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How to Run an Instagram Contest

When you jump into the online world of business, one factor that you must consider to develop a business is engagement. Your followers will automatically feel that their choice of the product or service you offer is the right solution by maintaining engagement. But as a businessman who wants to earn more, you don’t just need to maintain. But also need to increase engagement. There are many techniques to advance client engagement on social media. One way is to hold an Instagram contest.

Instagram contests will not only get people to talk about your business, but they will also increase the number of followers. This article will discuss how to increase engagement on Instagram by holding a contest. Not only that, but you will also find tools and tips that help marketers run Instagram contests to be successful.

Let’s get started.

What Type of Competition Should You Choose?

It is worth starting the launch of a campaign on Instagram by choosing its specifics. Different types of contests give completely different returns and involve executing actions (from a simple like to creating creative works). 

For example, you can offer your subscribers.

1. Leave a Comment

Suitable for those who want to increase activity in their account. The only condition is that you must have at least a medium-sized audience.

The blogger offers to leave a comment that subscribers should tell about what they like in her account.

To conduct such an interactive, we will come up with a task for our readers. For example, let’s ask them:

  • Explain why the prize should go to them;
  • Tell a story or answer a question in detail;
  • Guess what you have depicted (closed / painted over) in the photo or picture;
  • Guess which of the facts you have written is a lie;
  • Leave comments until you write stop.

The winner’s choice depends on the task – reward the most creative answer to a question or give a gift to a random user who found an object hidden in the photo.

2. Complete a Creative Assignment

We will set a specific tag and invite subscribers to place a photo with creative work in their account to conduct such a contest. Then we will choose the winner according to the number of likes or the most exciting photo.

Here are some examples of assignments:

  • Make a video review of the product;
  • Come up with an exciting recipe with your products;
  • Depict a logo or brand mascot;
  • Tell about your acquaintance with the company;
  • Come up with an exciting story about a brand or its mascot.

The competition will increase the awareness, engagement, and activity of your subscribers.

The only drawback is that for a non-promoted account, you will have to set up a target or purchase additional advertising from bloggers.

repost a post

3. Repost a Post in Stories

This format has appeared relatively recently, but due to its simplicity, it is used by most companies. To take part, your readers repost the rally in their stories with your account tag, and in the post, they mark friends, like, or leave a comment.

Even if the participant indicated few friends (or not provided in the rules), his subscribers are guaranteed to view the stories. They may be interested both in the event itself and in your services or goods.

Stories are tagged so that you can check if a person has repost. The mention of the mark will remain in Yandex. 

The only drawback of such a contest is that not all Instagram users can repost and mark. And the stories themselves live no more than a day.

4. Like and Mark in the Comments

The easiest option in an Instagram contest. The result of such a competition depends on how valuable a gift you are ready to send to the winner and the number of your followers. Participants:

  • Like the post;
  • Mark one or more friends.

To increase activity and attract attention, you can not limit the number of marks.

Even if not all users who have been noted in the comments are interested in the prize or subscribe to an account, your company’s recognition will be increased.

5. Subscribe to Sponsors (Giveaway)

What is Giveaway? This is probably the most popular type of prank on Instagram. At least, it is used by most large bloggers with an already recruited and loyal audience.

Well-known influencers usually host the so-called giveaways, and sponsors provide the prizes (cars, large sums of money, telephones). The mechanism is the same as in the previous version – subscribe to several partner accounts (from 2-3 to 20-30), leave a like and comment. It is an indispensable part of influencer marketing.

While giveaways are handy for quickly recruiting cheap followers, they can lead to a shadowban. Why? Here are some reasons:

  • It is not your target audience who subscribes to the account, but random people;
  • They do not have an interest in your products and will not like/comment on posts. Over time, more than 50% of them will unsubscribe;
  • Engagement rates will drop, and Instagram may stop showing your posts in the feed, as algorithms consider them uninteresting (followers don’t like them and leave the profile altogether).

In this case, the only solution is to initially participate only in those shows, the organizers of which have a similar or the same target audience.

what to give

What to Give?

Before holding an Instagram contest, we will choose a prize for our subscribers. The reward should be something that followers will want to fight for. This can be your product (if you are running a giveaway in your store) or some product that relates to your field of activity (if the competition is a part of your account).

Are you talking about motherhood? Play an educational game or smart gadget for kids.

Is your account dedicated to handicrafts? Give your subscribers a creative or storage kit.

Are your target audience girls looking to lose weight? Try offering them a personalized workout plan or tracksuit for a story mark.

With services, everything is much more complicated. For example, if a beauty salon raffles off a hair care complex, even those in another city will want to participate in the competition. Of course, after the announcement of the results, they will unsubscribe.

Therefore, it is better to play a certificate for your services (so you will be sure that all participants are from your city) or try to interest the nonresident audience with posts (for example, in the same hairdresser’s account, tell not only about the work performed, but also publish life hacks for caring for hair).

how to write a sponsored post

How to Write a Sponsored Post?

A bright and eye-catching post is one of the essential factors in the success of the competition. To interest followers will help.

1. Detailed Description

Indicate all conditions for participation in the drawing. The post under the photo must contain such information as:

  • The headline to attract attention – understandable for users, for example, “Raffle,” “Giving a car,” or “Get a chance to win an annual membership to our gym”;
  • Description of the prize – tell us what the lucky ones will get, who will be chosen by the randomizer or organizer;
  • Conditions for participation – when the results will be announced, what the participants need to do, how many comments/posts under the hashtag can be left, in which region or city you need to live to participate.

