All about Instagram contests

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All about Instagram contests

Who hasn’t already participated in an Instagram contest? Every month, numerous contests are organized by brands with products offered to their followers. Running a contest can help you strengthen your relationship with your community and also promote a new product or service. They can also be useful when launching a new Instagram account to quickly acquire new followers. This strategy can be very effective in increasing engagement with your community and also in getting more people to discover your account.

“Instagram, it is now 15 million business accounts.” (Source:

Every day, thousands of contests are published on the networks, so why not get started? And if you’re ever looking for more tips on how to boost your business’s visibility on Instagram, here’s an article that might help. Do you know why so many influencers and brands run contests regularly? Does an Instagram contest require a lot of organization? Thanks to this article, you’ll know everything about contests on Instagram.

Table of contents

1. Why run a contest on Instagram?

Contests have been set up for several reasons. The first was to boost a new product or service, or even for the launch of a new account. Contests help to strengthen your ties with your followers, boost your community, generate engagement, and increase your brand awareness. If you want more tips on how to improve your visibility on social networks, we invite you to read this article.

“91% of Instagram posts with over 1,000 comments are related to a giveaway or contest.” (Source:

If you want to increase your number of followers, a contest can be very effective. Without making too much effort, you will be able to increase your number of subscribers because to participate in the contest, they will be “forced” to subscribe to your page and share the post, but also the fact that you are giving away products will attract people who may not have known about your brand before. In addition, having participants share the post, helps you promote the product (or service) you are giving away. In short, contests on Instagram are a great way to generate engagement and increase awareness of your account.


2. How to run a contest on Instagram?

• Setting goals

An Instagram contest is not something you can organize on a whim: it takes time, and every little detail counts. First, you will set goals with results to achieve. The objectives should be achievable and measurable with concrete indicators. Then you can also choose a theme for the contest, such as a season, an important date, reaching a certain number of subscribers, etc. To follow up on this, you can decide what type of contest you are going to run.

“Contests and giveaways on Instagram receive 3.5 times more “likes” and 64 more comments than an average post.”(source:

If you want to increase engagement on your account, you’ll ask participants to comment and like the post to participate; if you’re looking to gain notoriety, you can ask participants to share your content on their profiles, either in a story or in their feed. Each action requested has a reason behind it: more comments on a post, for example, leads to a higher engagement rate. Then, when you are encouraged to follow an account, the goal will be to grow their community, so you will probably have to comment on the post, which gives an increase in the conversion rate but also in the reach.

• Find the perfect gift

Next, you will need to find the perfect gift for your community. This decision should consider the age and interest of your target audience. It is also advisable to choose a gift that is related to your brand and/or service to attract customers who will be interested in your content. If you give away a prize such as a phone or a trip, you will end up with opportunists who will leave your page once the contest is over. The best gift you can offer is one of your products. Following this, you will set up some rules to follow. It is important to mark the number of winners, the giveaway, the start and end dates of the contest, and how to participate. It is advisable not to make the contest last too long so that the community does not forget about it.

• Determining the winner

To choose the winner who will win the gift, you can either do a random draw, which is completely random, or you can do a vote (the person who will win the most likes for example) or call on a jury (who can judge the participants’ creations for example). For your contest to be seen by a larger number of people, it is recommended to create a hashtag dedicated to this contest, it must be clear and easy to remember.

In addition, for your competition to be well referenced, it is important to promote it and talk about it frequently. Talk about it on all your social networks, not just on Instagram. If your business is new or you have only been on Instagram for a short time, it is advisable to use paid ads to attract as many people as possible. At the end of the contest, don’t forget to mention that the winner has already been contacted so that the community is informed that the contest is over. Once the contest is over, analyze all your results to see your engagement rate, etc. It is important to do a review so that you can see if you have achieved your goals or not.

3. What are the rules to follow?

Instagram insists that it disclaims all responsibility for contests. It is your responsibility, and it is up to you to set up the necessary rules. You must set up targeted criteria such as a minimum age, a defined geographical area, etc. In addition, if it concerns collaboration with a brand, it is important to mention it. It is essential to mark this type of information under the post or in your bio. It is also not allowed to ask potential participants to subscribe to your account to participate. Use alternative wording to encourage them to subscribe, such as “for our subscribers only”. If Instagram sees that you are asking your participants to subscribe, it may remove the post or temporarily block your account so stay alert.

