Social Media Marketing Guide

8. How to Run an Instagram Giveaway For Your Business

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Small Business Marketing

How to Run an Instagram Giveaway For Your Business

Jul 06, 2023 • 10+ min read
Person using their smart phone to access Instagram
Table of Contents

      Whether you’re a seasoned Instagramer or just published your business’ account, you likely have or need an Instagram social media plan. That plan should include boosting your followers, engagement, and brand awareness. One tactic that can help you with all of those goals is an Instagram giveaway.

      You’ve probably seen or been tagged in an Instagram giveaway before. With these giveaways, the social media platform’s users enter into the giveaway by completing specific tasks, and then the business randomly selects a winner and gives them a prize. 

      If you want to take your business’ Instagram marketing to the next level, follow along as we go step-by-step through how to run a giveaway on Instagram.

      1. Plan Your Instagram Giveaway

      Set Clear Goals For Your Giveaway

      To have a successful Instagram giveaway, you need to take some time to put together a plan, including setting goals for your giveaway. It’s essential to decide on specific goals for your giveaway. That way, you’ll see the desired results, rather than just going through the motions of giving away a prize. 

      Some common giveaway goals are:

      • Increasing followers
      • Expanding brand awareness
      • Boosting social media engagement
      • Generating user-generated content
      • Promoting a sale or new product line

      Identify Your Target Audience

      Once you’ve established your goal for the giveaway, you’ll want to identify your target audience. Think about your purpose and what audience will help you get there. 

      Finding and targeting the right audience is vital for your giveaway because you want the results you gain from this giveaway to last. Suppose you gain many new followers who want the prize but aren’t interested in your brand. In that case, you’ll see a significant drop-off once your giveaway ends. 

      Select Your Prize

      The next step is deciding what your prize will be. As we mentioned above, you want to select an audience interested in your brand so they’ll stick around. You also want to choose a prize relevant to your products or services, so that you entice the right people to enter the giveaway. 

      Decide on Entry Requirements

      Now you decide what steps your participants must complete to enter your giveaway. You’ll want to create requirements that correlate with your goals. If you wish to boost followers, one of your requirements should be that participants follow your Instagram account. 

      Some of the most common requirements are:

      • Following your Instagram account
      • Liking, sharing, or commenting on a post
      • Creating a post that shows the participant using your product
      • Signing up for a newsletter
      • Tagging their friends in a post
      • Sharing the post in the participant’s story and tagging the brand

      Determine Giveaway Duration 

      After establishing what you’ll require for your giveaway, you’ll want to determine how long you’ll give participants to enter your giveaway. If you have thousands of followers already, then you won’t need to run your giveaway as long as you would if you have an account with hundreds of followers. 

      Another method to determine the duration of your giveaway is to limit how many entries you’ll accept before you end the giveaway. For example, your giveaway could be limited to the first 5,000 people to complete the requirements.  

      Familiarize Yourself With Instagram’s Guidelines and Policies

      As you’re putting together your giveaway, you’ll want to read through Instagram’s promotion policy to ensure it aligns with their guidelines. 

      Some rules that Instagram has for giveaways hosted on their platform are:

      • You are clear about the rules for entry and offer terms, and you comply with those rules.
      • No inaccurate tagging in photos by your brand or your participants.
      • Acknowledge that Instagram isn’t endorsing, sponsoring, or administering this giveaway.
      • Release Instagram from any liability for yourself or the participants in the giveaway.

      Ideas For How to Do an Instagram Giveaway

      There are many different options for giveaways you can run on Instagram. Here are a few ideas from other brands to inspire you.

      Seasonal Giveaway

      This giveaway is an excellent example of taking advantage of certain holidays or seasons to reach your target audience. This giveaway asks participants to follow their accounts, like the post, and tag friends in the comments. These tasks will help boost the brand’s followers and engagement.

      Milestone Giveaway

      A giveaway is a great way to include your audience if you’re looking to celebrate your business’s birthday. The tasks outlined in this giveaway boost their followers, engagement, and brand awareness by having participants share the post on their stories.

      User-Generated Content Giveaways

      This post from Vader Bows is a good example of a giveaway where the goal is to create user-generated content. This giveaway asks participants to share a video of themselves shooting with a Vader bow and to tag the brand in the video. This tactic increases brand awareness and gives this business some great content they could use for marketing.

      Product Giveaway

      A product giveaway is a fun option if you’re looking to increase brand awareness and boost your following with people who are interested in your products. Ideally, your product giveaways won’t attract random people looking to just win stuff. Only dog lovers will interact and engage with the brand in this example, which makes it more likely that it will maintain its new followers.

