Instagram is one of the best online platforms to showcase your brand to the world and get rewarded in return. It provides an opportunity for potential customers to access products and services. Every business-inclined Instagram account owner knows how important online audience engagement is to the success of a brand. There are several strategies Instagrammers use to boost engagement, one of which include giveaways.

In this guide, you will learn how to organize an effective giveaway on Instagram. Inasmuch as people love free stuff, there is a right way to engage your audience and build your followership.

Instagram Giveaway Rules

Effective giveaways are integral parts of business growth. Products and services receive more attention when online engagement is consistent. The aim of every brand owner is to record significant attention and patronage from consumers, advertisers, and sponsors alike. Unfortunately, not many people know how to create a responsive giveaway on Instagram.

Online contests are successful in win-win situations where the brand and audience are both satisfied; or else, such giveaways have no purpose and are no different from charities. So, to run a successful Instagram promotion, here are some IG giveaway rules to follow:

Use The Right Term

It is important to adhere to the Instagram contest rules when organizing a campaign. These rules will prevent you from going against specific federal or state laws regarding contests or giveaways. Online users must understand what your campaign is all about to avoid miscommunication. Terms like “giveaway”, “contest” or “sweepstakes” are appropriate. Each of these terms determines how you will plan your campaign and select the winner.

Create A Campaign Goal

Your giveaways should have reasons. The end result of organizing such events should align with your business goals. Do you want to launch a new product or service? Increase followership? Get more likes and comments? Or promote brand visibility? These questions are important because they determine your marketing campaign flow.

List The Hosts Behind The Campaign

As part of Instagram rules, you are to include brands supporting the contest or giveaway in your content. Online users should be aware of who is hosting the event. In some cases, prizes include products from companies looking to expand their customer base. You are the link connecting these manufacturers to customers.

If you are the one solely behind the contest, notify your audience as well. Avoid tagging users in giveaways they do not sponsor. You can mention them in the comment section, but not in the giveaway caption.

There Should Be A Detailed Guideline On How To Participate

A giveaway is unsuccessful if users do not know how to participate. Your giveaway campaign should include simple and straightforward instructions in regard to participation. If your goal is to increase engagement, guidelines may include participants referring more users to your brand or liking, commenting, and sharing your post. The person with the highest number of likes wins the contest.

Include A Start And End Date

Every giveaway has a duration. Your audience should know how long the contest will run. If you have an international audience, including the time zone in your caption will make it easy for them to follow up with the giveaway. However, you can place restrictions on specific locations where shipping may not be possible. Restrictions may also apply to certain age groups as well.

Creating An Effective Instagram Giveaway

Aside from the tips mentioned above, it is important to understand that Instagram giveaways are not just centred on growing followership – although, that is part of it. A lot of influencers and brand owners implement outlandish giveaways but still record low engagement within a short time. In this section, we will discuss the two types of Instagram giveaways:

  • Extensive Generic Contests/Giveaways
  • Concentrated Niche-Related Giveaways

Extensive Generic Contests/Giveaways

A lot of IG account holders use extensive generic giveaways (EGG for the purpose of this explanation) with hopes to grow their followership. Interestingly, it works. However, the problem with this strategy is that they mostly end up with “dead” engagements after the giveaway or contest. The reason for this outcome stems from the fact that a majority of the audience has no interest in the brand. This results in “ghost” followership.

Do not get this wrong. The followers are real, but they are not just for the influencer. For this reason, you may have a huge following (thanks to these giveaways), but less engagement. Here comes the trap; brand promoters believe they need more giveaways to increase engagement, so they end up in a loop of endless contests and promotional offers, which costs more money, time, and effort. Over time, such a brand depletes its resources for the wrong audience.

The sad reality is that these followers are just dead weights truncating the growth of the brand. To any visitor on the page, there is a superficial appearance of progress on the account. However, only in taking a closer look will you realise that performances are poor. The quality of your brand growth does not hinge on the number of followers you have, even though it is important. Engagement tops all other elements of brand performance that display Instagram percentages.

Large followership does not necessarily connote high engagement percentage. Hence, if you have a huge following, but less engagement, then check your target audience, rather than launch more contests and giveaways with hopes to promote your brand – a waste of time and money. Are your followers in your brand niche? Or do you have generic followers? You can calculate your IG engagement rate using Tanke IG Rate Calculator.

Adverse Effects Of Extensive Generic Contests/Giveaways

EGGs are detrimental to business growth, even though you get a huge following. Having large followership using this strategy will hurt your brand over time, excluding the ton of money, time, and effort you will spend getting results. Giveaways are highly effective when done the right way.

Here is the shocker, Instagram has no concerns for followership. What is more important is how many people react when you post contents, including stories, captions, or videos. With this evaluation, they can determine your percentage of engagement.

The adverse effect of a huge following with less engagement is that only a few people will be shown contents, over time; the reason being that Instagram will deduce that your contents are not relevant – it gets worse from there. In summary, extensive generic giveaway strategy comes with the following demerits:

  • Increase in followership, but a decrease in engagement.
  • Content display for fewer followers.
  • Drop in the number of likes, comments, and shares.
  • Organic growth becomes difficult to achieve.

Giveaways do not increase engagement if the followership is not within the brand niche. You will only have followers that are just interested in your giveaways and not what your brand has to offer. For you to get more engagement, you have to run more contests every now and then; this is a trap you must avoid at all costs. Your metrics may show a great performance, but in the long run, you will hurt your business long-term success.

Concentrated Niche-Related Giveaways

This giveaway strategy is highly effective not just for followership growth, but also for high engagement. It helps you focus more on people that are interested in your brand niche. Giveaways specifically target the audience with interest in what your brand has to offer, eliminating those with no interest. With this strategy, you can:

  • Gain followers within your brand circle
  • Reward these “true” followers
  • Spend less resources
  • Build customer loyalty and a strong online presence.

IG giveaways should be used with caution. Your campaigns must be within the confines of your overall goal.