9 Creative Ideas For Your Next Instagram Giveaway

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Instagram giveaway ideas

Rafaella Aguiar

Last Updated: Aug 27, 2021

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Hosting an Instagram giveaway is a great way to generate engagement among your followers, create a feeling of excitement and even gain Instagram followers. Not only do people love the idea of potentially getting something for free, they’re also drawn to the idea of winning. This makes an Instagram giveaway a great tactic for increasing engagement while also creating a good feeling within your audience.

What Is An Instagram Giveaway? 

Instagram giveaways are promotions run by businesses who’d like to drive more engagement on the platform and grow their Instagram followers. They run for a limited amount of time and, most often, the business will require users to take specific actions in order to be entered in the giveaway. This could be producing user-generated content, signing up for an email list, tagging a friend, or reposting content.

Why Run An Instagram Giveaway

One of the biggest reasons to run a giveaway on Instagram is to increase your reach and potentially generate more followers. In fact, accounts that run Instagram giveaways can grow their following about 70% faster over three months than accounts that don’t do giveaways. As we’ll look at here in a moment, many giveaways include some sort of post sharing or tagging that would put your brand name in front of your audience’s Instagram followers. This is a great strategy for acquiring new followers, because people trust the things their friends like. If a friend tags you in an Instagram post, chances are you’ll go and check out that page without too much hesitation.

Another great reason to host an Instagram giveaway is simply to increase engagement. Maybe your posts haven’t been performing well, and your followers have been leaving you fewer comments recently. Contest posts on Instagram get many, many comments. About 91% of posts with 1,000 or more comments are giveaway posts. Your Instagram giveaway is a great way to inject some engagement back onto your page by asking for likes, comments, shares or whatever tactic it is you use. 

Instagram giveaways are also a great way to build rapport with your audience. People love the chance to win something, and you can create that opportunity here. Depending on the type of giveaway you choose to run, you can establish yourself as an authority or a thought leader in your space.

How To Do An Instagram Giveaway 

Are you ready to launch an Instagram giveaway? Before you start, read through these 6 steps and make sure you’re following Instagram’s rules for promotions

1. Set Your Goals

As a first step, hit up the drawing board and set a few concrete goals for your Instagram giveaway. You might want to dedicate your giveway to increasing your followers or boosting your sales. Set specific goals for the number of likes, tags, or shares during your giveaway.

2. Choose The Prize

What will your lucky Instagram followers get if they win the giveaway? The sky’s the limit! To grow your followers, you could give away a gift card, like @audenbuffalo did to grow their following among college students at the University of Buffalo. 

Audenbuffalo instagram giveaway

If you’re driving brand awareness, you might want to give away one of your new products. To promote the exclusivity of your brand, you might offer a prize pack of limited-edition items. If you want something more substantial, you could offer a trip or special experience, like a tour of your headquarters or a meet-and-greet with your CEO.

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3. Determine How Users Can Enter Your Giveaway

Your goals will help you determine the entry criteria for your giveaway. If you want to increase your followers, you could ask users to like your post and tag a friend. Or, if you want to drive users to your website or email list, ask them to comment on your post and follow your instructions to sign up on your site. 

If you’re partnering with another brand in your giveaway, you might require that users follow your partner’s page in order to enter the giveaway. That’s what @thecozyfarmhouse did in their partnership giveaway with @stanleysteemerofficial.

the cozy farm instagram giveaway

4. Use Hashtags

Increase the reach of your Instagram giveaway by using the right hashtags. Use generic hashtags like #giveaway and pick a few brand-specific hashtags, too. Consider using a hashtag with your industry in it, like #beautygiveaway, or describe what you’re giving away, like #airbnbgiveaway. Check out this example from @bnbbreeze.

bnbbreeze instagram giveaway

5. Set A Time-Limit For Your Giveaway

You know how hearing about a 24-hour sale makes you want to go shopping NOW? The same premise holds true in an Instagram giveaway. Setting a time limit creates a sense of urgency and excitement for users.

giveaway example with a time limit

You can pick any time limit, but don’t go more than a week. The contest will get stale after that, and you’ll see engagement plummet. 

yellow pro tip star

Pro Tip: Once your contest is over, be sure to edit the post to say “Giveaway Closed.”

6. Launch Your Giveaway And Follow Through

Plan a coordinated launch of your Instagram giveaway. Cross-promote it in your emails, on our blog, and other social channels. Here’s an example email from Cooper’s Hawk.

cross-promoting an instagram giveaway

Also be mindful of the timing of your launch. What time does your feed see the most engagement? That’s when you want to post. If you’re not sure, launch it around 11 AM Wednesday. That’s when Instagram sees the most engagement across the board.

The last step of an Instagram giveaway is to pick the winner. To avoid accusations of favoritism or fraud, make sure you pick a winner randomly. There are several tools and apps that can help with this task. Scroll down to read more about them.

