Instagram Giveaways 101: How to Run Epic Contests

You’ve seen influencers and other brands running epic giveaways on Instagram, and want to run your own killer contest? We’ve got you covered.

This step-by-step guide will take you through everything you need to know to run a smooth Instagram giveaway campaign. From picking prizes to setting rules and promoting entries, we’ll break it all down so you can stop dreaming and start doing.

Why Run Instagram Giveaways?

Running an Instagram giveaway is a great way to grow your following and increase engagement. Who doesn’t love free stuff? Giveaways attract new followers who are interested in your product or brand. Also, the significance of active participation on Instagram is underscored by the platform’s staggering ad revenue of $43.2 billion.

Here are a few ways that Instagram Giveaways help you grow your brand and, more importantly, your business.

Increase Engagement

Giveaways encourage people to like your posts, tag friends, and comment to enter. Boasting a colossal monthly user base exceeding 2 billion active users, Instagram emerges as a premier platform for conducting giveaways. This activity will boost your engagement metrics and help you appear higher in Instagram’s algorithm. Engagement is key to gaining new followers organically on Instagram.

Valuable User-Generated Content

Requiring entrants to tag a friend or two and follow you in order to enter will generate user content that promotes your giveaway. Their friends and followers will see the tags and follow links back to your profile. This word-of-mouth promotion will expose you to new potential followers.

Build Hype

A giveaway, especially if the prize is valuable, creates excitement around your brand. People will eagerly await the winner announcement and check back frequently to see if they’ve won. This anticipation builds hype that you can leverage to promote your brand.

Build Your Email List

Some brands also use Instagram giveaways as an opportunity to collect emails from entrants. Require people to enter their email to qualify for the prize drawing. This allows you to market to them in the future and build your mailing list.

Improve Brand Awareness

Instagram giveaways spread brand awareness as friends tag each other and share details about your contest. More people become familiar with your company, products, and social media profiles. This improved brand visibility leads to more followers and customers.

Giveaway Contest Rules and Regulations

To run successful Instagram giveaways, you need to establish clear rules and regulations to keep things fair and legal.

Eligibility Requirements

Specify who can enter – only followers? Certain locations? Ages? Be specific. For example, “Open to followers located in the US who are 18+.”

How to Enter

Explain the exact steps to enter the contest like:

  1. Follow @yourusername and @anycosponsors
  2. Like this post
  3. Comment by tagging 3 friends
  4. Keep entry simple, with 2-3 easy steps.
  5. Don’t require entrants to tag excessive amounts of friends, as it can come across as spammy.
Example steps to share with entrants:
1. Follow @yourusername and @anycosponsors
2. Like this post
3. Comment by tagging 3 friends

Don’t require entrants to tag excessive amounts of friends, as it can come across as spammy.

Contest Period

Indicate start and end dates/times for the contest. For example, “Contest begins May 1 at 12pm EST and ends May 7 at 11:59pm EST.”

Selection of Winner

Explain how you’ll pick the winner, such as through an Instagram giveaway picker like RaffleKey. For transparency, consider doing it live on Stories. State the date the winner will be announced.

Prize Description

Describe the prize in detail, including its monetary value. If multiple prizes, list each one. For legal reasons, the prize should be something you have purchased or have written consent from the brand to give away.

Additional Terms

Add any other rules like: no purchase necessary, not sponsored, administered or associated with Instagram, etc. You can also reserve the right to disqualify any entrant for any reason. We’ve shared some Do’s & Don’ts that you can include in your Terms and Conditions.

By laying out all the rules clearly, you’ll have a smooth contest and happy entrants! And of course, be sure to check with any co-sponsors or brands involved to ensure you have permission to run the giveaway as described.

choosing the right prize

Choosing the Right Prize for Your Audience

Choosing a prize that resonates with your followers is key to a successful giveaway. Think about what types of brands and products your audience engages with and the kinds of gifts they would value. Some options to consider:

Products From Brand Partners

If you have brand partners, an excellent option is to offer one of their products as a giveaway prize. Your brand partners will surely appreciate the exposure, and your followers will love the opportunity to win a useful item from a company they know and trust. Reach out to your partners to see if they’d be willing to donate a product for your giveaway.

Gift Cards

Another prize that appeals to nearly everyone are gift cards. You can offer gift cards to popular stores where your followers frequently shop. A $50 or $100 gift card gives them flexibility to pick out something they really want. Plus, the modest value keeps things affordable for your business.

Curated Gift Baskets

For a more custom prize, put together a curated gift basket filled with several of your favorite products, snacks, accessories or other treats. Include items from brands your followers know and love. The variety gives them lots of goodies to enjoy and share the experience of your brand. You can cater baskets to different interests like a movie night basket, coffee lover’s basket or beauty and pampering basket.


For an extra special giveaway, offer an experience as the prize. Things like tickets to a local event, a spa treatment, private tour or activity. Experiences create memories that last far longer than material goods. Your followers will surely appreciate such a thoughtful gesture. Check with local businesses to find experience partners who may donate or provide a prize at a discounted rate.

