What is a Giveaway and how to run a successful one

Have you ever thought about designing a contest on Instagram? Maybe to celebrate reaching your first 100, 1,000, or even 100,000 followers?

How to Run a Successful Giveaway!

As social media continues to evolve, new strategies are emerging to connect with customers and potential leads who may find your account and engage with your brand, leading them towards a purchase.

To start, here are some intriguing and useful facts about Instagram:

This social platform has been steadily growing in the number of active users and accounts.

According to Statista, as of June 2018, Instagram reached an astounding 1 billion – yes, you read that right, one billion active users, with an average of 500 million people accessing their Instagram accounts daily.

Sounds impressive, right?

Furthermore, it’s estimated that about 80% of Instagram users follow at least one business account. This makes it a logical step to want to increase your company’s visibility on this platform…

This is where the utility of digital marketing strategies comes in, and designing a successful giveaway can be a key move.

Admittedly, achieving this can be challenging, but it’s certainly not impossible!

As we’ve discussed in other posts, there are various Instagram marketing strategies you can implement, such as:

  • Optimizing your posts to ensure the engagement you seek with your followers…
  • Partnering with influencers to spread awareness of your brand…
  • Creating viral content…

In short,

There are numerous techniques you can apply, and now we’re here to explain what a giveaway is and why they are so effective in attracting new leads to the conversion funnel and retaining existing followers.

In other words, a giveaway or contest can bring you even closer to your target audience.


¿Why a giveaway?

Companies can design multiple activities that involve giving a gift to participants in exchange for something of value to the brand.

Take, for example, this contest…

Giveaway - instagram contest

That “something of value” could range from a like, a follow, sharing posts, leaving contact information, etc.

The key is to define the commercial goals of the campaign and identify a prize that is attractive enough to motivate customers to participate and activate leads or new followers.

Other crucial aspects include creating a hashtag related to the brand or product, determining the duration of the contest, and setting the terms for selecting the winner.

Steps to a Successful Giveaway

1. Define a Goal for the Giveaway and a Valuable Prize.

Defining clear objectives from the outset is critical in designing any digital marketing strategy, including Instagram contests.

First, determine what you aim to achieve with your giveaway. It could be to:

  • Increase followers on your Instagram account.
  • Gain more “likes” or hearts for a new product, for example.
  • Attract newsletter or email subscribers.
  • Boost visits to your website or blog.

A giveaway is not just exciting for participants (who doesn’t love free stuff?), but it should also meet your goals!

Ensure that the prize you choose appeals to your target market or existing audience. It doesn’t have to be exorbitantly costly or entail additional expenses for the company. The idea is to offer something of value, quality, and appeal to motivate people to participate and follow your account.

2. Analyze Similar Accounts for Potential Partnerships.

A contest is an effective way to partner with similar brands to increase traffic to your accounts, creating a win-win situation!

This is particularly beneficial for relatively new brands looking to establish a stronger presence on Instagram and enhance follower engagement.

How do you determine which brands to partner with for a giveaway?

Look for brands with similar or complementary products, allowing for a more varied and complete “gift package.”

Ensure they align with your company in terms of target audience, ability to promote the joint campaign, and having a similar number of followers on Instagram.

A partnership with an attractive brand that generates common interactions can help both parties gain followers or achieve the final objectives set for the giveaway.

Consider partnering with influencers to further increase your brand’s visibility on social media.

A giveaway with associated brands allows you to reach followers of a similar brand and vice versa.

Terms of this partnership can be mutually beneficial, like adding a product from the associated brand to the prize in exchange for requiring participants to follow both accounts.

3. Establish the Giveaway Criteria.

The criteria for a successful giveaway again depend on your objectives.

For instance, if you aim to increase brand positioning and gain followers, you might ask participants to like the post and comment with whom they would share the prize, tagging that person in the comments. This could potentially increase your follower count.

If your goal is to drive traffic to your website or blog, you could set up specific criteria on Instagram and ask participants to search for clues on your site, encouraging visits to your blog.

This strategy is less commonly used in Instagram giveaways but can be effective in boosting traffic, provided that it is easily accessible.

Remember, most people use Instagram on mobile devices, so your site should be optimized for this.

Some giveaways ask for the post to be shared in stories, but this technique isn’t as effective. Instagram users tend to be more selective about what they share, so this could be an optional variable that gives extra points for winning.

¡Keep it simple!

If a giveaway has too many rules to enter, it can deter participation.

Ensure that the game’s instructions are easy to follow, concise, and accessible.

4. Set a Deadline

Contrary to some beliefs, extending a contest’s duration does not necessarily mean more participants will join – this is a myth!

Offers should have a sense of urgency or even a hint of scarcity regarding the product being promoted as a prize. A giveaway works best with a short timeframe, typically between 3 to 7 days. Even a quick 24 to 48-hour flash contest can be very appealing.

5. Choose Hashtags Carefully

Hashtags are those key phrases or words that help to expand the reach of your post, appearing in Instagram’s explorer channels. It’s advisable to create a unique hashtag for your campaign that resonates with your audience.

You can use multiple hashtags per post based on the keywords under which you want to position your Instagram account. Additional hashtags to #giveaway might include #ProductName, #YourBrandGiveaway, or similar.

6. Boost with Paid Promotion


Like any advertising campaign, a giveaway needs to be promoted across different channels, even if it’s an Instagram contest. Learn how to advertise effectively on Instagram.

Manually promote your contest on your website and other social media platforms like Facebook. Additionally, we recommend using paid advertising to increase the reach of your post on Instagram.

This will significantly boost the number of visits and participants in the giveaway, which could ultimately result in an increase in followers or achieving your final goal.

Being strategic with your posts allows you to reach a larger number of people within your market niche, leading to more optimal results for your company.

If you need help with this step, our agency offers internet advertising services.

7. Identify the Winner

After all these steps, the time comes to announce the winner.

There are various free and paid software tools available that can help you identify the participant who met all the entry criteria. We can recommend Easy Promos, which allows you to gather data on hashtag usage, photo and/or text contests.

It also offers other useful tools such as contest variable customization, fraud control, vote counting, moderation and participant control, data capture forms, and more.

You can explore these options and more by clicking here.


Contests can be great activities to undertake at certain times to capture new leads or increase engagement with your audience.

Campaigns can be so attractive that they foster positive customer-brand relationships, promote complementary products, and drive traffic to your website, especially when the giveaway is clear about the product and the brand is well represented.

Keep in mind that while giveaways can be conducted on Facebook, designing them for Instagram is preferable due to its more flexible rules for managing followers and advertisements.

Facebook, on the other hand, is much stricter with greater control over paid ads, brand and person tagging, making it more challenging to design a giveaway there.

Learning more about Instagram management will help you understand what the algorithm favors for your contest.

Remember, when creating a successful giveaway, creativity knows no bounds, as long as it is engaging and the rules are clearly stated.

Juan Esteban Yepes

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