14+ ideas for holding giveaways and contests on Instagram

Giveaways on Instagram is one of the most popular ways to promote. They are very different – from large-scale giveaway with 100+ sponsors, where you can win apartments, cars and bags of money to the smallest ones, for example, receiving free delivery or a $ 10 discount on orders.

In this article we’ll talk about those competitions that you can independently conduct on your own page. Consider the pros, cons, nuances, as well as services for choosing the winners.

In order for the competition to bring you results, you need to consider several important factors:

1.The more valuable the gift and the simpler the terms of the competition, the more participants there will be.

The logic is approximately the following: “It is not difficult for me to do this – there will be a chance to win, but what if I am lucky?”

2. But the simpler the conditions – the less benefit for you (because fewer people learn about the contest). So you need to seek a compromise. First of all, determine the ultimate goal for yourself and how much money you are willing to spend to achieve it.

The goal may be:

  • increase engagement (and reach, respectively)
  • increasing followers loyalty
  • attract new followers
  • receiving new requests, more sale of products / services

If you hold a contest among your followers, this will increase loyalty, improve engagement (if in the conditions it will be, for example, like), but will not bring a new audience.

If you want new followers, you will have to promote the post with contest using official advertising and / or order additional advertising from bloggers.

Think about how much the gift will cost (+ possible advertising) and how cost-effective it is? * worth testing in any case

If you can not afford it – unite! Find 2-3 accounts with a similar target audience, and pool your money for a gift and promotion. And one of rules of contest must follow all – and you will immediately exchange with audience.

3. Hold contests when you have at least 2-3 thousand of the target audience in your profile, so that there are at least 50-60 participants.

4. Offer a gift that is relevant to your target audience (and not something that is stale / sorry to throw away). To warm up interest, you can do a preliminary survey in history, take a screenshot of who answered what and even write in the direct format “Julia, we still decided to giveaway xxx, take part, if interested” and a link to the post.

5. Do not hold giveaways too often – this way you depreciate yourself, your product and attract freeloaders. Optimal – not more than once every 3-4 weeks.

6. The conditions of giveaway should be clearly defined and announced – what you give, at the expense of whom delivery, dates, when there will be results and how the winner will be determined. Remember that to verify that all conditions are met, participants must have public accounts.

7. Remind people of giveaway! Not everyone reads every post. If giveaway last week – 3 mentions definitely not be superfluous.

8. Think ahead to the visual appearance of the giveaway post. It should stand out from everyone else in the account, it should be easy to find. Be sure to sign the photo (only if you plan to promote – remember that the text on the photo should not be more than 20%). You can check through the PC here:


9. People are very upset if they don’t win – offer all giveaway participants an additional gift (10-20% discount on an order within 3 days, free delivery, samplers as a gift when ordering goods, etc.).

Ideas for giveaway on Instagram:

1. Gifts for activity.

We know that the more contact points with users, the higher the content in the feed, and, consequently, the better the reach.

In the conditions may be:

  • follow your account
  • put 3-5-10 likes on recent posts
  • write a comment
  • write a message in direct
  • answer in direct to story, etc.
  • write “done” under the post with the terms of the competition (so that you can upload comments and then determine the winner).

Life hack: very often people post + in the comments, but starting following at the last moment. Put a filter so that only your followers can leave comments (Settings – Privacy and Security – Manage comments).

The advantage of this option is that it requires a minimum of time and effort on the part of the participants. Minus – does not bring a new audience.

2. Tag friend

Often you can meet the conditions:

  • follow this account
  • put like on post
  • tag friend/2 friends (the number of tags is unlimited, but every time you need to tag new person).

There is a misconception that such giveaways bring new followers. In most cases, no.

1. People uncomfortable to tag real friends, so they tag those who do not mind or just dead accounts.

2. People do not want anyone to know that they are participating in such giveaways.

3. Those who were tagged in 95% are annoyed by spam, and do not want to go and see what kind of giveaway it is.

This option can work only if the gift is very valuable for a narrow segment of the target audience. Or if the gift is received by both the participant and the person who was tagged (e.g. free consultation or course).


This was once the most common giveaway option. “Take a screen of the giveaway poster and post the photo to your page.” Now people are too scrupulous about the appearance of their account, they spoiled competitions with simpler conditions. Yes, and you need to keep a screenshot for several days in your profile.