9 Instagram Giveaway Ideas

Now you might be wondering what type of giveaway you should run. The truth is, there’s no one right answer. We’ve pulled together nine Instagram giveaway ideas to get you thinking about what you could choose next. We’ve mentioned some of the tactics already, but now we’ll lay them out to give you a clearer picture.

1. Giveaway Collabs With Celebrities

Working with Instagram influencers is a huge way to increase your presence on the platform. An influencer or celebrity can expand the reach of your giveaway and expose your brand to thousands of potential followers. Plus, since it’s being recommended by a person outside your brand, the giveaway will capture a sense of authenticity instead of a feeling that your brand is only interested in self-serving promotion.

For example, Hyperice recently partnered with sports influencer and Olympic athlete Colleen Quigley in a giveaway to promote their new vibrating massage ball. The post was liked by nearly 10k users.

Working with influencers and celebrities on Instagram giveaways can be tricky, though. Partner with an agency to make the process a bit smoother. The Kicksta Boost Powered by TSMA is a special bonus to your Kicksta account that guarantees growth for your business’ Instagram. Best of all, this feature gives you the power of two platforms: Kicksta and TSMA. This upgraded feature is available through the Kicksta user dashboard.

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2. Tag-A-Friend Instagram Giveaway

We mentioned this earlier, Instagram giveaways are great for increasing your reach. Almost every contest will have some element of tagging a friend, although you don’t have to use that tactic. It’s a great way to reach more accounts that are very targeted and likely to follow you. After all, your followers’ friends are likely to be interested in following you. By asking people to tag a friend, you’re giving them the outright chance to share something they love with their friends. Believe it or not, some people just don’t think about sharing things like this unless they have a reason to do so or are asked. Give them that reason.

One account that does this really well is @broccyourbody. She consistently posts giveaways that ask the applicants to make sure they’re following her and any brands with whom she’s partnered. 

3. Host A Selfie Contest

This Instagram giveaway idea is a great way to engage your followers even farther. Here, you’re not just encouraging them to react to your post, you’re asking them to do one more step and actually create their own content. Asking your followers to post a selfie (typically with a specific hashtag and tagging your brand) increases your reach even more than just asking them to tag someone. Now you’re not limited to who they tag – your brand is reaching all of their Instagram followers who will see their post. 

As an added bonus, these types of Instagram giveaways also result in user-generated content for you. You can incorporate that into your strategy to make it even stronger.

@humanfoosball has used this Instagram giveaway idea before. They wanted to see their followers’ game faces – which fit perfectly with their brand!

4. Caption-This-Photo Contest

This Instagram giveaway idea is so much fun. Have you ever been taking photos for your brand or looking through old images and found an image that’s just a little too odd to post online? Maybe someone’s making a weird expression, or there could be too many people in the shot. This type of contest is a great way to use those photos and have fun with your audience at the same time – it’s a win-win! 

For a caption-based giveaway, you’ll post your funny photo and ask your followers to create their best captions and leave them in the comments. This will not only help increase engagement, but some of your followers might also tag their friends to share the fun with them.

@shpokins_world asked their followers to comment creative captions on a picture of some of their collectible toys.

5. Follow and Tag Giveaway

This is a classic Instagram giveaway, but it’s a good one. Typically follow and tag giveaways occur during brand partnerships, where you’re asking your followers to follow another account and then tag their friends. These can be extremely effective for growing your following, especially if you find the right brand or influencer who resonates well with your followers on Instagram. Choosing who to partner with might be the most important part of this though, because you want to make sure it’s a good fit. You’ll both be promoting one another, and you want to be able to stay true to your brand and the platform you’ve built.

One brand that does a great job of this is @bewellbykelly in promotion for her new book. People who want to enter this giveaway need to follow her and the brand she partnered with, as well as tag a friend.

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6. Like and Share to Win Giveaway

We love Instagram giveaways that are a little more creative. This one goes a step farther in generating engagement than simply asking your audience to leave a comment. Now you’re asking them to actually share your giveaway post with their audience. Because your post will typically get shared to their Instagram story, you’ll have a great chance of being in front of more people. And since 500 million users view stories every day, you’ll want your post to make it into stories. If you choose this Instagram giveaway idea, you might want to spend a little extra time designing a graphic or image for your post. You want to be able to capture the attention of the people who will see your post in their friends’ stories. Make sure your image is compelling enough that they want to check it out and learn more.

@staplescanada does these giveaways very well, because they make sharing the post a requirement to be entered. Many brands will also offer a second entry if you share to your stories, so that’s something to think about too.

