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4 Tips to Run a Successful Instagram Contest

Published at 18-07-2018

While Facebook is still the number-one social networking platform for business, Instagram is quickly scaling the rankings.

The visual-based network now has 800 million monthly active users and is the fastest growing social network. Moreover, Instagram Stories now has 400 million daily active users.

And as Instagram continues to expand, so do the opportunities to reach people through the app by boosting your engagement rates.

Like all social platforms, Instagram also utilizes an algorithm, which rewards post engagement with higher reach and exposure within the app. If you can generate more engagement, you improve your Instagram performance.

So how can you boost your Insta engagement? One option to consider is Instagram contests.

Research from Tailwind shows that Instagram accounts that run contests grow up to 70% faster than accounts which don’t. In addition, Instagram contests generate 65x more comments, and 3.5x more likes than regular posts.

Here are some tips to run a successful Instagram contest

1. Follow the Rules

If you’re going to use Instagram to run a contest, you must abide by the platform’s rules, like:

  • Spell out official rules, terms, and eligibility requirements.
  • Promotions must include a complete release of Instagram by each participant.
  • It must be acknowledged that the promotion is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by Instagram.
  • You must not inaccurately tag content or encourage inaccurate tagging by followers.

In terms of spelling out the rules and releasing Instagram from any liability, the best thing to do is to create a dedicated landing page for the contest and publish all the information there.

2. Use different types of content

A couple of common approaches include:

Tag-to-win contests: For a contest to be effective, you need to do more than just engage your current followers - you need to increase your follower count and reach new people.

Photo contests: There’s nothing wrong with a simple tag-to-win contest, but if you really want to increase engagement and further your reach, a photo contest may be the way to go.

3. Make it Worth People’s Time

For an Instagram contest to be effective, it must be worth your followers’ time. If they don’t feel like they’re getting anything worthwhile in return, they won’t participate.

Also, as your expectations for user involvement increase, so should the prize or reward. A 10-euro gift card might be acceptable in a simple like-to-win contest, but it’s probably not going to work for a photo contest - you may need something more substantial to encourage followers to publish an image on their own feed.

4. Promote, Promote and… Promote

Unless you have thousands and thousands of followers, it’s probably not enough for you to push out a single post about your contest. You need to cross-promote over many platforms.

Some ideas for Instagram contest promotion include:

  • Other social media profiles
  • Website and blog
  • Email newsletter

As you cross-promote, you’ll push more traffic toward your Instagram profile, and grow your engagement in a much faster and more efficient manner.

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