A how to on running successful instagram contests

How to Run an Instagram Contest That Succeeds

Instagram photo contests just make sense. It’s probably the least imaginative, but most effective way to get eyes on your brand or business on Social Media. It can also be very cheap. Just think about it, you’ll get new followers, get more exposure, and reward your community for being involved with you. Pretty cool, right!

How to Run An Instagram Contest

Collaborate with a Vertical

Sure, you can run a contest by yourself, but imagine the power (and reach) if you partner with a brand or business who is not a competitor, but is in your field. Pretty cool right! This means that you both get to capitalize on two audiences, build off each other’s followers, and collaborate later on. A few ideas for your 2 in 1 contest:

  • Ask the community to follow both brands in order to enter
  • Keep the call to action simple.
  • Make the prize juicy.

Want an example? If you’re a restaurant in NYC partner up with a theater. Ask fans of both businesses to tag their pictures with both your business names for a chance to enter dinner & a movie.

Tell Your Audience EXACTLY What You Want From Them

You’ve been hearing “have a clear call to action” on almost every post we write up. This is even more important when you are running contests. Make things simple and clear. The more steps you include, the less entries you will have. The easiest call-to-actions are:

  • tag a friend – it’s that simple. Ask your community to tag a friend. Each tag is an entry. As they tag a friend, hopefully they too will enter. A great way to increase your following.
  • post a photo & tag it – this type of contest requires more of your followers. Craft a custom hashtag and ask your audience to post a picture to Instagram using the hashtag and tagging you. Ideally, it should contain your product in the image. This is a multi step contest, so make sure the prize is juicy. This is also quite good for you, because not only will they see your hashtag, they will be tagged with your handle giving their audience a much easier way to follow your account. When you’re ready to choose a winner, do a search by the custom hashtag.

Be Clear About The Rules

The whole idea of running a contest is to end up with happy people. The last thing you want is for people to be confused about the rules and to complain about not getting something they feel entitled to. Make the rules clear, include start & end date/time. Want an example?

Woo Hoo! It’s time for a giveaway. We have partnered with @Socialdraft to give one lucky (and smart) community manager a year membership for the business level. Here’s how to enter: Follow @Socialdraftapp + @yourbusinessname. Post a photo of yourself managing your brand with the hashtag #SMMrocks and tag @Socialdraftapp + @yourbusinessname in the caption. Contest closes on July 4st at 9pm EST, and you can enter as many times as you like. May the odds be in your favor. 

Make the duration short

Remember how attention span online is super short? Brevity is the soul of wit – especially in Instagram contests. Don’t draw your contest out over a month. Make it over a week max. This way there is a sense of urgency…not that “I can do it next week until I forget about it and nobody signs up” kinda thing.

Be Clear About The Numbers

How many people will win? This is incredibly important, and having 3 winners instead of 1 will make a huge difference in the number of entries.

HUGE REMINDER – Always check Instagram and FTC rules prior to running a contest. These change often and you don’t want to get into any hot water for yourself or your clients. 

On that reminder – and this is as of 5/31/16

Instagram requires that you include the following statement in your campaign promotion post(s). Do not Run an Instagram Contest without following this rule.

Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

This statement must be included at the end of your campaign posts to be in compliance with Instagram’s terms.

How to Manage Your Instagram Accounts

Socialdraft is an all-in-one Social Media Dashboard that helps you manage Instagram. It is the most robust and simple tool for agencies and teams to effectively handle social media. With Socialdraft you can:

Schedule posts to Facebook pages, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn Business Pages (and one LinkedIn account) and Pinterest Boards
Schedule posts individually, as recurring posts, or bulk upload them as CSV
Easily re-schedule with a drag & drop action
Schedule GIFs to Facebook and Twitter
Download content calendars as PDF
Keep an eye on your online reputation and easily share the good news to social
Find content on Instagram and easily schedule reposts not just to Instagram but to all other social networks
Engage on Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin
Download Facebook and Twitter reports
and tons more…

If you are curious about Socialdraft, take it for a risk-free trial. You’ll get to try out all the features and decide if Socialdraft is right for you.