The more details, the less likely it is to hear claims after the announcement of the winners. For example, suppose a participant from another country got the most likes, and you forgot to indicate in the rules that you send the prize only within your country. In that case, he may naturally be indignant when announcing the results.

2. Specific Dates

Nobody likes to wait. And even more so, no one likes it when the announcement of the results is constantly postponed – trust in you will drop, users will delete their comments or even unsubscribe. The draw will seem “fake.”

Extended terms are suitable only for contests with expensive prizes, and at the same time, you need to constantly warm up the interest of the audience, reminding them of the drawing. Long-term contests are also not suitable for small profiles – it is best to limit yourself to three to six days.

3. Attractive Photo

The photo can show a beautiful layout with your products or a blogger holding the product in his hands (sitting next to him, using it, and so on). Adding text to the snapshot itself is better, as many users do not read posts and scroll through them in their feed.

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The main thing is that the text looks organic and fits into the overall composition of the picture. 

Some posts without “identification marks” in the photo itself risk being scrolled.

What Will Help Make the Competition Recognizable?

The success of the competition depends on how much people trust you and your brand. If you have few subscribers:

  • Tell us about the competition in your account. If you are a blogger with your brand, tell your subscribers about the competition and invite them to take part in it.
  • Buy ads from another influencer. Ensure that your target audience is the same and that the blogger does not have likes or subscribers. Some services (for example, InstaHero) immediately provide information about followers’ geolocation, age, and gender. Be sure to request statistics from the influencer himself.
  • Run targeted ads on Instagram. Potential contributors will see the post in stories (or feed) and be interested in your proposal.

The way you go will depend on your budget and the focus of your account.

how to determine instagram contest winner

How to Determine the Winner?

Creative contests allow you to identify the lucky one in an obvious way – give a prize to the most creative participant of your choice, let us choose the most exciting work by voting, or find the post that got the most likes.

There are only two options for randomly determining the winner.

Special Services for Choosing a Winner

The easiest and fastest way is to copy the link to the post, paste it into a field on a particular site and look at the result. The winner is determined by:

  • tag – the service finds an entry with the maximum number of likes or by accident;
  • comments or likes – the user is chosen randomly.

It remains for you to check whether the participant has followed all the rules (some sites do this automatically, sometimes you have to check it manually).

For example, try Giveaways. The latter has a premium version, with which you can automatically check the presence of a repost in the story and compliance with other rules. 


The random number generator (randomizer) is an old method used on the Internet since the first contests appeared. Participants receive personalized numbers, and the application itself determines the winning number.

How do I assign numbers? You can ask followers to leave a comment with a sequential number (and then check the correctness by sorting comments by date) or write it to readers in Direct when you receive a message about a mark.

By the way, it is not necessary to indicate the ordinal number – offer to choose the “lucky” number in the range from 1 to 100. After uploading comments using Insta Comments or any similar site, find the lucky one by searching the Excel spreadsheet. The main thing is that the numbers do not repeat – be sure to mention this in the description of the competition.

how to work with a new audience in an instagram contest

How to Work with a New Audience?

In order not to “catch” a shadowban and avoid a large number of unsubscribes (and the churn of users is inevitable, no matter how sad it may sound), new followers should be immediately interested in something after the Instagram contest. There are several solutions:

  • First, setting up a target or buying ads from bloggers. But this option is not suitable for owners of half-empty accounts and corporate profiles without applicable content (people will enter, see continuous ads, and close the page).
  • Secondly, posting interesting posts will motivate the target audience to subscribe, and your trust will increase. Third, interact with your audience. It is unprofitable to carry out endless draws, but you can diversify the feed with small contests, games, or other interactions.

How to Run an Instagram Contest in Short 

Let us summarize. Four “keys” to the success of your competition:

  • Confirmation that the competition was fair. Ask the prize recipient to take a photo with them and post it in the feed or story.
  • Simple conditions. If your audience is not as loyal as you would like, start with simple giveaways (a la like, repost and wait).
  • Make announcements. Everyone must hear about the competition.
  • When hosting a giveaway, make sure the organizer is honest. Some “bloggers” may disappear with your money – do not be lazy to count how many bots are subscribed to your account, how long ago it was created, and find out this person’s opinion in thematic chats.

An Instagram contest is a great method to attract new subscribers and increase your account activity. We hope this article has convinced you that it is not that difficult to navigate. Try different options, and you will find the format that will bring you the most subscribers!

Frequently Asked Questions About

You can increase the engagement of your subscribers and more by making a creative assignment. 

You can tag your stories if you want to check if a person did the act of reposting. 

You can subscribe to several partner accounts (from 2-3 to 20-30).

Yes, you can take attractive photos of your product by putting it in an interesting layout, for instance, the hands of a blogger. 

You should check whether the participant has followed all the rules.

Kaspar Schmidt

Posts: 20

Hello there! I am Kaspar Schmidt. My story is that after I have become fairly acquainted with various social media platforms, I decided to write about them and share the information I have gathered over the years. Currently, I write about subjects on Social Media that deserve attention on Instafol... Read More

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