How To Run A Giveaway On Instagram [Tips For A Successful Campaign]

You’ve probably participated in a social media giveaway or at least know someone who has. Giveaways are a lot of fun, and are a great way to engage your followers and those who will potentially follow you. Like every marketing strategy you initiate, there are certain techniques you can follow that will make your giveaway more effective. Learn how to run a giveaway on Instagram.

How To Run A Giveaway On Instagram - Instagram Icons

It’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the following tips before launching your first Instagram giveaway:

1. What Is It You Want To Accomplish?

The first order of business before hosting a giveaway is to determine your end goal. What is it you want to accomplish? Here are a few questions to ask yourself before deciding what you’re going to give away:

1. Are you looking to get more followers on Instagram or your other social media networks?

2. Is your main objective to drive traffic to your blog?

3. Are you selling a product or service on your website you want to promote?

4. Do you want to grow your email list?

5. Do you have a new YouTube channel and want more subscribers?

Once you know the purpose behind your giveaway, you’ll want to settle on a prize.

2. What Will You Give Away?

Ask  yourself these questions before you decide on what your free gift will be. Is the prize pertinent to your niche, and will they be interested in it? To generate the most interest, keep your giveaway relevant to your target audience.

Examples of free giveaways could include a free:

  • A PDF
  • Video tutorial
  • Small eBook
  • Consultation if you’re a coach
  • Product
  • Gift card
  • Discounted service

To increase engagement, remember to associate your free gift with your brand, and to showcase it using a compelling image that will resonate with your audience. Consider sharing the cost of the giveaway to communicate the value of the prize.

3. What Are The Steps Contestants Have To Follow?

Remember to make the terms of conditions, or steps to enter the contest, straightforward and easy to understand. This will add to the success of your giveaway. If the terms are too complicated, you might lose participants. We’re all distracted and bombarded with more information than we know what do to with so make the directions super simple to follow.

“Subscribe to my YouTube channel,” “Follow me on Instagram,” “Like my post,” “Tag a friend,” “Like this photo,” “Comment on this photo” or “Join my email list” are common giveaway instructions you could use. The steps you want people to follow will depend on what you hope to accomplish by hosting a giveaway. See step 1.

Another tip is to not make the giveaway last too long. Anywhere from 24 hours to a few days is best, but I wouldn’t have it last longer than a week. Having a deadline is a good strategy to increase engagement.

4. Use Targeted Hashtags

Once you announce your giveaway, don’t post it once and then forget about it. Prime your audience beforehand by informing them of your upcoming contest. Broadcast it to your email list, use HelloBar on your website to notify users of the upcoming news, and don’t just promote on Instagram, promote it on your other social media accounts as well, such as Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. Paid ads are another method of promotion

Take some time in figuring out what hashtags you want to use and then leverage them to promote your giveaway. Using generic hashtags like “contest” or “entermygiveaway” are not specific enough to your particular target audience. Choose hashtags relevant to the subset of people you want to help further your goal, whether that’s joining your email list or following and liking a post.  See step 1 again.

How To Run A Giveaway On Instagram - Giveway Graphic

And please don’t forget to take advantage of Instagram stories, they’re an amazing and interactive way to promote, share, and remind people of what’s coming up or what’s currently happening.

Hashtags are highly effective for increasing the amount of exposure your giveaway will get so use them strategically to your advantage.

Place your tags in your caption or in the first comment section. They’ll work well either way, but I find them less distracting if they’re in the comment section.

It’s personal preference where you place them, but please do use them.

5. Read Instagram’s Terms Of Service

It’s important to abide by Instagram’s rules when hosting a giveaway. You must include a disclaimer stating that your giveaway has nothing to do with Instagram. Make it clear that IG is not sponsoring your giveaway, and has zero affiliation with your content.

The last thing you want is to take the time and effort to organize and promote a contest that could potentially be shut down. Cover your bases upfront to save time and frustration down the road.

Read Instagram’s promotion guidelines here

6. Follow The Giveaway All The Way To The End

This step is obvious and goes without saying. At the end of the giveaway, you’ll need to choose a winner, and make sure they’ve followed the designated steps. If everything is legitimate, contact them to congratulate them, and let them know the next steps to follow to obtain their prize.

If you’re mailing a physical product, let the winner know when they’ll receive their gift. The last step is to announce who won the giveaway so all participants know the contest is over, and that someone did in fact win.

There are online tools that will help you pick a winner for your contest. Instagram Random Comment Picker is free to use, and will simplify the process. Simply enter the URL of your Instagram post in order for the tool to access all the comments pertaining to your giveaway.

Random Comment Picker will filter out any duplicate names, saving you from having to manually enter each contestant’s name. The final step is to press “Start” to determine the winner. Your account cannot be private if you want to use this free tool.

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Key Points

Hosting giveaways on Instagram is a great way to get more followers and likes, promote a product or service, boost your presence on social media or generate a buzz around your brand. Giveaways are fairly easy once you know the ropes, and you’ll be a pro after you’ve hosted your first one.

Begin by determining what you want to accomplish, what you’ll be giving away, ensure the steps to enter the contest are simple and concise, choose targeted hashtags, don’t forget to promote your giveaway on IG stories, announce the winner so everyone knows the contest is over, and don’t forget to read Instagram’s terms of service to make sure you’re conducting your giveaway according to the rules.

Have you hosted an Instagram giveaway? Did I leave out any important tips? Hit reply and let me know:)


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6 thoughts on “How To Run A Giveaway On Instagram [Tips For A Successful Campaign]”

  1. Hello, I really appreciate your time and effort on writing these tips about hosting a free giveaway on Instagram.

    From your post, it’s obvious that free giveaways are a great way to increase engagement with your followers. For me I would rather create a free ebook or video tutorial, which is free to do but does require a little bit of time.

    You said to not make the giveaway last too long, but can you restart the giveaway right after ending it? It would seem that if you make it only 24hrs or a few days some people may not get a chance to see it.

    • Hello,

      I appreciate your question and comment. Giveaways are a great strategy for increasing engagement and for getting more followers. 

      You could create an eBook or video tutorial as a giveaway. Both of those would be perfect. Whatever you choose as your prize will take a certain amount of time for sure. 

      I would have the giveaway last two or three days to give enough people time to see it.

      Thanks so much for reading!

  2. Hi Holly,

    Great advice! I’ve never considered doing an Instagram giveaway before but I can see how it would be beneficial for increasing engagement.

    How do you feel about paid ads for your giveaway? You mentioned them as an option in your article; what do you think the criteria should be before spending money on an ad campaign?

    • Hi Nick,

      Thanks for taking the time to comment. In regard to paid ads, I would start low and run the add for a couple days to see how it performs. Or you could just rely on organic traffic. 

  3. Great information.  I’ve never actually considered a contest before, but I am now.
    Step 1 is perfect for all areas of life.
    Having a goal and then working toward that goal is always a great place to start.
    You’ve given me a few things to think about.
    Thanks for planting a the seeds of thought.

    • Giveaways are pretty straightforward so dive in if you’ve been thinking about it. You are so right, step 1 is a metaphor for life in general. I love that and thanks for pointing it out. Setting and reaching goals is certainly the stuff of life. 

      Thank you so much for reading!


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