“Instagram accounts that run regular contests grow their audience 70% faster than those that do not.” (Source:

You must also be careful with scams, a lot of people take advantage of contests to scam you. Many techniques are used, some ask you to call premium-rate numbers to get a code to win the prizes. A lot of fake accounts are also used by scammers. They usually offer big gifts such as iPhones, computers, or handbags. You can tell it’s a fake account because these accounts are usually very new and take photos from the internet, they don’t create their own content. All these types of accounts look the same, same photo, same description, same rules of the game.

Once you have participated in many contests, Instagram’s algorithm will understand that you are interested in this type of publication, so you will find yourself with several contest proposals in your feed and this is where you will have to sort out the real ones from the fake ones. It is also possible to frame your contest legally, but this comes at a price, the bailiff will take care of the rules of the contest and make sure that they are validated, and then he will make sure that the contest runs correctly by choosing the winner. If you want to avoid legal problems, it is advisable to get legal advice, especially if the prizes are very valuable.

4. What are the different types of contests?

Several types of contests can be set up, depending on your objectives. We have given some examples above. The most common type of contest is the one where participants are encouraged to “follow, like, and comment” in exchange for a prize to be won in a draw. This type of contest will allow you to grow your community, generate a spike in engagement and improve your reach. Recently, Instagram’s algorithm has changed and likes and shares are given more prominence compared to comments and likes. Shares will also help to put your account in the spotlight, as Instagram will consider your account relevant to its users as they share it.

The winners of the contests are usually drawn at random, but as mentioned, another type of contest is possible: you will be able to set up a challenge, here, you will ask your community to take a picture, create a logo, or whatever and you will judge the one you like best which will determine the winner. In addition, you have the possibility to do contests in partnership with an influencer. Joining with an influencer will allow you to increase the engagement rate, and also have a better visibility.

“Influencer marketing on Instagram has grown by over 48% in 2019.” (Source:

Depending on your budget, it’s up to you to see if you’re going to approach a nano, micro, macro, or mega influencer, knowing that each one, has its specificities and advantages. If you don’t know which influencer to choose, here’s an article that talks about nano influencers and their higher engagement rate. It’s also important to consider the community the influencer has; you’ll want to find one with the community you want to target.

Another type of competition is to simply ask participants to answer a question, quiz, or survey, or to play a game where, for example, all winners win a voucher. There are many possibilities, and nothing prevents you from being creative in the type and modalities of the competition – the aim being to please your community while developing it.

5. Some mistakes to avoid

When organizing a contest on Instagram, there are some mistakes to avoid:

  • Don’t organize a contest without having any objectives behind it. Instagram contests should be strategic and not just to please your community.
  • Don’t organize them too often, they should be used occasionally to avoid losing their value.
  • Be careful with the prize: if your prize is not attractive enough, you will have few participants and therefore little impact.
  • Don’t forget to draw up a set of rules, which is important to protect you in case the competition goes wrong, or a participant does not agree with your approach.
  • You should also avoid asking too much, keep it simple, don’t ask your community to identify 5 friends, write a novel in a comment or follow 10 new accounts, keep it simple but effective.
  • Choose a gift that will please your community and that is related to your business. So that your new subscribers stay because they will be really interested in your content.
  • Avoid using poor-quality images, otherwise, users will think that it is not a real contest, so take care of the image you use and the description.
  • Consider the analyses during your contest: compare the number of subscribers before and after, the rate of engagement… Following these analyses, you will be able to know the indicators to follow for the next contest and know the modifications that you will have to make afterward.

To conclude, an Instagram contest has many advantages. You will be able to increase your engagement rate, gain subscribers, build a loyal community… If you have any questions about how you can create a community and interact with it, read this article. The only downside is that Instagram has a few rules to follow when it comes to contests and not everything is allowed. For the moment, nothing insurmountable, but you should check regularly for changes in case the rules become stricter. Instagram does allow you to be creative with your contests. So, get your community excited and run a great contest that will increase your engagement rate effectively. 

We hope that we have given you the desire and above all the keys to organizing a contest effectively on Instagram. It’s time to take the plunge now that you know all about contests and to think about your next contest. Have you ever run a contest on Instagram? If so, what were the results? Did you know all the best practices, or did you go by feel? Don’t hesitate to share your experience with us in comments!

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