Are you a business with an Instagram account but have yet to set up an Instagram contest to promote your brand, product or services? If so, it’s time to strategize and set up a contest that will wow your audience!

Let’s face it: everyone loves free stuff. Running an Instagram contest is a great social media tactic for increasing engagement of your followers and growing your customer base at the same time!

Here are a few key points to consider when running a contest:

First, come up with your entry method. There are a variety of different types of contests and giveaways with their own unique benefits, so pick the one that works best for your page’s needs. Don’t be afraid to combine multiple calls to action in order to craft your perfect contest!

  1. Photo Contest: With this type of contest, the user must share a photo on their personal account, either as a post or on their story. Usually, the instagram photo is accompanied by a hashtag or tag.

    For example, if you were a clothing company, your contest could involve asking your followers to post a selfie of them wearing their favorite item. Though this variety of contest might be the most intensive for the user, it can be the most effective for spreading the word about your business and connecting with your target audience!

  2. Leave a Comment: This variety of contest asks users to directly engage with your posts. The post could call for a caption contest, or can be as simple as prompting customers to “comment your favorite emoji”. These contests are so easy to enter, you are likely to have a lot of participation!
  3. Tag a Friend: An easy way to grow your customer base and promote your contest can be through asking your users to tag one, or three, of their friends in the comments section. This encourages users to invite their friends to your page, and the contest. These tagged friends might enter the contest themselves!
  4. Follow us: One criteria for entering the contest could be for users to follow your page. This variety of contest increases your following, especially combined with other tactics!

After figuring out your entry method, make sure to set the guidelines for your contest. Here are a few important items to include when writing up your Instagram post:

  1. Entry rules: Once you decide on your perfect combination of entry methods, outline them in your contest rules. For example, an Ice Cream Parlor might prompt their followers to leave a comment with their favorite flavor of ice cream and tag three friends with whom they want to get a frozen treat!
  2. Hashtag: Come up with a specific hashtag for your contest. Keep in mind that an effective hashtag is short and catchy. Make sure it is relevant to your brand and that no one else is already using it.
  3. Timeframe: Outline how long the contest will be running. Depending on the contest type, keep it open long enough for people to enter, but short enough to keep a sense of urgency with the users. For example, if you are using the “Tag a Friend” entry method, it might be best to keep it open longer so that those who are tagged also have time to enter.
  4. Prize: All followers love a chance to win something special. Rewarding your users with a prize is essential to the call to action of a contest. It’s very important to pick a prize for your contest that relates to your specific brand. Consider featuring the prize in the photo that announces the contest to entice your followers.

An Instagram Contest can be a great way to quickly increase engagement and grow your page’s following. Whether your followers are posting photos and videos for your contest or tagging their friends in your comments section, your business will be receiving the visibility it needs to thrive online. Social networks, especially like Instagram, are great platforms to draw the right attention to your brand. Be sure to combine different entry methods and craft a contest that works best for your company’s page using these keys!