How To Pick A Giveaway Winner On Instagram?

picking a giveaway winner on Instagram

Instagram giveaways have become a popular marketing tactic for brands and influencers to grow their audience and increase engagement. Around 31 percent of the global Instagram audience is younger than 24 and that makes a great opportunity to start engaging with this booming generation. The prime motive of running a giveaway is to give a boost to the image: be it influencer or business. Instagram giveaways have skyrocketed in popularity in the last couple of years. But running a giveaway also comes with the task of having to pick a winner fairly. Here is a little secret and some tips on how to pick Instagram giveaway winner.

Importance of Instagram Giveaways

Brands and influencers make use of Instagram Giveaways to grow their followership and engagement therefore giveaways have become an extremely powerful marketing tactic. But what makes them so effective? The little secret is that giveaways tap into powerful psychological triggers. When people see there is an opportunity to possibly win a desirable prize, it activates the ‘seeking system’ in their brain. This releases dopamine and makes them excited about potentially winning. Giveaways also utilize the principle of reciprocity – by asking people to follow or like in order to enter, they feel obliged to return the favor to the brand/influencer. Scarcity is another trigger, as many giveaways encourage urgency to enter before the deadline. Overall, giveaways cunningly harness multiple cognitive biases people have, making them highly likely to participate. For brands and influencers, this translates into more awareness, followers, and engagement. So while giveaways may seem simple on the surface, there are complex psychological forces behind their viral success on Instagram.

How to Pick Instagram Giveaway Winner

Picking an Instagram giveaway winner has never been easy. There should be a unbiased and legitimate way of choosing a winner. The participants should repose their trust on the procedures established by the giveaway organizer. Here are the methods to select the rightful winner.

1. Use a Third-Party App

The easiest way to pick Instagram giveaway winner is to use a third-party app like Rafflekey. These apps allow you to create giveaways directly within Instagram by having entrants follow certain rules to enter like liking a photo, tagging friends or subscribing to your email list. The app will then randomly select and verify a winner based on the qualifications. This removes any bias in selection and is the most transparent option. Popular features also include the ability to collect email addresses for marketing and the option to have multiple winners.

2. Use a Random Comment Picker

Another simple method is to use a random comment picker website or app. To do this, have entrants comment on a specific Instagram post to enter. Then copy the URL of that post and use a random comment picker like Rafflekey to randomly pick Instagram giveaway winner from those who commented. You can filter comments to only include those with a particular phrase or hashtag if you had entrants include one. This method makes the selection verifiable and fair. It is the most widely used method when running Instagram giveaways for creators and influencers.

3. Assign Numbers to Each Entry 

If you have entrants comment to enter, another option is to assign each comment/entrant a number. Use a spreadsheet to record each entrant and their corresponding number. Then use a random number generator to pick a winning number. Cross reference the number to your spreadsheet to identify the winner. While more time consuming, this system can work for very small giveaways. For large giveaways, it is advisable to choose the best giveaway picker tool for better optimization of results.

4. Contact Entrants Who Follow Specific Rules

Rather than selecting a winner at random, you can also review entrants who followed your specified rules and pick Instagram giveaway winner based on completion of all steps. For example, you can stipulate that to enter followers must: like a post, tag 3 friends in the comments and follow your account. You can then scroll through the list of those who followed all rules and select a winner based on the quality of their tagging when they entered or other criteria you set. Or else you can delegate the task of choosing the winner to the giveaway picker tool for a more unbiased process.

5. Hide a Code Word in Your Photo Caption

To add a skill-based element to the giveaway entry, some brands will hide a code word within the caption of a giveaway post. Entrants need to spot the code word and include it in their comments for a valid entry. You can then easily compile a list of commenters who found the code word to pick Instagram giveaway winner. This creates more engagement as followers carefully read your caption.

6. Use an External Spreadsheet or App

For more complex giveaways with multiple prizes or entry methods, manage entries in a spreadsheet or app. Instagram giveaway winner pickers like Rafflekey allow entrants to gain entries in multiple ways like following you on Instagram, referrals and more. As entries roll in, they are documented so at the end you can randomly select winners for each prize from the various entry pools. 

7. Verify and Notify the Winner

Once you pick Instagram giveaway winner, be sure to verify they completed all giveaway rules before announcing. Confirm they follow you if required, and that their account appears legitimate. Avoid selecting duplicate or ineligible users. Then notify the winner via Instagram DM, email or comment response and have them provide contact info to claim their prize. Announce the winner publicly once claimed.

8. Use a Live Broadcast on Instagram

You can add transparency and build excitement while picking an Instagram giveaway winner during a live broadcast on Instagram. To do this, first compile a list of all valid entrants. Then during your scheduled live video, shuffle the list and draw the winner on camera. You can even show yourself using a generator site to pick a number assigned to entrants. Broadcasting the live video builds suspense and shows followers you are being fair.

9. Partner with a Brand to Co-Host

For larger scale giveaways, partner with a brand to co-host the contest. This not only allows you to offer a bigger prize but also tap into their audience. Collect entries across both accounts, combining methods like IG comments, website sign-ups and more. Then coordinate to fairly pick Instagram giveaway winner from the aggregated entries. Cross-promoting with a brand expands your reach. 

Why Having a Structured Process to Pick Instagram Giveaway Winner Matters?

Having a well defined structured process to pick Instagram giveaway winners is crucial for several reasons. Let’s go through them:

structured process for choosing Instagram giveaway winner


A well structured process holds the Instagram giveaway organizer responsible for selecting the winner. It helps build trust with existing followers as well as participants, as they can see that the Instagram giveaway is conducted fairly. This will not only conclude a fair Instagram giveaway, it will also help boost brand loyalty among the participants.

Legal Compliance

Depending upon the place, there might be a few legal rules and regulations around Instagram contests, including requirements for picking an Instagram giveaway winner. Having a documented and well defined process ensures compliance with these rules and regulations, reducing the risk of legal troubles.


A well-executed Instagram giveaway process with well defined rules for picking a winner can help boost engagement on Instagram with your audience. By clearly communicating the timeline and selection process, you encourage participation and create excitement around the Instagram giveaway.

Brand Reputation

Conducting fair and transparent Instagram giveaways contribute to a positive brand reputation. It shows that your brand values integrity, Instagram giveaway rules, and respect towards its followers. This can boost your customer loyalty and attract new followers.

Avoiding Spam or Fraudulent Entries

Having a structured process around picking an Instagram giveaway winner helps filter out spam or fraudulent entries, such as bots or fake accounts. This ensures that genuine participants and followers have a better chance of winning, enhancing the overall integrity of the giveaway.


Following a fair selection process and transparently documenting each step is key to running a successful Instagram giveaway. Avoid biased selection methods or favoring certain followers. Pick your winner, verify their eligibility, notify them privately, and then share the exciting news with your whole Instagram audience.

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