A way out of the situation can be share to stories. It will disappear automatically in a day, fewer people will see it and only once, there are no such strict requirements for content in stories.

The advantage of this format is that it brings new followers, there will be more participants compared to the share in the profile.

Disadvantages – not everyone knows how to share to stories and leave a beautiful large clickable link to a page, fewer people will see these shares than in the feed (in stories reach is lower). Messages about the tag will come to DM, you will need to manually collect names of participants, but Instagram will see the correspondence – and this is a very important point of contact (reach will also increase).

It is important to remember that in the case of sharing on greed, the picture should be sooooo beautiful and attractive and everything should be clear from it at first sight.

4. Auction

There is a lot. There is a starting price (e.g. $ 1) and a minimum step (e.g. $ 0.5). Everyone who wants to buy a lot writes their bets in the comments ($ 1.5, $ 2, $ 2.5). You indicate how long the auction lasts (e.g. 12:00 Fridays). The winner is the one who at the time of the end of the competition offered the highest bid.

It is important here to put the initial price much lower than the standard price of the lot (but not lower than the cost). If there are few participants, write manually the comments “@ your offer was outbid, now the price is xxx”. So a person with a greater degree of probability will return and offer a higher bid.

5. Anti-auction.

There is a lot at a certain inflated price (for example, $ 100) and a standard step (e.g. $ 5). Each participant can use his comment to reduce the price of the lot by 1 step or redeem it at the last bid price. That is, the excitement turns on – because you can guaranteed to buy now or take a chance and wait for a lower price (but not the fact that another participant will not make the purchase faster).

Auctions and anti-auctions provide an opportunity to track how demand is changing depending on price. And this is a good option in the initial stages – when you don’t know what to start from and how much people are willing to pay for goods / services.

6. A gift among those who commented

Under the contest post, the participant needs to like and leave a comment of 3-4 words (it is advisable to sketch a couple of similar options for people). The number of comments is unlimited. You promise that on Friday at 18.00 there will be a stop. And give gifts 7 and 25 to the commenter.

The advantage is that under the post there will be constant activity during the whole time of the contest. This will increase reach and may bring post to the Explore page.

7. The most creative comment

Everything is simple here – post a picture. “Come up with the coolest description – get a gift.” Choose the winner at your discretion, or you can take a couple of options and make a poll in stories.

This method is more to increase engagement.

8. Puzzle

During the week, you can publish posts and highlight one of the letters in the text, capitalize, or put special emoji. Then, at the end of the week, announce a competition – collect a word from all letters or a picture from all emoji, send it to Direct – get a prize. You can make 3 prizes (100, 70, 50% discount).

9. False fact

The same principle as in paragraph 8, only you need to choose 1 false out of 5 facts about you (about which you wrote earlier).

Option 8 and 9 are suitable if your texts are good, but nobody (for some reason) reads them.

10. Photo contest

Publish a photo (of your child, pet, husband), tag us and get the opportunity to win xxx.

If the idea is original and for people it will be a cool fan (entertainment) – the viral effect will work. Especially humor does wonders. You can get many new subscribers for free. Not necessarily the topic should be strictly related to your account. It may be something like “my husband’s reaction to …”. Or a flash-mob “repeat after me” (e.g. , creative scrambled eggs, yoga pose, hairdo).

11. The same format you can use in stories.

12. Competition for the best caption

What would you do if …

Why is … important to you?

Write the most … story of your life

Share your love story

Most important, participants must tag you in the post, use your hashtag and tag you on photo.

10-12 works great, because there will be a lot of user content that you can then use for yourself + free mentions of your account. And you’ll raise your engagement – because there’s something new in the profile.

13. Plus in the stories

A gift is shown in stories the condition is to follow to and tap on + in the poll.

You can replace it with condition to send message to DM (show with arrow where to send a message and ask to put + there).

14. Questions / riddles in stories

Post series of questions or a riddle and give a gift to the one who answers correctly first (or make 3 prize places with different gifts). The main thing is that it is difficult to find the answer. The dialogue in DM’S can be continued (“no, you were mistaken, try again”). The longer the correspondence – the better your profile will be ranked in the feed of this person.

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