box separately. Then click the "Pick a name" button.

3 tools to run your giveaways

1. Wishpond

Wishpond aids you organise and tracking your Instagram giveaways. Run an Instagram hashtag giveaway and see all the entrants on your dashboard. Wishpond helps if you plan to run regular giveaways.

2. Easypromos

Easypromos makes a giveaway on Instagram simple. This tool enables you to track comments on many posts and helps you choose the contest winner randomly.

3. Woobox

Woobox helps you create and run successful contests, giveaways, polls, coupons, forms, and much more. This tool also allows you to collect the contact information of the winner.

Some great giveaway ideas:

  • Like to win: Followers can like your post for a chance to win a free product/service. This helps to increase engagement.
  • Tag a friend to win: Encourage followers to tag one of their friends in the comments section to participate in the contest. This helps your brand reach new audiences on Instagram.
  • Like and share to win: Ask your followers to like your giveaway and repost it on their channels. This greatly increases brand reach.
  • Follow to win: Ask followers to follow your brand to win. Increase your follower count.
  • Photo contest: Ask participants to upload their photos using your product or service. Ask them to include your brand's hashtag or tag your brand, for maximum visibility and brand awareness.
  • Caption this: You can post an image, leaving the caption section blank. Type "Caption this for a chance to win!"