Instagram Giveaway: How To Run One (+ Examples)

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Giveaways are an excellent way for businesses and influencers to gain more followers and engagement on Instagram. By offering exciting prizes and incentives, you can attract new followers to your account and encourage your existing followers to be more active.

However, running a successful Instagram giveaway requires some strategic planning and effort. As a social media marketing expert and tech geek, I want to provide you with a comprehensive, step-by-step guide on how to run an Instagram giveaway from start to finish. I‘ll share data-backed insights, proven tips, and creative examples to help you host a giveaway that achieves your goals.

Why Should You Run An Instagram Giveaway?

Here are some of the top reasons to host an Instagram giveaway for your business or brand:

  • Gain followers rapidly – Giveaways are a proven way to quickly grow your follower count. According to social media studies, giveaways result in 43% more followers on average. The desirability of the prize will entice lots of new users to follow your account so they can enter and potentially win.

  • Increase engagement – To enter your giveaway, you can require participants to like, comment, share your post, or tag friends. This boosts key engagement metrics which signal to the Instagram algorithm that your content is popular and should be shown to more users. Plus, it gets users actively interacting rather than just passively scrolling.

  • Promote your product/service – As part of your giveaway rules, you can require participants to follow your account, tag friends in their comments, and post on their own feed. This spreads brand awareness and gets new eyeballs on your content.

  • Collect user-generated content – For the entry requirements, you can have participants post a photo of your product on their own feed and tag your business handle. This provides you with free visual marketing content you can re-share.

  • Grow your email list – Collect email addresses by requiring entrants to sign up for your newsletter in order to enter the giveaway. Growing your email subscriber list gives you an owned audience to market to directly.

  • Highlight user loyalty – Giveaways are a great way to show appreciation and reward your most loyal, engaged followers who regularly like, comment, and share your content.

Running an Instagram giveaway aligns perfectly with most marketing goals because it gets more attention on your brand and boosts audience engagement. Plus, it‘s fun for your followers!

Now that you know why Instagram giveaways are so effective, let‘s walk through how to run one step-by-step.

Step 1: Determine Your Giveaway Goals

The first step is deciding what you want to accomplish with your giveaway. Ask yourself:

  • What are my key marketing objectives right now?
  • How could a giveaway help me achieve those goals?

Be as specific as possible when setting your giveaway goals. Here are some example goal ideas:

  • Gain 2,000 new Instagram followers in 2 weeks
  • Increase engagement rate on posts by 30%
  • Collect 500 user-generated photos featuring our new product
  • Get 1,000 email signups to build our subscriber list
  • Generate 500 social shares and mentions of our brand

Having clear benchmark goals will allow you to make better decisions when structuring your giveaway and accurately judge if it was a successful campaign after it concludes.

Step 2: Choose An Appealing Giveaway Prize

The prize you offer is one of the most important elements of your entire giveaway. Offering an exciting and desirable prize will entice more users to eagerly enter and actively participate in your giveaway.

Here are key factors to consider when selecting a prize:

  • Relevance – Choose a prize that aligns closely with your brand, products, or services. For example, an organic skincare company could give away a $500 gift card to their online store.

  • Value – More valuable prizes will attract more entrants. But don’t give away something so expensive it negatively impacts your bottom line. Find a middle ground.

  • Uniqueness – Offer a prize your target followers can‘t get anywhere else. Maybe it‘s an exclusive branded item, limited edition product, or VIP experience.

  • Demand – Identify what your target audience wants most right now. Informally survey your existing followers and see what prizes generate the most excitement.

  • Budget – Factor in how much you can reasonably spend on giveaway prizes while still making the campaign profitable.

To maximize entries, consider offering multiple prize levels like 1st, 2nd and 3rd place rather than just one single item.

Step 3: Set Clear Giveaway Rules

Draft a clear set of rules so all participants properly understand how to enter your giveaway and win. Try to include each of these elements in your guidelines:

  • Eligibility – Any geographic location, age, or other limits on who can enter
  • Start/end date – Typically a 1-2 week timeframe works best to create urgency
  • How to enter – Follow account, like post, tag friends, etc.
  • Number of times each user can enter/earn bonus entries
  • Specific prizes being awarded
  • Date winner(s) will be selected
  • How winner(s) will be notified
  • Terms & conditions – Legal fine print

Keep your giveaway rules section short, easy to understand, and scannable. Having too many complex requirements will discourage participation.

Present Rules Visually

In addition to writing out your rules, also consider formatting them into an image or infographic for quick visual consumption. See this giveaway rules example:


Presenting your giveaway rules visually grabs more attention and makes them easier to comprehend.

