Instagram Contests-Tools and Tips for Marketers


If you are managing an online business or the social media department of a large brand and have been wondering how to increase your presence as well as keep your followers engaged, you could host Instagram Contests from time to time. Contests are multi-faceted and generally have always done well when it comes to stirring up interest in the customer base. Here are some things worth keeping in mind when it comes to running contests, giveaways, and similar campaigns:

Instagram Contests

Pick a Type of Contest

Before holding the large scale online contest, make sure you know what you are doing and are following a strict plan or template. This way, you will always be on top of the entire operation. The different types of Instagram Contests include:

  • Comment on Post-type Contests: These require users to comment on your posts. Winners can be on the basis of who comments first, who comments the correct answer to a question first, lucky draw or who comments the best answer to a question you have asked.
  • Like the Post-type Contests: The mechanism of these contests is to get more likes on your post. Winners can be determined by lucky draw. This is easiest for participants, but it isn’t quite direct interaction, so may not be favorable.
  • Upload Photos-type Contests: Here, you can ask your fans to upload their own images related to a theme set by you, with the contest hashtag. This way, you can track down the posts by selecting the hashtag, but it may be problematic if you get a huge response and have to track down large scale data.

You could also combine these types and hold a hybrid, multi-stage contest. Note that all the actions the users have to undertake are actually quite immaterial, and you shouldn’t make it difficult for them. Contests are simply a fantastic way to generate buzz around your brand.

Follow Ground Rules

There are some rules you would need to know and follow while conducting any social contest via Instagram. First off, acknowledge the fact that the contest you are holding is not in any way endorsed by or associated with Instagram. Next, properly highlight any eligibility requirements you may have, so that you do not have to disqualify people after they have won. Most of these rules are down to common sense, but it is a good idea to highlight them to avoid hassle or liability in the future.

Use an Effective Contest-Management Tool

Instead of handling the entire contest with thousands and hundreds of thousands of responses manually, you should delegate the task to one of these fantastic tools and services. It is worth noting that these are all third-party tools, and none has been created by, supported or endorsed by Instagram. It is also a good idea to use a service like instamacro to monitor the attention or the buzz generated by the contest.

Gleam: This extremely helpful tool offers a host of contest management functionality in a simple UI. You can specify contest length, start and end dates, terms and conditions and even age restrictions. You could define actions which users would be required to take, and the number of winners too. You can also place a widget on your blog to attract more users and capture details like name and email from their submissions. The free plan will allow you to create, run and schedule contests. More expensive plans, $39 upwards have more sophisticated control features.

Woobox: Woobox is a service which allows hashtag-based photo sharing contests. You are to enter a specific hashtag which the fans must use, and then the app will collate the data and present it to you. It is not limited only to Instagram, and can gather entries across several social media platforms. It is mobile compatible and very dynamic. You can set age restrictions, limit entries per account, collect information and manually approve entries too. Woobox has an option to randomly pick a winner for the competition, but you can override this if you wish. The basic version is free, but if you’re looking for more functionality, you could go for the plans which cost upwards of $30 a month.

Author: Roger Hooke is a social media marketer and blogger. He enjoys trying out new social tools, SEO plug-ins and services like instamacro, and writing about them.