Try Clever Instagram Contests to Get More Eyes on Your Business Brand
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Try Clever Instagram Contests to Get More Eyes on Your Business Brand
Breanne Bannon
/ Categories: DIY Sprocket Solutions

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Try Clever Instagram Contests to Get More Eyes on Your Business Brand

Instagram contests increase engagement and get people talking about your business, but a contest needs careful planning to be successful. Here’s what you should know to get started:

Decide on the goal of the contest.

Why are you running this contest? Are you trying to find an audience that your business will resonate with? Do you want to figure out your audience’s preferences for what your business sells? Will you use what you learn to make future Instagram posts more engaging? Also plan how you will measure the success of your contest.

Know Instagram’s contest rules.

Before you get those creative juices going, familiarize yourself with Instagram’s specific rules, even if you’ve run a contest on another social media platform. You don’t want to put a lot of effort into this and get in trouble because you didn’t follow their guidelines for running contests.

Agree on how the winners will be chosen.

Will winners be chosen at random? How many winners will there be? If not random, then how will you rate the contestants and who will make the final decision? Make sure you spell it all out completely and clearly so everyone understands from the very beginning. You don’t want bad publicity over this!

Choose the prize(s).

What kind of award will incentivize your audience? While money is always welcome, it also tends to draw people who don’t really care about your business and will never be your customers, so try to come up with a prize very specific to your audience. Think, too, about how you will award the prize so that it’s easy for everyone involved.

Decide what kind of contest you want to run.

Now you can get more creative! First, consider how you want your contest to operate and how you want users to participate. Here are a few different types of Instagram contests to consider.

  • Comment on this post
    In this contest, ask users to comment on your post. For example, you might ask your followers to answer a question that you’re asking. For instance, “What is your favorite color?” Questions like this are great for generating engagement because users have to do something more than just click “Like” for a chance to win.
  • Like this post
    This very simple type of Instagram contest asks fans to “Like” the post you are using for the contest. This will probably have a higher number of people participating than the “Comment on this Post” contest because it’s easy to do, but it’s not a very high level of interaction.
  • Post your own photo
    In this type of contest, you’re asking your followers to post their own Instagram photos along with your chosen hashtag for the contest. Remember to do your research for any proposed hashtags before you launch your contest. Make sure it’s a phrase that is easy for users to remember, is associated with your brand, and isn’t already being used for something objectionable or embarrassing.
  • Combine the contests
    Another approach is to combine several different contest types. You could ask users to like AND comment to enter or to upload their own photo with a specific hashtag AND like your post. 

Choose a Tool to Manage Your Contest.

Instagram does not associate itself with or help support contests. Since running, managing, and tracking a contest on Instagram is tricky and time-consuming, use a third-party company that specializes in this kind of thing. They have the necessary tools to successfully set up and manage contests just like yours. These contest platforms are generally very straightforward and self-explanatory, making them easy to use.

Market, market, market!

People won’t enter if they don’t know about it, so shout it from the rooftops. Share the information on social media platforms other than Instagram, on your website, and maybe even in print ads. Keep the goal for this contest top-of-mind with your marketing team.

Running a contest on Instagram can be extremely beneficial if done correctly, but don’t be discouraged if your first time isn’t all you hoped it would be. Learning the right contest type for your business can be a bit of trial and error, but statistics say that you could see engagement increase up to 60% and the number of followers grow 70% faster. Those are numbers worth pursuing!

If you are interested in learning more about Instagram contests or about marketing your contest, we’re happy to discuss it with you. Just give us a call!

Photo by Nataliya Vaitkevich


This article is an update to “Tips for a Successful Instagram Contest” dated 2/13/2016.


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Breanne Bannon

Breanne BannonBreanne Bannon

Breanne is a Content Writer, Social Media Marketeer, and Sales Associate for Sprocket Websites.

Other posts by Breanne Bannon
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