7 top tips for a successful Instagram competition

Nowadays, no one is a stranger to social media. For businesses, brands and products, it can be one of the most effective ways of profile raising, generating sales and building relationships. Junior account executive Alina Tebbutt reveals her top tips for running a successful Instagram competition.

PR is more than just press releases

The day-to-day life of a PR professional has changed drastically over the years with the birth of social media. The days of purely producing press releases are over. Businesses from across the sectors now use PR as a vital tool in helping to raise their profile, generate sales and build relationships.

With one billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the most popular social networking sites today. It enables users to share content in the form of still images or videos, and followers can like or comment on these posts.

One of the most effective ways of turning followers into customers is by running an Instagram competition. But, how do you do that? Here, we share our seven tips for running a successful competition.

1. Have a goal in mind

End goal – You must have a specific goal you want to achieve from your Instagram competition. Generating sales, engaging an audience, and raising your profile are just a few benefits you can gain.

2. The different types of Instagram competitions

Like/tag to win – A simple like or tag a friend in a comment format is a great way to increase your Instagram reach. The low barrier entry allows the competition to spread organically. However, the low entry requirements means it may end up engaging participants who aren’t genuinely invested in the brand, so this is worth bearing in mind.

#Hash-tag user generated content – This format requires participants to share a photo or video using the provided hashtag to enter. This engages the market and deepens the emotional connection between consumers and the brand. This format is perfect for increasing reach as it acts as a domino effect.

Email-gated – Here, you ask participants to provide an email address to enter. This is a great way to increase your network and build email lists for future promotions and information. However, requiring an email is a barrier to entry as many Instagram users crave a quick and seamless entry method. A successful email-gated competition usually needs a very enticing prize, such as an expensive trip, product or shopping spree.

3. Create a clear set of official rules

“Link in bio” – Always have a go-to place where someone can find rules and restrictions. This is often done by including a link in your profile’s bio so it can always be found at the top of the page. Important things to state in the rules include the start and end date, quick and easy steps to enter, when the winner will be announced, and what the prize is.

Target audience
– If the competition is for a specific age or gender, for example, make sure your followers know this. This will eliminate unqualified entries from people who don’t always read the rules thoroughly.

Understand the official rules – Make sure you have read and understand the official rules and restrictions for running an Instagram competition. For example, you must include a statement that releases Instagram from any responsibility of the contest. See here for more details.

4. Choose a good prize related to your brand

Relatable – Make sure the prize is related to you/the business. For example, if you are beautician offering a new treatment, it would make sense for the prize to be a free or discounted offer of the new treatment. If your products aren’t related, you run the risk of attracting followers that aren’t genuinely interested in your business.

Keep your goal in mind
– If Apple was to offer a trip to Mexico, it would create a buzz but would not be ideal for driving sales. If you want to drive sales, you might choose an offer such as 2 for 1 cocktails for a bar or discounted meals for a restaurant.

– The prize must be worthwhile enough for people to want to enter. For example, people may not go out their way to win 10% off a meal but may be more inclined for 25% off.

5. Fail to prepare, prepare to fail

Create content – Cast your memory back to other competitions that have caught your attention. If they stopped you from scrolling or made you enter, that’s even better!

Plan your caption/hashtag – Scheduled posts, planned captions and pre-prepared images will make running your competition a lot smoother and more manageable.

6. Promotion

Regular updates – Through scheduled posts, you can remind followers of the deadline getting closer and closer, reminding them to enter.

Take pride
– Instagram accounts that hold contests can achieve 70% faster follower growth compared to those that don’t hold contests.

7. Competition follow up

Loud and proud – Announce the winner, along with a caption and photos, in good time. This will intrigue current followers and inspire them to take part in future competitions.

If you would like to know more about what we can do for your professional services, feel free to get in touch with the team.

By Alina Tebbutt

Alina is responsible for providing support on both B2B and B2C accounts, working with property, leisure and non-profit organisations. Throughout her account executive training, she will help account teams to secure both regional and national coverage.