      2. Craft an Engaging Giveaway Post

      Create a Compelling Giveaway Post

      Now that you have your plan for your giveaway, you’ll create a post promoting your giveaway. On average, 95 million posts are shared per day on Instagram. That’s a lot of content. To get your audience to stop and read your giveaway caption, you’ll need your giveaway post to stand out. 

      Create a visually appealing image that illustrates the giveaway prize. Then write a clear and compelling caption for the image. Include the requirements for entering the giveaway, Instagram’s promotion policy, and any other terms and conditions for your giveaway. 

      Use Hashtags to Expand Reach and Visibility

      When you’re ready to post your giveaway, select some hashtags to expand your reach and visibility for your campaign. There are many giveaway hashtags that you could use that will increase the visibility of your campaign. 

      You can also create a custom hashtag for your business’ giveaway and ask participants to use it in their posts. 

      3. Promote Your Giveaway

      Engage Your Existing Instagram Followers

      Once you launch your giveaway, you want to promote it to spread awareness and boost participation as much as possible. Take advantage of your existing Instagram followers by promoting the giveaway and encouraging them to participate. 

      You can also use what you know about your current followers to find your target audience for paid promotion. Using a paid promotion, you can pay to show your giveaway post to a specific audience. Using insights about your current followers can help you to identify the right audience to target during this paid promotion. 

      Utilize Other Social Media Platforms to Cross-Promote Your Giveaway

      When promoting your Instagram giveaway, you’re not just limited to Instagram. You can promote the giveaway across the other channels you use for your business, including Facebook, Twitter, email marketing, and your website. 

      Cross-promoting will help you reach more people who’ll be interested in your giveaway but may have yet to see your promotion on Instagram. 

      Collaborate With Influencers or Brands For Increased Exposure

      To increase exposure to your giveaway, you can partner with other brands or influencers for your giveaway. These collaborations can benefit you and the brand or influencer you partner with because you’ll interact with each other’s audience. 

      When selecting brands or influencers to collaborate with, consider their audience and if they will be interested in your products or services. This will help your collaboration be successful.

      4. Select and Announce the Winner

      Winner Selection Method

      You must choose a fair and random winner when selecting your winner for the giveaway. Many businesses use an Instagram giveaway picker tool to ensure that their winner truly was random and that they completed all the required tasks. There are a lot of free winner-selector tools out there, so find the one that works best for you. 

      Here are a few to consider:

      Once you’ve selected your winner, you’ll want to double-check that they completed all of the requirements for the giveaway. Then you can reach out and notify the winner. Many accounts will privately reach out to the winner to let them know they won. Then after they’ve contacted the winner, they’ll announce the winner publicly. 

      At this point, you’ll want to thank all your participants for their interest and for entering the giveaway. You can also build up anticipation for future giveaways.

      5. Evaluate the Success of Your Giveaway

      Analyze Key Metrics

      Now that you’ve completed your Instagram giveaway, it’s time to reflect on your goals and see how they performed. When evaluating your giveaway, you’ll want to look at the metrics you identified in your plans: new followers, engagement (comments, likes, tags), number of user-generated posts, or email subscribers. 

      Gather Feedback From Participants

      After you’ve looked at how the giveaway performed based on your key metrics, work with your participants and followers to get their feedback on how the giveaway went. Customer feedback is valuable because you want your giveaways to be fun for your audience. You can also get feedback on the prize you offered and hear about other prizes that might generate more interest in your giveaways. 

      Learn From the Experience and Apply Insights to Future Giveaways

      Take what you’ve learned from your analysis and feedback to plan even more successful giveaways in the future. Even if you have different goals for your Instagram giveaways in the future, these learnings will still be valuable.


      Are you ready to promote your first Instagram giveaway? Here’s a quick recap of the steps we went over for how to run an Instagram giveaway:

      1. Plan your giveaway.
      2. Craft an engaging giveaway post.
      3. Promote your giveaway.
      4. Select and announce your winner.
      5. Evaluate the success of your giveaway.

      Instagram giveaways are an excellent way to engage with your current audience and reach new individuals. You can use giveaways to boost your social media profile, increase your audience’s engagement, and promote brand awareness. 

      Disclaimer: Giveaways are fraught with legal landmines. Be sure to consult with a qualified attorney as part of running your giveaway.

      About the author
      Kendra Madsen

      Kendra Madsen is a content strategist, UX writer, and digital marketing consultant for small businesses. She has written hundreds of articles for small businesses in many different industries, using SEO best practices. When she isn’t writing or obsessing about the latest marketing trend, she can be found outside mountain biking or playing at the park with her son and dog.

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