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How to Gain Ideal Followers with Instagram Giveaways

Instagram is a top platform for brands, with 90% of people on Instagram following a business. Although getting more Instagram followers is a goal for many brands and influencers, the ultimate early objective is to hit 10k followers. At this level, Instagram opens the “swipe up” feature in Instagram Stories, allowing you to send Instagrammers directly to your website from your Story. 

However, gaining those elusive 10k followers isn’t easy. In this guide, we’ll show you how to increase Instagram followers using Instagram giveaways, including how to write a giveaway post, create contest rules, and promote your sweepstakes across multiple platforms. 

How to Get Authentic Instagram Followers in 9 Steps

Everyone loves a chance to win. But attracting a slew of participants who will unfollow you after the Instagram giveaway or contest ends isn’t ideal for your company. Instead, you can use your Instagram giveaway caption, prizes, and hashtags to target your core market and entice new users to stick around for your next post. 

Learn how to get tons of followers on Instagram and expand brand awareness by sharing a giveaway post targeted to your ideal audience.

Use giveaways to boost followers on Instagram by:

  1. Identify your ideal follower
  2. Select the right prize
  3. Produce captivating images
  4. Write a compelling giveaway post
  5. Choose a variety of hashtags
  6. Link to your giveaway rules
  7. Setup your contest or giveaway
  8. Promote your campaign
  9. Pick a Winner and Announce

1. Target Ideal Instagram Followers

Before you can devise an Instagram giveaway or contest, you need to know what motivates and interests your audience. Finding out these details help you select the right prize and develop an eye-catching caption. Both elements can encourage users to take a look at your promo and business profile. 

You’ll find information, such as age range, gender, and location, using Instagram analytics under the Insights tab. But, you can dig into your audience using social listening tools and competitive research. These tactics help narrow your market down to people who want what your brand offers and are likely to follow you.  

Who are your ideal followers?

For example, if you’re a travel company, you may target women between 25 and 35 who live in urban areas or your specific location. Instagram giveaways for a 25-year-old living in Chicago may emphasize “fun in the sun” trips and prizes geared towards a night on the town with a beach-side vacay. But, a 35-year-old living in Tampa may crave an international trip involving amenities like an on-site masseuse. 

Keep a specific persona in mind while tailoring your image, caption, and promotional marketing campaign. Doing so can help you create highly personalized messages that appeal to the type of participants you want for your contest or giveaway. 

2. Select a Suitable Prize to Grow Your Audience

Everyone loves a chance to win a free prize, but not everyone is your ideal follower. The right award can attract (or repel) potential participants. Moreover, your prize needs to jive with your brand and come with reasonable shipping costs. 

A great way to boost the number of people following you is to think about what motivates your target audience. What makes them take the extra steps to enter Instagram giveaways? Do they want to impress their friends? Try out new locally sourced products for their skin type? Or perhaps, they’re interested in a gift they can share with a co-worker. 

Instagram Giveaway Prize Examples

Offer winners a gift card, brand swag, or samples of your most popular products. Or team up with another brand to double your exposure and give fans goodies from both companies. If you’re stuck for prize ideas, take a look at these posts to get ideas for your next marketing campaign:

3. Design Visually Appealing Images

Your images and overall feed presentation can make the difference between skyrocketing your follower count and staying in a holding pattern. A cohesive grid encourages people to hang around on your business profile longer and check out more content. 

Maximize your productivity by creating a few Instagram contest images in one sitting. Then design coordinating photos for other social channels, email, landing pages, and your website. The key things to remember are: 

  • Connect photos to your brand using similar colors, filters, and fonts across all channels.
  • Size images according to specifications for each social network.
  • Make sure your giveaway image fits with your overall Instagram grid.

Examples of Images for Your Instagram Giveaway

Of course, you want your giveaway post to stand out. But, fans that visit your profile should see a visually appealing grid of photos. In the example below, the giveaway post fits into the brand aesthetics with the gray background and pop of yellow. 

Instagram Examples for Before and During Your Contest

Consider generating interest before your Instagram contest goes live with a sneak peek of what’s coming. Plus, you can add a “last call” post to catch any Instagrammers who may have missed your initial post. The two photos below show how some brands keep users focused on the prize using anticipation and the fear of missing out (FOMO).

4. How to Word a Giveaway Post

You have roughly 125 characters before a fan has to scroll to see more on a mobile phone, whereas it’s closer to 200 characters on a desktop. Sure, you can add up to 2,200 total characters, but Instagrammers are there for the visuals, not to read super long captions. 

Although there isn’t one right way to write a giveaway post, these tips can help you prompt users to enter your contest, share it, and follow your brand. Instagram giveaway wording should include: 

  • An eye-catching headline
  • A compelling lead-in question or statement
  • The end date and correct time zone
  • Details about your prize
  • Simple rules on how to enter
  • A call to action (CTA) telling folks what to do next
  • Short sentences and plenty of white space

Don’t be afraid to add an emoji for extra emphasis and appeal to potential new followers with a strong CTA. What should they do next? Tag a friend? Comment with a hashtag? Answer a question in the comments? Share a photo? 

