Instagram contests are an effective tactic for increasing followers, promoting a business, and engaging with an audience. There is a lot to consider throughout the planning stages of a contest. At Fort Lauderdale and Aspen-based public relations and marketing agency Durée & Company, we know it’s important to stay top of mind while tactfully growing a following. The primary benefit of running an Instagram contest is of course more eyes on the brand, so we’ve put together a useful guide to start a contest in the right direction.
- Use a bold image.
It’s no secret that most people are visual and rarely read captions first on social media. When posting an Instagram contest, using an image that clearly shows that there is a giveaway or contest will immediately capture attention enough to wonder what the prize is and then read more and enter to win.
- Choose a prize.
When planning an Instagram contest, selecting a prize is the most important part. For businesses that use a product as the prize, this will introduce the merchandise and business to new customers and continue to engage the current followers. This is also the most cost-effective option. For a brand that offers services as a prize, it’s important to note some people may not need this, which will leave them less inclined to enter. As a PR Agency, we have found that using a valued or universal product as the prize and including some of our own branded promo items works great. When it’s time to pick a prize, make a list of ideas and ask if this prize appeals to a large audience.
- Know the rules.
First things first, after determining the goal of the contest, read Instagram’s promotion guidelines. Adding a disclaimer is required and should be clearly stated in the Instagram caption. The goal of a giveaway is to boost followers, engagement, reach and impressions. The best way to decide the rules is to find which metrics are the most important. For example, on Instagram, “saving” posts is the favored method of boosting engagements. An effective combination of rules requires users to like, save, comment with tags, and share for bonus entries.
- Research the hashtags.
Hashtag strategies for giveaways are comparable to the current hashtag strategy of a business. Using brand hashtags will keep the post in its regular audience. Adding hashtags pertaining to the contest will help to expand the reach and impressions of users interested in contests. A great way to think about this is when more people save the post, Instagram will push the post out to a larger audience using the hashtags as keywords for targeting.
- How long should it be?
There is no magic number when it comes to a time frame. Consider the goals of the contest and how much work can be dedicated to managing the contest before deciding the length of time. Daily contests can be quick and easy and can align with hashtag holidays to boost engagement. 1-2 week-long contests give users enough of a sense of urgency to enter right away and a number of people can be reached in that time. Instagram contests that run for a month or longer require a lot of monitoring, promoting and reminders that also add up to higher engagement, reach and impressions.
- How do I pick the winner?
When picking the winner of the Instagram contest, first decide if the winner should be local. This requirement should also be stated within the original copy or disclaimers. In some circumstances, you may find that it would be best to select a local winner. Especially if the prize is for a local business or if the prize is not able to be shipped. There are free and paid tools that automatically pick a winner. Do some research to find which works best with the requirements of the contest and the final number of entries. These tools vary in their abilities and there is a lot to choose from. To ensure that users will know the winner was selected at random, consider recording the process while picking the winner.
Once the planning, designing, copywriting and strategizing phases are complete, the contest is ready to launch! Remember to monitor the contest with a close eye from the first post to the last. Looking for other ways to improve social media? The Dynamo Diary is rich with tips and tricks for successful social media success.
About Durée & Company
Durée & Company, Inc. is an award-winning, full-service public relations, marketing and special events firm founded in 1999. The firm has offices in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and Aspen, Colorado. Durée & Company serves the corporate, agency and nonprofit practice areas for local, national, and international clients. Services include public relations, social media, marketing, content development, advertising, special events, branding, radio promotions and more. Durée & Company clients include well-known names in business, fashion, hospitality, travel, health and wellness, cannabis and hemp, psychedelics, technology and cryptocurrency, marine and yacht, art and culture, nonprofit organizations, legal and professional services and real estate. Durée & Company is a member of PR Boutiques International™ (PRBI), an international network of boutique PR firms. To learn more, call 954-723-9350; go to dureeandcompany.com; cannabismarketingpr.com; or psychedelicpr.com. Join the social conversation and follow Durée & Company on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn at @DureeCoPR.