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A Guide to Instagram Giveaways

I'm sure you've seen brands, influencers and others running giveaways on Instagram - heck, it's probably pretty likely you've entered into one, I know I have (still waiting for my first win unfortunately). But there's some rules to running these giveaways that it's important for you to know if you plan on running one!


The Basics

Instagram giveaways are a spectacular way to boost engagement rates in a pinch, grow your following size reasonably quickly, and expand your reach! Everyone likes free stuff, and if it is a quality product or service, it will only create more demand for it.


At the same time, it's super easy to get your giveaway taken down by Instagram for violating their Promotion Guidelines , which would suck considering it can be a lot of work to organize your giveaway. With that in mind, we came up with a guide on what you need to remember and do to run a successful Instagram giveaway!


This article will cover the following:

  • Release Instagram from liability

  • "not affiliated in any way whatsoever with Instagram"

  • Tracking entries

  • brand partnerships for giveaways

Let's dive in!


Entry Requirements and Why They Should Be This Way


So what should your requirements be for entry? AT LEAST two of the following:

  • Follow your account

  • Share the post on their story

  • Tag 2+ friends in the comments

  • Caption This!

  • Like to Win

The reasoning for these? Each method helps to grow your account! Following the account ensures people will continue to see your content (until/unless they unfollow), and obviously increases your follower count. Sharing the post allows the entrants to show off your content to all of their followers - which could end up being multiple thousands of people you may never have gotten in front of otherwise!


Tagging friends in the comments allows you to get directly into the mentions of many people who may not follow you! This can in turn in lead to more follows, entries and perhaps even more customers/clients!


Caption This is an entertaining way to get some inspiration from your followers, and to also really engage with your followers! You can get inspiration from posts, get a good laugh and genuinely get some really good ideas from this - and if you use one of the ideas? That's user-generated content, which is among the best types of content to be attached to your brand! Like to win is the most basic entry, but is the most effective at boosting your engagement rates!


Instagram Promotional Rules


While you can find all of Instagram's Promotional Rules HERE , we've gone over them briefly here for you as well! Instagram requires you follow these rules, otherwise your giveaway can very easily be taken down by moderators. Please keep in mind that if you are running a promotion, you are lawfully responsible for that promotion.


If you are posting a giveaway on Instagram you need to specify the following things:

  1. What the official giveaway rules are

  2. The offer terms including who is eligible to win

When running a giveaway, you need to keep in mind for yourself that you must be in "Compliance with applicable rules and regulations governing the promotion and all prizes offered (example: registration and obtaining necessary regulatory approvals" (Via Instagram).


Releasing Instagram and Why It's Mandatory


Something that is incredibly important to do for a giveaway on Instagram, is to release Instagram. The reason being that Instagram is not liable or responsible for your giveaway, it is just the medium that is being used to promote it. If you do not release Instagram, it is highly likely that your giveaway will be taken down.


Your statement should include something like this: "Per Instagram rules, this promotion/giveaway is in no way administered, associated or sponsored by Instagram Inc." In addition to your entry requirements (Example: must be 18+ & live in Canada to win).


This means you need to prepare these in advance, and ensure every participant in the giveaway (not each entrant) follows the rules as well. Instagram also cannot advise on whether consent is required for user-generated content, so pay attention to what content is being put out, as it could result in your giveaway being taken down.


Tracking your Entries & Picking a Winner


This is quite possibly the most difficult, or tedious part of running a giveaway. There aren't a lot of free tools which will help you do this better than Google Sheets , or if you have access to Microsoft Excel, that is an equally strong tool!


Depending on the type of entries, you will want to create a grid that looks something like the photo on the right! Different entries require different qualifiers, but these are easily interchangeable! As people enter the contest (via hashtags, shares, tagging people, etc..), you need to keep track of them!

This allows you to keep track of your entries in one place, and while it may take time to manually input the entrants, you can select a random number generator to select a winner within seconds once the contest ends!


A paid method that is reasonably affordable is Easypromos - this is an affordable program to use when running simple giveaways, which allows you to track comments on a post, and helps to determine if the correct number of people were tagged in each entry! This can be very helpful when running giveaways that get hundreds, or thousands of entries! For large-scale giveaways across enterprises or multiple franchises, then you may want to explore more in-depth tools.


Brand Partnerships & Examples of Giveaways


1. @popeyeswinnipeg

A great example of a brand partnership, Popeyes Winnipeg (@popeyeswinnipeg), which is a supplement store teamed up with Iron Kingdom Nutrition to give away a HUGE amount of stuff, $7200 worth actually in case you missed the image above, which means if there are 6 winners, each person gets $1200 worth of stuff - pretty solid if you ask me! The prize package for each person is what is shown in the image, and for supplement users that is a significant amount of savings in one image, plus some pretty cool gear.


One of the great things that Popeyes does here, is that they have kept the entry requirements rather basic - Follow both accounts, like the post and then tag one friend in the comments. If that was me who entered (and it's VERY possible I did because that's where I'm based out of), I would have anybody i've ever worked out with, which would probably give me something like 60 entries. Beyond that, they're giving away a BONUS 10 entries PER DAY just for sharing the post on your story, and tagging @popeyeswinnipeg in your story!


With 25.8 thousand follower, Popeyes generates TONS of engagement, and helps to grow the @ironkingdomnutrition brand on Instagram through the follow entry requirement! For a brand like Iron Kingdom which only has 6,692 (as of January 20, 2022) followers, this could represent a huge increase in their follower base, and if the winners like the products - new customers! Considering Iron Kingdom's small Instagram following, and the fact that there were 5,883 entries for the contest means that Iron Kingdom's social media potentially gained up to (roughly) 87% of their followers from this one giveaway alone!


2. @moversandshakerco



These guys and gals make custom bartender gear, and their account is full of top-tier food & beverage industry memes, specifically bartending memes, so this account gets quite a bit of engagement on their giveaways! As of January 20, 2022 this giveaway had 928 comments (or in this case, entries!) With each person requiring 3 people to be tagged (minimum) to enter, this means that there were almost 3,000 people tagged! And keep in mind, this is just for a branded backpack!


For an account with 61.8 thousand followers, this may not seem like a large entry amount, but keep in mind this is a lower value giveaway, and not everyone is a huge fan of this specific brand of Mezcal (Montelobos), personally I think it's fantastic but I also have an affinity for Mezcal & also spent 7 years bartending - Regardless, giveaways like this are also a obvious brand partnership!


The main goal of this giveaway may very well have been for Montelobos to grow their brand presence on social media, or just to raise brand awareness, and using @moverandshakerco as an influencer is a perfect way to utilize brand partnerships!


Did You Get All That?


Ultimately, while there is a lot to know about a giveaway, the bottom line is this: If you are looking to boost your engagement, as well as your follower count! Depending on the item/service you give away, the size of your following, and whether you try and run a giveaway in partnership with another brand, each business/account using giveaways will see varying results!

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