How to Write a Post for an Instagram Sweepstakes

Posted in: Applications,Applications for InstagramLast update: 19/04/18

Continuous growth in the use of Instagram makes it an ideal social platform for brands’ and businesses’ online campaigns. In particular, running sweepstakes on Instagram is a great way to boost followers and strengthen ones brand image. A good practice that will get you more followers and boost the brand awareness, is to run Instagram Sweepstakes. As you continue reading we’ll reveal 10 plus vital tips for writing great giveaway posts where you invite your audience to comment in order to participate. This will include tricks to make a post efficient in limited space, make it viral for best exposure and that will get you followers and interactions on your profile. An the most important trick: Use an automatic tool to pick the winners!

Can you imagine that running a comments-based sweepstakes on Instagram could be just as easy and simple as entering one? Like all our applications, the Instagram Sweepstakes app has all the advantages and features of an Easypromos application: You can obtain all the comments, filter by mentions, select the winners and alternate winners at random, get a Certificate of validity, download all comments to an Excel file and much more.

And now! All our recommendations to keep in mind before you publish your Instagram giveaway:

 

 1. Be aware of the mechanics for participation

  • Do you want to run a prize draw among the comments on a post: Perfect, continue to step 2 of this guide, this post is for you!
  • Do you want to run a contest among the users who publish a post on his/her account with your campaign #hashtag: In this case you should use the Hashtag Contest app. You’ll find information about this type of contest here.

 

2. The image of the post should be in line with the sweepstakes

As far as possible, the image that you use in the sweepstakes post should be representative and should meet the following requirements:

  • The size should be adapted to Instagram format: 1080×1080 pixels.
  • Make sure the prize is shown the image.
  • Less is more, and in this case we refer to the text in the image. Use keywords such as sweepstakes, win, prize or the hashtags to participate. Only write the most important things to not overload the image. For example: #MothersDay Sweepstakes.
  • Make sure the text is easily read on all devices and is not to small.

Instagram Sweepstakes 01

 

3. Begin the text with a Call-to-Action

A Call-to-Action in the beginning of the post with a line that catches the users’ attention will awaken interest and invite the users to keep reading to know the benefit of participating or the prize. Play with hashtags and capital letters to emphasize the information. Here we give you some examples:

  • Enter now! We’re GIWING AWAY a #bike among all who comment on this post.
  • Write a comment with the name of your FAVORITE TV-SHOW and you’ll enter the #draw for a FREE subscription!
  • Celebrate #MothersDay with us! Comment on this post and WIN a #GUCCI bag.

Instagram Sweepstakes 02

 

4. Describe the prize in the beginning

One of the most interesting elements when participating in a contest is the prize. If you specify what the prize is already in the beginning of the post, users will be more likely to stay and read more. Remember that to attract your target audience, the prize should be appealing to the profile of the audience you want to reach. For example, if your target audience is women with children, you can give away some of your products related to motherhood and children or a product that’s highly valued by mothers etc.

 

5. Be clear about the requirements

Don’t ask too much of your followers and make it easy for them. Clearly marking the steps the users need to follow to enter the sweepstakes will avoid them getting lost. When it comes to Instagram, according to your goals for the promotion you can require the following actions:

  • Comment on the post: This is the only way of participating in an Instagram Sweepstakes. It will allow you to collect information about the participants’ likings and preferences or opinions on a specific topic. The action of commenting on the post implies that the user is conscious about participating in a sweepstakes.
  • Be a follower of Instagram profiles: We recommend that you always encourage users to follow your brand to be updated on winners, news, more giveaways… This action can not be mandatory to participate in a giveaway because it can not be monitored. The apps don’t have access to knowing if a user is a follower of a brand or not. The same goes for co-branding actions; you can encourage users to follow the other brands but it can’t be a mandatory requirement.
  • Tag friends: Asking the users to mention friends in their comment will help the sweepstakes become viral and thereby increase brand awareness. We recommend that you don’t ask to mention more than 5 friends.
  • Add hashtags: You can ask the users to add hashtags in their comment when participating. This will help achieve visibility.