The key is finding the right balance of a prize that delights your followers but still fits your budget. Put some thought into what your audience would truly value and you’ll have a giveaway that fuels engagement and goodwill.

Promoting Your Instagram Giveaways

Promoting your Instagram giveaway is key to gaining lots of engaged entries. After all, how will people enter if they don’t know about it? Here are some of the top ways to spread the word about your contest.

Post on Instagram

First, announce the giveaway on your Instagram profile. Share an eye-catching photo of the prize along with all the details about how to enter. Pin this post to the top of your profile so anyone who visits your page will see it right away. Be sure to mention the start and end dates, entry requirements, and any hashtags or tagging needed. Ask your followers to tag friends who might be interested!

Engage With Your Followers

While your contest is live, be active in the comments section. Answer any questions people have and engage with anyone who has entered. Thank them for their participation to make them feel appreciated. This extra interaction will make your followers more excited and boost your visibility in the Instagram algorithm.

Reach Out to Influencers (Optional)

If you have relationships with influencers in your industry, ask them if they would be willing to promote your giveaway to their followers. Here are some tips on partnering with influencers for your giveaway.

Many influencers are open to cross-promotions, especially if you offer to promote them in return at some point. Their shout-out can introduce your brand to an entirely new audience. However, this step is optional if you do not have influencer relationships or connections.

Use Hashtags

Include popular hashtags related to your industry and location in your giveaway posts. For example, if you’re giving away a fitness product, use hashtags like #giveaway, #contest, #fitnessgear, and #workoutmotivation. A tool like Keyhole can help you track your hashtags cleanly.

Local businesses can add location hashtags to target people in their city or state. Hashtags will make your contest visible to people outside your existing followers.

Advertise on Facebook or Other Social Media (Optional)

If your budget allows, boosting key giveaway posts on social platforms like Facebook or Twitter can increase visibility and entries. However, for smaller businesses, focusing on organic promotion on Instagram first is a great start before investing in ads. The most important thing is getting the word out to as many interested people as possible!

collecting instagram entries

How to Collect Entries and Choose Winners

Setting Up the Giveaway

To collect entries, you’ll need to decide on the entry method. The most popular ways are:

  • Requiring people to like your post and follow you. This is an easy way to gain new followers, but some people see it as inauthentic.
  • Having people comment on your post to enter. This sparks engagement and allows you to check if entrants are real people.
  • Using a third-party app like RaffleKey or Gleam to collect email entries. This avoids the issue of fake accounts following just to win.

Once you choose your method, clearly state the entry rules in your giveaway post. Be specific about what people need to do to qualify. The more transparent the better!

Picking the Winners

After your entry period closes, use a random giveaway winner picker like RaffleKey to select winners at random. Doing it this way, rather than just choosing entries you like, keeps the process fair and impartial.

Contact the winners directly and announce them in an update to your giveaway post. Be prepared for some disappointment from those who didn’t win. Respond to comments congratulating the winners and thanking all who entered.

Some tips for managing a fair giveaway:

  • Check for fake accounts and disqualify them. Look for signs like no profile photo, few followers/follows, and generic comments.
  • Disqualify anyone who tags more than 5-10 friends. This prevents people from unfairly increasing their odds.
  • Extend the entry period if you don’t receive enough entries. But don’t change the original end date once announced.
  • Double check that winners meet all eligibility criteria before contacting them. Nothing is worse than having to retract a prize!

Running Instagram giveaways does require work, but by being transparent, fair, and organized, you’ll gain new followers and build goodwill with your community. And one lucky winner will get a great prize!

Creative Ways to Announce the Winners

Announcing the winners of your Instagram giveaway is the fun part! Build some excitement by revealing the winners in a creative way. Here are some ideas to get you started:

Teaser Campaign

Start posting teasers a few days before the announcement to build suspense. For example, post a close-up of the prize or a countdown to the big reveal. Keep your followers guessing and they’ll be eagerly awaiting the winners.

Unboxing Video

Film yourself unboxing the prizes and announce the winners as you unwrap each item. Your followers will get to see the prizes up close and personal, and the unboxing adds an extra element of surprise.

Boomerang or Stop-Motion

Get creative with an animated boomerang or stop-motion video. Spell out the winners’ names or Instagram handles one letter at a time. Your followers will appreciate the extra effort you put into the announcement.

Live Video

Go live on Instagram and announce the winners in real time. Thank all of your entrants and announce the names of the winners during the broadcast. The live, unedited nature of video helps to build transparency and connect you with your audience.


Post a series of stories revealing clues about the winners and have your followers guess who they are. For the final story, announce the winners officially. Stories are a fun, casual way to make an announcement and keep people engaged.

Announcing the winners of your giveaway in a memorable way shows your followers you appreciate them and builds goodwill. Get creative with your announcement and keep things exciting. Your followers will look forward to entering your next giveaway to see how you’ll reveal the winners!

maximising instagram engagement

Maximizing Engagement During the Instagram Giveaways

Once your giveaway is live, the real work begins. You’ll want to keep your followers engaged and excited throughout the campaign. Here are some tips to maximize participation:

Post Regular Updates

Keep your giveaway at the top of your followers’ minds by posting updates every couple of days. Share photos of the prizes, remind people of the entry details, and generate hype about the winners being announced soon. This steady stream of reminders will capture the attention of new followers and prompt existing followers to keep engaging with your posts.

