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An Instagram giveaway is a powerful tool. Not only is a successful Instagram giveaway a fantastic way to delight current followers and attract new visitors, but also to draw attention to your brand on a platform that has more than 1 billion users. And did we mention that it also helps boost engagement and get your content noticed by the Instagram algorithm? Read on for our 5-step checklist – including cautionary guidelines on pitfalls to avoid – to help you make your Instagram giveaways the best they can be.

  1. Know what you want to accomplish

Knowing what you want to get out of running an Instagram giveaway is the first step. Ask yourself, “Do I want to expose my account to new potential followers, get new followers, build a library of user-generated content or learn more about how customers use my products?” Once you’ve answered this question, you’ll find it easy to decide what type of Instagram giveaway you should run.

  1. Determine what type of giveaway makes sense for your brand

There are various types of Instagram giveaways to consider. The most common ones are as follows:

  • Instagram stories competition (ask questions to collect entries)
  • Tag-a-friend (ask followers to tag their friends in the comments)
  • Like and/or comment to win (the easiest type for you to moderate)
  • User-generated content (ask followers to show themselves using your product)
  • A trivia or skill-based competition (ask trivia questions about a subject related to your brand)
  • A photo caption competition (post a photo to your feed and ask followers to post their caption in the comments)

The type of Instagram giveaway you choose should make sense for your brand and your goals for this particular promotion. For example, while the tag-a-friend entry mechanism is a great way to expose your brand to people who haven’t heard of you or aren’t following you, user-generated content allows you to collect content from followers that you can repurpose across your social media channels.

  1. Create a clear set of terms and conditions

After deciding what type of Instagram giveaway you’re going to run, create an official set of rules or terms and conditions. Think of things such as the dates that the giveaway will run to and from, what the rules and parameters are, the campaign hashtag you’ll be using (if any), the geographic area that your giveaway is open to and an outline as to how and when the winner/s will be chosen.

Above all, make sure your giveaway is easy for followers to enter – Instagram is a mobile social network, after all. You should also make it clear that your giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, administered by or associated with Instagram. Since Facebook has discontinued its notes feature, you could post the terms and conditions on your website and include the link in your Instagram bio for the duration of the giveaway. Alternatively, you could post them as the first comment on your post. Whatever you decide, make sure the terms and conditions are easy to find and that you tell followers where they can find them.

  1. Cross-promote the giveaway on other social media channels

After you’ve gone live with the Instagram giveaway, make sure fans know about it even if they’re not following you on Instagram by promoting it on your other social media channels. Not only will this ensure that you reach the broadest possible audience, it will also maximise the number of entries. Wherever you cross-promote it, ensure that you provide a link that clicks through to enter.

  1. Don’t forget to measure your giveaway’s results!

Lastly, decide how often you’ll track your Instagram giveaway’s key metrics – this will tell you how to improve for next time. Things that you might want to analyse include the number of entrants and comments, follower count, engagement levels, website or landing page traffic, product trials or purchases, positive and negative sentiment as well as the kinds of comments and questions you got.