Instagram Giveaway Caption Examples

An exciting headline tells viewers that it’s worth their time to keep reading. Try putting your own spin on one of these headline examples:

  • WIN $150 in free products! Tag a friend in the comments to win $150 worth of prizes.
  • Are you craving a beach view? Enter for a chance to win free airline tickets!
  • STOP! Enter this contest before you pick your next travel destination.
  • You won’t believe who we’ve teamed up with to hand out a huge prize package.
  • Giveaway Time! Are you the next winner? 
  • Made for you! Enter to win a personalized prize for you and one friend. 

Lastly, pay attention to how your caption looks visually. Break up your lines or draw attention to your CTA using emojis. Below, the brand gives clear instructions for entering the giveaway. 

5. Choose Hashtags for Your Instagram Giveaway or Contest

Since Instagram users find new content by entering hashtags into the search bar, you can get more eyes on your content by picking some hashtags used by your target audience. Or consider hosting a hashtag contest on Instagram. It’s a no-fuss way for people to join your giveaway.  

Select a few niche-related hashtags and include some that are relevant to your giveaway post. Although you can add 30 hashtags to your caption, many people prefer to put them in the first comment. 

Instagram Giveaway Hashtag Examples

Dunkertons Cider includes a branded hashtag (#dunkertonscider), niche-related hashtags (#organiccider, #ciderworld), and giveaway hashtags (#giveaway, #giveawaycontest). Industry-related hashtags help attract followers who are searching Instagram for cider-related content. 

Although Instagram giveaways are legal, brands must abide by the platform’s guidelines. Keep your contest instructions near the top of the post and add the legal stuff near the end. 

What to include in the rules for an Instagram giveaway:

  • Name and contact information for your company 
  • The dates your giveaway will run, including a definite end date
  • When you’ll announce the winner, and in what time zone
  • Participant criteria, such as age or location 
  • Clear instructions on how to enter and how many entries are allowed
  • Precise details describing how you’ll choose and announce the winner
  • How long an entrant has to claim the prize, how to do that, and how you’ll deliver it
  • A line that says your promotion isn’t sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram, per Instagram this is a must-have line

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example

In the following Instagram post, The Positive Internet Company gives a shortened version of Instagram’s rules and puts the remaining terms and conditions under an Instagram Story Highlights tab. This is perfect for brands that run regular promotions on Instagram. If you need more examples, check out our rule guide and template.  

7. Create Your Instagram Contest or Giveaway

Before you start your contest, you need a system for tracking performance and calculating winners. While you can do this manually, many people opt for a giveaway tool that uses a random comment picker. It can save you quite a bit of time. 

Moreover, using a third-party platform adds transparency about how winners are chosen. Some contest software, like Woobox, connects to your email or website analytics so you can track brand awareness and click-through rates for your campaign. 

Next, schedule your posts to go out at optimal times. Posting when followers are the most active increases your chances of appearing in their Instagram feed. Lastly, create a promotional email and content for other social platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter. Add a link to each message that directs potential entrants to your Instagram post or giveaway landing page. 

8. Promote Your Instagram Giveaway

Most people use a couple of different social media networks or subscribe to email newsletters. Connect with these fans as part of a cross-channel promotion plan. It gives your brand and giveaway more exposure and can increase your follower count. 

Expand your audience by:

  • Choosing platform-specific hashtags for social media posts
  • Re-sizing or creating a new image for each network
  • Sharing your message with local bloggers
  • Tagging brand ambassadors in your caption or comments
  • Sending a link to your landing page via email
  • Messaging your loyalty club members 

Regardless of the platform, encourage people to forward or share your post with a friend. You can even award bonus entries for referrals. 

Example of an Instagram Giveaway “Thank You” Page

Fans may find your contest via your landing page. In this case, it’s a good idea to create a custom post-entry page. Once a person enters your giveaway, they’ll see a “thank you.” Use this spot to encourage users to follow your brand or share your contest with their friends. 

9. Pick & Announce Your Giveaway Winner

Once you’ve randomly picked your Instagram Giveaway winner, your announcement gives you a final chance to connect with contest entrants. You can go live to announce the winner, add it to your Instagram Story, and create a winner’s post. It’s also an excellent spot to welcome new followers and encourage them to stay tuned for your next promotion. 

Instagram Giveaway Winner Announcement Examples

In the following example, the caption explains how to collect the prize and instructs fans to “Stay tuned for many more!” Plus, it encourages the winners to tag the brand in a post, and in return, they’ll send a free how-to video. 

Hold On! You’re Not Done Yet! 

Hang onto those new followers by engaging with them shortly after they click “follow.” Check out their feeds and comment on a post. And keep sharing interactive content, such as Instagram stickers, polls, or Reels

As you’re finishing up, remember to review your giveaway’s performance. Check out analytics for Instagram, email, and your website. Use your insights to develop new Instagram giveaway ideas and tweak your next promotion to maximize engagement and increase your follower count. 

Increase Instagram Followers With a Targeted Giveaway

Running an Instagram giveaway is an excellent way to attract new followers. Select relevant hashtags and prizes geared towards your ideal customer, share a compelling caption and image and promote your giveaway across multiple channels. By tailoring your message, you’ll find loyal followers who want to interact with your brand. 

Need help attracting new Instagram fans? 

Have a question about choosing the right experience for your next promotion? Our Woobox team is here to help. We’re available from 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday at 1-360-450-5200 and