Run a Bonus Entries Promotion

About halfway through the giveaway period, run a promotion offering bonus entries for a limited time. For example, offer 5 extra entries for anyone who tags 3 friends in the comments or shares a giveaway update post on their story. Bonus promotions create a sense of urgency and motivate people to take action right away to get those extra entries in.

Engage With Participants

Make a point of replying to people who comment on your giveaway posts. Thank them for entering, answer any questions they may have, and keep the conversation going. Engaging directly with your followers makes them feel valued and builds a personal connection with your brand. They’ll be more likely to participate in future giveaways and promotions as a result.

Hype the Final Days

As you get down to the final 2-3 days of the giveaway, increase your posting frequency to build excitement for the big finish. Let people know time is running out to get their entries in for a chance to win. Share some of the most popular comments from participants. Post a countdown in your story to the final day. All of this buildup will motivate last-minute entries and have everyone eagerly awaiting the winners announcement.

By keeping your followers engaged from start to finish with regular updates, promotions, interactions, and buildup to the end, you’ll gain maximum visibility and participation for your Instagram giveaway. The more people you have entering to win those coveted prizes, the more new followers and brand awareness you’ll gain as a result.

Post-Giveaway Follow-Up and Analytics

Once your Instagram giveaway campaign wraps up, it’s time for the important follow-up work. First, contact the winner(s) through DM to get their shipping information and send out the prizes. Be sure to also announce the winners on your feed and story—your followers will be eager to know the results!

Next, analyze how your campaign performed to determine what worked and what could be improved for next time. Check key metrics like:

  • New followers: See how much your following grew during the campaign. Aim for at least a 10-20% increase for a successful giveaway.
  • Engagement: Look at likes and comments on your giveaway posts. Higher engagement means your followers were really interested in the prizes and contest.
  • Post reach: See how many accounts saw your giveaway posts. The more people who saw them, the more buzz was generated around your campaign.
  • Traffic: If you promoted the giveaway on your website or blog, analyze if you received more visitors during the campaign. Giveaways are a great way to drive extra traffic.
  • Email signups: If you required email entry, check how many new subscribers you gained. Offering giveaway entries in exchange for emails is an effective lead generation tactic.
  • Hashtag performance: See which hashtags performed the best in terms of generating impressions and engagement. Use this info to improve your hashtag strategy for the next giveaway.

Once you’ve analyzed the numbers, determine what you can improve for your next Instagram giveaway campaign. Maybe you need bigger prizes, a longer contest period, more promotion, or strategic partnerships with influencers. Small tweaks can make a big difference.

Giveaways, when done well, are a powerful tool for building your following, increasing brand visibility, driving traffic, and capturing leads. With the right prizes and some promotion, you’ll gain new dedicated fans eager to engage with your next contest. Keep optimizing and hosting epic Instagram giveaways!


Running an Instagram giveaway campaign often comes with lots of questions. Here are some of the most frequent ones we receive:

What are the rules for running a giveaway?
Instagram requires all giveaways to follow their promotion guidelines, including clearly stating in the post that it’s a giveaway, that no purchase is necessary to enter, and the terms and conditions. You should also mention the start and end dates, how to enter, and the prize(s) being given away.

How do I choose a winner fairly?
Using a random giveaway picker like RaffleKey is the fairest way to select a winner. Their Instagram giveaway picker allows you to input a list of entrants, then randomly selects a winner (or multiple winners) from that list. Your followers will appreciate a transparent process.

Do I have to pay taxes on the prizes?
If the total value of the prizes given away exceeds $600, the sponsor of the giveaway (you or your brand) may need to pay taxes. Check with a tax professional to determine if prizes are tax deductible and if any forms need to be filed.

Can I run a giveaway with another brand?
Co-hosting Instagram giveaways with another brand or influencer is a great way to increase exposure. Just be sure you both promote the giveaway on your feeds, share the terms and conditions, and determine how you’ll handle the prize(s) and announcing the winner(s) together. A collaboration contract can help avoid issues.

How often should I run a giveaway?
There’s no set rule on giveaway frequency. Some brands run weekly or monthly giveaways, while others only run 1-2 big giveaways each year. Think about your goals and resources to determine what’s sustainable for your business. Followers may come to expect frequent giveaways if you run them too often.

In the end, the most important things are to follow Instagram’s rules, be transparent in your process, and engage with your followers during the giveaway. Building goodwill and community will serve your brand well long after the contest has ended.


So there you have it, all the steps and tips for running a killer Instagram giveaway campaign that engages your audience and grows your following. The key is to make it as easy and fun as possible for people to enter while still driving real value for your brand. Don’t forget to promote the heck out of it before, during and after – and be sure to pick an awesome prize your fans will be excited about. Now it’s time to put these tips into action and get ready for an influx of new, loyal followers who will stick around long after the contest ends! Put in the work to create an epic giveaway and it will pay off big time. You’ve got this!

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