instagram contest giveaway ideas

11 High-Performing Instagram Contest Ideas Designed to Increase Engagement

With over a billion monthly active users worldwide, Instagram is the place to be. But if you’re posting consistently and not seeing results, then it’s time to change that! One of the best ways to increase engagement is by using high-performing Instagram contest ideas. 

Encourage more comments, likes, and shares by giving your target audience a chance to win one or more prizes, or even be featured on your brand’s Instagram account. 

Ready to get your fans involved? Let’s explore 11 unique Instagram contest ideas and examples, along with tips for creating your own giveaway or contest on Instagram.

Get More Comments With Instagram Contests & Giveaways

There are over a dozen ways people can engage with your Instagram account. However, getting more comments is a top priority for brands. A comment requires more effort than clicking “like” on a post. Naturally, the Instagram algorithm gives a bit more weight to comments on posts. Each interaction helps boost your post position in follower’s feeds, search results, and Explore pages. 

1. Ask a Question: Contest Ideas for Instagram

One kind of contest guaranteed to improve Instagram engagement is a question contest. Plus, you can learn about your fans. Simply let followers know that you’ll pick a random comment and reward one user with a fun prize. Then select a winner using the Instagram Comment Picker

Run a contest and ask people to leave a comment in response to questions, such as:

  • Use predictive text to answer the question and leave your answer in the comments.
  • Find your zodiac sign (or birth month) and answer the question.
  • Myth buster: What’s the one thing people get wrong about you?
  • If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go?
  • Comment with something you’ll never do again.
  • What’s a great way to get a free product from a business? 
  • Which of our products or services do you want to win?
  • Share your best tip for working from home.

2. Score More Comments With an Emoji Contest

According to Adobe’s Emoji Trend Report, “65% of emoji users are more comfortable expressing their emotions through emojis than a phone call.” So hosting an Instagram giveaway or contest that asks followers to express themselves via emojis is a fun way to start a conversation. 

Create captions for Instagram contests that appeal to your target audience, like:

  • Choose an emoji to describe our brand / product.
  • Which emoji do you most use when texting?
  • Can you guess our brand’s favorite emoji?
  • Show us the five most-used emojis on your phone.
  • How will you use your free prize? Drop an emoji in the comments.
  • Explain your day in three emojis.
  • Describe your favorite hair product using only emojis.

3. Tag a Friend Giveaways

Instagram contests that ask people to tag their friends in the comments does double duty for your engagement rate. Your followers will interact with your content, and encourage their friends to do the same. In addition, each person they tag may comment or join your Instagram contest or giveaway. 

You can make tagging a friend a requirement for entry and list it in your rules, or give bonus entries to users who tag their friends. Ideas for a tag a friend giveaway caption include: 

  • Tag a friend (More tags = extra entries!)
  • Tag a friend in the comments for a chance to win!
  • Tag a friend who would love to win this prize!
  • Tag friends to share a gift card from your favorite restaurant.

Or mix it up and ask users, “Who are the first three people to tag after we announce the winner?” You can also host a type of contest that uses the random winner picker and reward prizes to the follower along with two or three of their tagged friends. 

Use an Instagram Giveaway to Build Your Follower Count

Each time someone taps “Follow” on your business account profile, it counts as a type of engagement. Adding followers also helps grow your audience, expand brand awareness, and gets your marketing promotions in front of more interested people. 

The best way to build your follower count is by creating rules for contest entries requiring winners to be followers. Use the next Instagram contest ideas to attract ideal Instagram followers.

4. Follow Us For a Chance to Win

As part of your giveaway rules, tell fans to follow your business account. It’s also a good idea to create other Instagram content to remind users to follow your account. Add a call-to-action (CTA) in your post when you announce the winner. This encourages your audience to follow your brand or sign-up for your email newsletter to learn about the latest giveaways or contests.

In the Instagram post example below, PrimaLash mentions twice that entrants must follow two accounts to qualify for contest entry.

5. Branded Hashtag Contest Ideas

A branded hashtag contest or giveaway can kick your brand awareness activity up into high drive. Additionally, successful Instagram contests using hashtags work for omnichannel events, allowing social media fans on Facebook or Twitter to join in as well. 

Every time an Instagrammer uses your branded hashtag, there’s an opportunity for their audience to click on that hashtag, view your Instagram profile, and follow your account. Users can add your hashtag to a post caption or include it on an Instagram Story. 