7. Scheduled Instagram Giveaways

Scheduled giveaways can be a creative Instagram giveaway idea, depending on how you use them. For example, during early December many brands do a giveaway themed around the 12 Days of Christmas. Followers know what to expect, and they know that more is coming. Many times these types of giveaways will lead up to one bigger grand prize on the last day. These giveaways don’t just have to be linked to the holidays though. For example, a week of giveaways leading up to a new product launch can be a great way to create buzz and excitement amongst your followers.

One brand that does this well is @livingwithlandyn. She hosted a 12 Days of Christmas giveaway with many of her favorite products and brands she often works with throughout the year.

8. Challenge Contest

Create some sort of challenge for your Instagram followers to complete in order to be entered into your giveaway. This could be as simple as finishing a song lyric or as complicated as completing a scavenger hunt throughout your last four posts. These types of Instagram giveaways can be a lot of fun, but they also often involve more work – both on your part and on your followers. When you’re planning out your giveaway, make sure you think about this and think about your audience. You don’t want to make it so complex that they don’t participate. If you’re giving away a fairly big prize, this could be a good option, so they have to work a bit harder for it.

@catrainsartist, the Hotel Artist, did an excellent job with a challenge contest. She posted a close-up detail photo of part of a piece in her most recent collection. Then she asked her followers to go to the link in her bio and look at that collection to determine which piece the photo was from – then they needed to return and comment their answer on the post.

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9. Follow and Share Giveaway

We’ll end with one of the most common, but most effective Instagram giveaway ideas. With a follow and share giveaway, you’ll ask your participants to do just that – make sure they’re following you (and who you partnered with in the giveaway, if you have one) and then share the post to their stories. This is again a great way to reach more people and encourage them to follow you.

One brand that does a great job with this is @starskinbeauty. They ask applicants to tag their friends, make sure everyone is following the three brands hosting the giveaway, and then share to their stories.

Tools To Use For Instagram Giveaways 

There are a few tools that can simplify the process and make sure your Instagram giveaway ideas are successful. Save some time by using these apps.

Woobox 

Woobox offers several features that make it easy to verify the eligibility of users and pick a winner. You can download your entire list of comments from the giveaway post, and use their random comment picker to determine a winner. Woobox is a trusted tool—it’s used by 4 million brands worldwide. They do offer a free plan, but paid plans with extra features start at $32 per month.

woobox homepage

Wishpond

Wishpond is a full-service Instagram giveaway partner. They offer a suite of flexible tools that will help you run all kinds of giveaways like sweepstakes, photo contests, video contests, and more. They’ll help you set up everything you need, keep track of the entries, and determine a winner. If you’re interested in working with them, you can set up a free demo to get more information.

wishpond instagram giveaway

Instagram Comment Picker

If you’re looking for a free tool, this is it! Instagram Comment Picker selects a random name and winner from any Instagram giveaway that’s run through an Instagram Business or Creator account. Simply log in, connect your account, select the giveaway post, and enter your settings. Then, it will provide a unique link with the giveaway results. 

EasyPromos

EasyPromos offers 34 apps to guide you through creating online promotions, including an Instagram giveaway app. With it, you’re able to download the comments from your giveaway post, filter through them, and pick a winner. Plus, it offers you the ability to include several different posts in a single giveaway. Your first giveaway is free and the basic plan costs $29 per month.

easypromos website

Canva

Using a great image will engage followers and make them more likely to participate in your giveaway. Canva is a quick, easy-to-learn tool to use for creating images. They have tons of Instagram templates to choose from or you can start with a blank page and create your own. Many of their features are free, but you can upgrade to Canva Pro to get more professional design tools for $12.99 per month.

canva dashboard

Wrapping up Instagram Giveaway Ideas

So there you have it – eight creative Instagram giveaway ideas. When you’re planning your next giveaway think about what your goals are first. Some of these ideas are geared toward engagement and others toward increasing Instagram followers. The best way to make an Instagram giveaway worthwhile is to have a clear vision of the outcome you want. Here at Kicksta we love discovering new ideas – do you have an Instagram giveaway idea we don’t know about yet? Let us know in the comments!

Bonus Content

If you like this post, feel free to share this infographic material on your website or on social media.

Creative ideas for your next Instagram giveaway infographic

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2 Comments

  • Gary Owen says:

    The giveaway prize is really important. We’ve had the best luck using specific prizes for our target customers rather than generic prizes like gift cards.

    The only thing I’d add is a lesson that we learned the hard way: be very careful what winner/comment picker you use. Most of them (including the ones listed) DO NOT use the official Instagram/Facebook API and scrape content, which can get your account banned. Others even ask for your credentials, which is a no-no. The only free app officially approved that we found is Popsmash, which also tracks stats and other stuff. So whatever you use, do your research first because ‘no login required’ sounds great but could get your Instagram account banned.

    • Kicksta says:

      Hi Gary! Thanks for the extra tip! We will definitely keep that in mind and we always appreciate the input. Thanks for keeping up with us and reading our articles.

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