There are an estimated 500 million users of Instagram on a daily basis, making it a hub of marketing activity and a core source of social media traffic Selfies are queen here and the goal is to be either fun, interesting, beautiful or all three. Using contests and competitions on Instagram is a great way to garner interest and followers in your brand. Here are some tips to get you started.
Be attention worthy
Competitions work because people like getting freebies. If they can win something in return for doing very little, it’s bound to attract attention. So, make sure your competition is worthwhile – this means good prizes and easy rules. Grab their attention with a large, bold ‘Win’ as early on in your post as possible.
As well as easy, your rules should be clear, so there’s no post-announcement fuss. Write simple and clear instructions that include: what your followers should do, when they should do it by, what they could win and when you will announce a winner. If there are any restrictions for participants, make that clear too. Check Instagram’s promotion guidelines to avoid any legal issues.
Be brand relevant
Whatever your contest and prize, make sure it’s relevant to your brand. Establish a clear theme that is in-keeping with your brand to ensure your followers will be interested. A hair company, for example, would likely give away a basket of sought-after hair products; giving away electrical items or furniture would be way off-brand. Your prizes should be both desirable and relevant.
Although originating on Twitter in 2007, hashtags are Instagram’s game now too. Create a hashtag that is relevant to your brand, your product, the competition and is easy to remember. Alliteration or rhyming (as well as brevity) are good tricks to create a hashtag that is easy to remember. Add in a few others (don’t bombard the post though) including your brand tagline, brand name and #contest, #competition, and #giveaway. This will make the post searchable.
If your contest includes photo or video involvement, make sure it’s fun! While Instagrammers love snapping photos, it’s still effort to create something that looks good enough to post online and will win a contest. Try thinking of something that is silly and will have followers laughing to increase their engagement levels. Make sure they pop those hashtags in too.
If providing a prize worthy of attention is a little out of your budget, team up with a like brand that can sponsor your competition. For a little extra low-key marketing in your Instagram competition posts, they will provide you with a prize for your winners.
Examples of competition types
On the simpler end of the scale you have Tag-to-Win and Like-to-Win, which involve your followers either liking your Instagram post or tagging a friend for a chance to win. Both of these are good options to increase your reach as existing followers will likely tag people who are interested in the competition and are potential new followers, broadening your network and reach, which is ultimately the goal. It’s also a good option as it requires the least effort from Instagrammers, therefore, more likely to be promoted by them.
The next level up involves using Instagram’s best weapon – photos or, more specifically, selfies. This is where you can get creative. These competitions can be anything from photos with a product in the most unusual place – like on a mountain, on a farm, inside the bathtub – to an interesting pose or funny outfit. You could also opt for a caption competition for the funniest or most original caption for a provided image, as well as a video competition. Bear in mind these types of contests take more effort, so the key is to be fun and interesting here.
Picking a winner
For tag to win and like to win contests, you can use an automated programme to pick a winner at random. For contests with more creativity involved, use the searchable hashtag and pick out whoever you think is the most on brand and original.
That’s all there is to it! Get thinking about your Instagram competition to boost your social media presence and broaden your Instagram following.