Boost Shares on Instagram With Giveaways and Contests

Instagram only allows users to post photos from public accounts, and the easiest way to do this is by tapping, “Add post to your story.” Since it takes more effort to share a post, Instagram tends to reward this content by boosting its position in your followers’ feeds. 

With over 500 million Instagram accounts using Instagram Stories every day, prompting fans to share your contest or giveaway is an excellent way for your business to reach new audiences. 

6. Share, Save, or Repost to Win on Instagram

You can require a share for contest entry or reward bonus entries to people who share your post on their IG Story. You can also ask people to save your post or give permission for them to screenshot and repost it on their account. 

For maximum engagement, create a picture-perfect caption and a high-quality image. Give people a reason to share, save, or repost your content by making it stand out in their feed.  Pick a caption idea from the following examples: 

  • Bonus Entry: Save this post, or share it to your Instagram Story.
  • Share this giveaway post on your IG Story for a chance to win!
  • Get extra entries for additional tags and/or for sharing this post to your Stories.
  • Did our photo inspire you? Let your friends know by adding it to your Story. 
  • Could you be the next winner? Share our photos with your followers.

7. Add a Geotag for Local Shares

If you have a physical store location or want to break into a regional market, check out these local Instagram giveaway examples and develop fun contest ideas to attract community members. You can host a hashtag contest or simply create a giveaway caption with regional hashtags. 

Increase shares by asking fans to repost your contest and use your branded hashtag along with a local hashtag. In the Instagram giveaway below, blogger Safia Mansoor Faiz shares hashtags related to food, contests, and location.

Leverage Instagram Contests to Get More Likes 

Although Instagram is phasing out like counts, they still count towards engagement. Moreover, tapping the heart to like a post on Instagram is one of the easiest ways to engage with brands or posts. 

Most brands require contest entrants to like their post to enter the giveaway, but you can also encourage clicks with polls, comment entry giveaways, and photo contests. Increase likes on your posts with the following Instagram contest ideas. 

8. Pick Your Favorite Instagram Photo Contest 

Do you regularly share brand or product photos? Maybe you include video tutorials or showcase user-generated content. Ask fans to cruise your account and tap the heart on three of their favorite posts. Users could feature their preferred post, image, or video on an IG Story for extra points or bonus entries. 

For a twist on the classic like-to-win contest, pit two of your posts against each other. Pull a random winner from the one that garners the most likes. Or keep the barrier to entry low by only requiring your audience to like the post for a chance to win. Draw attention to your CTA by putting it right on your image.

9. Like the Comment for a Chance to Win

Caption-this competitions and “best comment” giveaways are some of the popular Instagram contest ideas. Both give fans a chance to interact with your brand, but they also spur engagement among Instagram users. 

Plus, your followers may request help getting those likes by inviting others to view your post. Don’t forget to let followers know that the comment with the highest number of likes is the prize winner. 

Increase Instagram Profile Clicks

When running an Instagram contest, suitable prizes can encourage entries, and you can direct fans to your profile where they can click over to your landing page. Simply ask people to follow your brand, like your photo, and submit their entry by tapping on the link in your bio. 

10. Enter an Instagram Giveaway Via a Form

Whether you’re prepping for a product launch or run Instagram contests as part of your content marketing strategy, cross-channel promotion is essential. With a landing page, you can share an Instagram contest on other social media channels, through email, or via text message.

For a photo contest or one where you need extra information from your audience, a landing page can make the process easier. But any kind of contest idea benefits from a landing page. 

11. Create an IG Stories Contest

An IG Stories contest is a great way to take advantage of the feature’s popularity. Create successful Instagram contests using the countdown sticker, playing around with GIFs, or adding a music track. You could also announce the winner of your Instagram contest and post photos of prizes in your story. 

In the following example, All Things Playground uses Instagram Stories to walk their audience through the giveaway’s rules, and they say, “swipe left to see giveaway package!” 

Accelerate Growth With Interactive Instagram Contest Ideas

Social media marketing ideas and a prize that suits your target audience can help your brand attract new followers while improving your relationship with existing ones. Use Instagram contests and giveaways to increase engagement, gather user-generated content, and skyrocket brand awareness. 

Need help running an Instagram Giveaway or Contest?

Get started with your next Instagram contest idea with help from the Woobox team. We’re available from 8 am to 5 pm PST, Monday through Friday at 1-360-450-5200 and  support@woobox.com.