Step 4: Promote Your Giveaway Effectively

Heavy promotion both before and during your giveaway is required to make it a smash success. Here are effective tactics to get the word out:

  • Instagram Ads – Run Instagram feed and story ads targeting your ideal demographic. Send highly interested users directly to your giveaway post.

  • Instagram Stories – Post eye-catching countdowns, reminders, and calls-to-action in your Instagram Stories leading up to and during the giveaway. Link to your giveaway post.

  • Influencers – Pay micro or mid-tier influencers in your niche to promote your giveaway to their engaged follower base.

  • Email – Send multiple dedicated emails to your subscriber list highlighting the giveaway details. Embed images and clear calls-to-action.

  • Hashtags – Research and use the most popular, relevant hashtags so your giveaway content appears in those feeds.

  • Paid Ads – Take out ads on Facebook, Twitter and other platforms. Direct external traffic back to your Instagram giveaway.

  • Website/blog – Add a popup, announcement bar, or banner ad to your site allowing visitors to enter.

  • SMS – Send giveaway reminder text messages to customers who opted-in to receive texts.

Step 5: Select A Fair Giveaway Winner

Once your giveaway concludes, it‘s time to select the big winner(s)! Here are tips to keep the process fair and transparent:

  • Use a random name/comment picker tool to randomly draw from the eligible entries.

  • Record a video of you using the name picker and share it when announcing the winner.

  • Verify the winner meets all eligibility requirements and properly followed entry rules before confirming.

  • Contact the winner directly through Instagram DM to request their shipping details and confirm the win.

  • Announce and enthusiastically tag the winner in a follow-up post for maximum visibility.

  • Post screenshots of the winner notification DMs to prove legitimacy.

Selecting and announcing giveaway winners in this public, verifiable manner builds trust and credibility for your brand.

Step 6: Analyze Your Giveaway Performance

The final step is reviewing your Instagram giveaway performance. Analyze these metrics to determine what went well and what can be improved next time:

  • Total new followers gained
  • Engagement rate on giveaway posts
  • Overall reach and impressions
  • Website traffic during giveaway
  • Email list signups
  • User-generated content entries
  • Cost per follower acquired
  • Sales attributed to giveaway

Instagram analytics and third-party social media tools like Sprout Social make it easy to pull detailed performance reports.

Here’s a sample giveaway results dashboard:


Monitoring these key performance indicators will reveal how successful your giveaway was in achieving your specific marketing goals.

Creative Instagram Giveaway Ideas

Now that you know how to properly host an Instagram giveaway, here are unique, out-of-the-box giveaway ideas to help spark inspiration:

  • Trivia giveaway – Ask a trivia question in your caption and users who answer correctly in the comments get entered.

  • Photo contest – Have users post an original photo of your product on their feed with a branded hashtag to enter.

  • Referral giveaway – Users earn bonus entries for every friend they get to enter the giveaway.

  • Loop giveaway – Partner with “loop giveaway” accounts in your niche to cross-promote prizes.

  • Hashtag giveaway – Users must post a photo on their feed with your branded hashtag(s) to enter.

  • Tag-a-friend giveaway – For every friend they tag in their comment, a user gets 1 extra entry.

  • Review giveaway – Users must leave a review of your product/business on your website to enter.

  • Caption contest – Have users come up with creative captions for an image you post. You pick the winner.

  • Follower appreciation – Randomly select an engaged follower who frequently likes and comments on your posts.

The options are endless. Get creative with your giveaway concepts to pique interest and stand out.

Key Takeaways

Hosting a successful Instagram giveaway takes strategic planning and promotion. Follow these best practices:

  • Set specific giveaway goals you want to achieve like more followers, engagement, email signups, etc.

  • Offer prizes that appeal directly to your target audience – maximize desirability.

  • Craft simple, scannable rules that are easy for participants to follow.

  • Promote your giveaway aggressively across multiple channels to maximize reach.

  • Randomly pick winner(s) and publicly announce for transparency.

  • Analyze performance metrics to identify what worked well and areas to optimize.

Putting in the upfront effort pays off. Instagram giveaways get your brand maximum exposure and engagement with both existing and new followers. Just follow this comprehensive guide to run an Instagram giveaway that grows your audience and achieves your marketing objectives.

Let me know if you have any other giveaway questions! I‘m always happy to help you brainstorm creative ideas.


Written by Alexis Kestler

A female web designer and programmer - Now is a 36-year IT professional with over 15 years of experience living in NorCal. I enjoy keeping my feet wet in the world of technology through reading, working, and researching topics that pique my interest.