Everyone loves the chance to win a prize, and it’s all the better if the prize is easy to score.
When you host an Instagram giveaway, you give users the chance to win a prize by engaging with your post, whether that’s by liking, sharing, or tagging their friends in it. If you use the right strategy to get their attention, those users might even turn into loyal followers.
Let’s go over how to do an Instagram giveaway so you can attract followers who all share the same prize - seeing your content.
What Is an Instagram Giveaway?
Instagram giveaways are limited promotions or contests where participants can win prizes like free products or services by following the giveaway host’s guidelines.
Those random Insta-posts your friend keeps tagging you in? They’re likely giveaways. Typical guidelines include participants following the host’s account, tagging friends in a post’s comments, and sharing content to their Story.
Why Do an Instagram Giveaway?
As a content creator, the search for new ways to attract followers and engage an existing audience never ends — and giveaways are one way to do that. The allure of winning motivates existing followers to interact with your content and draws in new ones hoping to win the prize.
Plus, you can immediately boost engagement by requiring participants to like, comment on, and tag a friend in a post for entry. This activity causes a snowball effect: The more people interact with a post, the more likely it appears on Instagram’s Explore feed. As a result, more people discover your account. Plus, tagged friends might be unfamiliar with — but interested in — your brand.
The fact that giveaways take place over a limited period can also work to your advantage. This short time frame makes people more likely to take immediate action. That urgency can generate excitement around your giveaway and draw more attention to your account.
Popular Instagram Giveaway Formats
Changing up your content is one great way to enjoy continued engagement. Here are some of the most popular types of Instagram giveaways you can host to diversify your content.
1. Like, Follow, Comment
Post a video or photo announcing your giveaway and ask audiences to like the post, add a comment, and follow your account.
By making it an entry requirement to follow you, you guarantee that your follower count grows. Asking for likes and comments increases engagement and boosts your post’s performance on Instagram’s Explore feed.
2. Tag a Friend
Spread the word about your giveaway by asking users to tag a friend in the comments to enter. This is one way to make the most of Instagram's social nature to expand your network.
Let participants tag as many friends as they want for extra entries. Encouraging multiple tags creates a ripple effect, and your post will spread much further.
3. Repost on Instagram Stories
Ask your followers to repost your video or photo on their Instagram Story for a chance to win.
This boosts your reach by pushing your content out to your participants’ followers. You turn your followers and participants into active supporters who promote your content, fueling community engagement, increasing your post’s visibility, and reaching potential new followers.
Important Instagram Giveaway Rules
Your giveaway post should include clear guidelines, terms, and conditions. Explain in detail how people can enter — whether by tagging friends, sharing the post, or whatever method you choose.
Although the details will vary, here are some of the most important things to address in the post’s description:
- Who’s eligible — Outline whether the giveaway is limited to your country or region and if there’s an age requirement.
- Contest duration — Specify when the giveaway starts and ends.
- Winner selection — Tell participants how and when you’ll choose and notify the winner.
- Prizes — Clearly identify what the winner will receive.
- Partnerships — If you’re partnering with brands, clearly indicate their names.
- Accurate tagging — Don't tag anyone who isn’t associated with the giveaway, as this is against Instagram's policies and can get your account blocked. For instance, don’t tag Instagram in a giveaway they’re in no way associated with.
- No Instagram sweepstakes or lotteries — Government-regulated sweepstakes or lotteries, where participants pay a small sum of money to win a larger, accumulated amount, violate Instagram's promotion guidelines. Misusing these terms could lead to problems with Instagram and local authorities.
Instagram may remove your content or block your account if you break their rules. By addressing these points, you ensure fairness, build trust with your audience, and avoid account removal.
How to Run a Giveaway on Instagram in 5 Steps
When hosting a giveaway, follow these five steps to generate genuine and sustained interest in your account.
1. Choose Your Giveaway Goals
Consider what you’re aiming for, as successful Instagram contests are deliberate and carefully planned. Here are a few goals and approaches you might choose:
- To increase followers, hold a tag-friends-to-enter giveaway
- To draw attention to a social cause, ask followers to repost your content
- To increase post engagement, ask people to like and comment to enter
A well-defined vision clarifies the right giveaway type — and you can structure every aspect of your giveaway to accomplish this clearly understood goal.
2. Choose and Showcase the Prize
General items like iPads attract a lot of attention but aren’t good for keeping followers long-term. Instead, choose something related to your brand niche to attract participants who are genuinely interested in your content. If your personal brand centers around showcasing the latest makeup techniques, your prize could be new products from a popular makeup brand.
How you showcase the prize also helps create an emotional connection with your audience. Instead of relying on advertisements picturing celebrities wearing the product, you might show footage of your friends and family using the makeup to make this content more relatable and desirable.
3. Make Your Giveaway Instagram Post
Whether you post an Instagram Reel, Story, video, or photo on your feed, the first frame should feature an attention-grabbing image and eye-catching text, like a flattering picture of the prize with the phrase “Win This!”
Include engaging text within the post and in the Instagram giveaway caption. This will grab the attention of users who might be quickly scrolling through their feeds, stop them in their tracks, and prompt them to enter.
If you’re posting a video to describe the giveaway, use Captions, an AI-powered tool, to easily add custom subtitles within the video to make it stand out and attract more entries.
4. Promote Your Giveaway
Create a campaign hashtag to promote your contest and track entries. Decide on a unique hashtag that fits your theme, prize, and personal brand. It should also be unique — one you haven’t used before — to make engagement easier to track. You might use something related to your brand, like #CaptionsHolidayGiveaway or #EasterPrizesWithCaptions, or mention the product in the hashtag, choosing something like #NewCameraGiveaway. Add generic hashtags, too, like #giveaway or tags describing the product to reach more users.
Draw even more attention to the giveaway by cross-promoting your post to Facebook, TikTok, and other social platforms. You might also publish additional reminder posts on Instagram, like countdown stickers in Stories or Instagram Reels reminding people to enter your giveaway before it ends.
If your budget allows, pay to boost your post on Instagram. Your post will then appear as an ad on the platform, appearing in the feeds of users who don’t follow you to expand its reach. When boosting an Instagram post, you can choose a target audience by specifying criteria like location, gender, or age.
5. Pick the Winner and Share the Results
Automated winner picker tools randomly select a winner based on predefined criteria, making the contest fairer and taking the work of choosing someone off your plate.
When the giveaway ends and you’ve notified the winner, do one of two things: archive the original giveaway Instagram post or edit your giveaway’s description to add “Contest Closed” at the start. This prevents people from trying to enter after the giveaway closes.
Instagram Giveaway FAQs
1. How Do I Track Instagram Giveaway Entries?
The easiest way to track giveaway entries is with a social media management tool, like Sprout Social or Wishpond. These tools track giveaway entries and offer reports on hashtag use, engagement rates, and other Instagram follower metrics.
2. How Long Should a Giveaway Last on Instagram?
Generally, they last 1–4 weeks, but they can be as long or short as you wish.
Shorter giveaways create a sense of urgency and prompt users to act quickly or miss out. Longer giveaways allow for more entries, but don’t stretch it for too long or you might lose participant interest.
Enhance Your Giveaway Announcements With Captions
Instead of using a boring photo of a product, create high-quality videos of what you’re offering to make your giveaway even more appealing. With Captions, you can add attention-grabbing subtitles to your videos, along with AI generated images and emojis to keep your audience engaged, whether they’re listening or reading along. Start editing professional-quality content today.