How to Run a Winning Instagram Giveaway

The holiday season is officially upon us!


And what better way to thank your supporters (and shake up your online presence) than with a social media giveaway?


Contests are a great way to increase engagement, connect with your audience, and gain new followers, but there are some important things to consider, so you can set the right expectations and deliver a well-planned giveaway that’s successful.


Before you get started, keep these three things in mind:


  1. People who follow your account for a giveaway may not stick around for long.

    Like it or not, some people will follow your page just for the free gift — and may stop engaging or unfollow altogether once the contest is over. These folks most likely aren’t genuinely interested in your product or service, so don’t sweat it if you see your followers drop off a bit.

  2. There are rules and regulations you have to follow.

    Instagram does an excellent job of spelling out its contest rules. Before you start your giveaway, make sure you:

  • Make it clear that your giveaway isn’t sponsored, endorsed, or administered by Instagram.
  • Include the dates the contest will run and any participation restrictions.
  • Write clear guidelines on how to enter.
  • Be clear about how the winner will be chosen and when.
  • Disclose how the prize will be delivered, if applicable.


  1. Be on the lookout for spammers!


Although Instagram (along with other social platforms like Facebook and Twitter) uses advanced tools and algorithms to detect bots and spammers, you still might see them show up in your inbox or comments when you host a giveaway. Just be aware of this and be diligent about monitoring your comments to weed out fake accounts.


Ok, so now that the behind-the-scenes considerations are taken care of, let’s move on to the fun stuff!


When planning what, when, and how you’re going to run your giveaway, think about:


  • What you can offer that will attract your ideal audience. If you’re targeting a niche market, I love the idea of giving away tickets to a local event, such as a holiday light display, festival, or show. You also can never go wrong with a holiday gift basket or a gift card to a local restaurant.


  • Give yourself enough time to stir up some excitement! Remember: It can take a day or two for people to see your posts in their Instagram feed, so make sure you’re leaving yourself at least a week for people to enter.
  • Be clear about the rules. For example, if you’re asking people to like, share, comment, or tag someone in your post to enter, make sure they know which action to take. And don’t forget to let them know if they can enter more than once!


  • Attract as many people as possible by posting in different ways. Keep the excitement going all week by sharing sneak peeks of the event, service, or gift basket. (These are easy daily shares that can go in your Instagram )


  • Break up your post wording so that it’s easy to understand and digest. You want your post to speak to your audience, provide the information they need, and encourage them to engage. Need a little guidance? Check out our template below!



Holiday Giveaway Post Template


‘Tis the season for GIVING, and I’m celebrating by giving you a chance to win ______, an amazing value that includes ______.


Here’s how to enter:


  1. Follow me __Your tag___.


  1. Like THIS POST.


  1. Tag a friend. (Each individual tag is an entry, so the more, the merrier!)


  1. BONUS entry: Post to your story & tag us! 


This giveaway ends ___, and we will announce the winner _____, so enter soon!


So, what are you waiting for?


If you’re thinking about running your own social media giveaway, start making a plan soon so that you can make the most of the holiday season!

And if you’d like our input on how to best set up a giveaway for your specific business, the Brand Social Marketing team is always here to help. Let’s connect!