How-To: Run a Successful Instagram Contest

Expand your audience, generate engagement, and fuel brand relevant UGC with an Instagram contest that challenges your followers to be creative.

Here’s our step-by-step guide.

Decide on the type of contest you want to run.

Coachella AF in all @nastygal everything. 🌵 #wildwildfest #nastygal

A photo posted by Jordan Santos (@jordanrisa) on

Like-To-Win: As simple as they sound, like-to-win contests involve asking followers to “like” a posted photo in order to be entered to win a prize. Like-to-win contests generate fantastic exposure for social accounts by increasing the probability that they will be featured on Instagram’s Discovery page.

Comment-To-Win: Similar to a like-to-win contest, comment-to-win contests require users to comment on a photo in order to be entered to win a prize. If your goal is to increase post engagement amongst your Instagram followers, a comment-to-win contest is the ideal option.

Tag-To-Win: Tag-to-win contests provide incentive for your Instagram followers to lead their friends directly to your brand’s gallery. In order to enter, users must tag a friend (using the “@” symbol) in the comment section of your brand’s posting. Tag-to-win contests provide direct traffic to a social page.

Repost-To-Win: Instead of asking entrants to “like” or comment on a photo, repost-to-win contests require that they repost a specific image on their own page. To keep track of contest submissions, your brand must create a hashtag for use on each photo.

Hashtag-To-Win: Generally the most popular type of Instagram contest, hashtag-to-win promotions require entrants to post an original photo on their page using a brand-specific hashtag.

Create contest rules.

Instagram requires that all contests abide by two regulations. Firstly, the brand must acknowledge that they are not endorsed by Instagram. Secondly, they must not inaccurately tag content or encourage their followers to do the same.

If you are hosting a simple Instagram contest that doesn’t necessitate many rules, it’s best to display this information in the caption of your social post. If your contest rules are more in-depth, you should host these terms and conditions on your brand’s website.

Give away a relevant prize.

#CurrentFallMood barista-crafted magic: #CaramelMacchiato sub pumpkin sauce for vanilla syrup. Regram: @hanseldoan

A photo posted by Starbucks Coffee ☕ (@starbucks) on

The objective of your Instagram contest should be to attract the right followers to your brand. The most effective way of doing this is to offer an applicable prize such as a gift card to your restaurant or eCommerce store.

Promote the contest on all of your platforms.

Although your contest is hosted on Instagram, you should promote it on your other social channels. Share information about it on Facebook, post about it on Twitter, and write an article about it for your blog.

What do you think of these guidelines? Connect with us on Twitter at @get_evocative to voice your thoughts.