 

Idea: You can consider using hashtags as options for answers and then run a prize draw among those who have used one hashtag or the other. Example: Who will win the match? #TeamA #TeamB.

Instagram Sweepstakes 03

 

6. Point out the end date

The most important date to communicate in a giveaway on Instagram is the end date of the contest. If you point out the date and time, users will know until when they can participate and as they see that there’s limited time, they will most likely participate instantly to not forget later on, as you create a certain amount of urgency.

We suggest your sweepstakes doesn’t last more than a week as your followers could loose interest. It’s also important to point out when the winners will be selected although this information can be included in the terms and conditions.

 

7. Summary of the sweepstakes and Terms & Conditions in the BIO

In all sweepstakes and contests, it’s important to have clear and well defined Terms and Conditions that include all the necessary information for the promotion to run as planned. As there isn’t much space for text, and a long terms and conditions text isn’t very appealing in a post, the best solution is to host the terms and conditions separately and generate an independent link. Read some tips for your terms and conditions here.

On Instagram only important verified accounts can add links in their posts. To avoid having to promote a post, where it is possible to ad a link, the best practice to publish the terms and conditions of your sweepstakes is to use the BIO of your Instagram profile. Write a small summary of the sweepstakes and add the link to the terms and conditions and your sweepstakes will be complete.

Instagram Sweepstakes 04

 

Remember that the terms and conditions should contain be more detailed information, like for example the description of the prize, the mechanics of participation, the dates, who is the organizing brand, how to contact with the brand etc. In Easypromos, we offer a 100% free tool to write and host your terms and conditions or add a more extended description of the contest. This tool also includes an example of terms and conditions that you can use as a draft. You can also reuse your terms and conditions again for future sweepstakes, and we give you a shortened url to include at the end of the post.

 

Useful idea: If you use Easypromos to run the sweepstakes on Instagram, you can include this link in your terms and conditions: http://bit.ly/SweepFB

 

8. Be very clear about how you are going to select the winner

Something that many users are unsure about when they enter a prize giveaway or promotion is how the winners will be selected. The more information and transparency you provide regarding this, the more secure the users will feel and the more willing they will be to participate.

Define if you will utilize a public notary or an application to guarantee the good practices of the prize draw and point it out in the post. If you use Easypromos as a tool to select the winners, be sure to always include this line in the end of your post:

The winners will be selected with #Easypromos

 

9. Use emoticons to highlight information

Give your post a fun and modern touch by using emoticons. In addition, they highlight and arrange the information according to how you want it to be shown. Here are some ideas to how to use the emoticons:

  • When you list the instructions to participate, use the emoticons (for example ticks) instead of numbers.
  • To draw attention, use the image of fire.
  • Highlight important information with some of the hand or finger emojis.
  • To connect with the users, let your imagination run wild and search for the emoji that best fits with the prize draw you’re running. You can for example use the lipstick emoticon if you’re raffling a cosmetics product.

Remember than an emoticon is to highlight information, it should never substitute any words.

 

10. Use hashtags in keywords to reach more audience

Using hashtags is a very common practice with the objective to increase the visibility of the post and highlight the keywords of your communication. If you want visibility beyond your followers, use specific hashtags directed to your target audience. For example, if you represent a bicycle shop, the keywords in your post could be: #sweepstakes #bicycle #prize #biking #sports.

 

11. Switch to Business Instagram profile

If you don’t have a business profile yet, we recommend that you switch from personal to business account now. This change, which is free, will allow you to run comments-based sweepstakes and retrieve all the comments on the post without limit to the number of comments.

Check here how to switch from personal to business profile and make the most of all the advantages it has, such as being able to create ads ad get insights. Furthermore, with a business profile you can improve the dissemination and the promotion of your Instagram sweepstakes and have much more efficient management options.

 

Other recommendations:

  1. Length of the post. The visible part of the text in an Instagram post is 20 to 25 words. To read the rest of the post, the users have to click on “more”. This means that you should write the first phrase within this limit so that no important words are left out and not shown in the feed. Just one phrase should draw the attention from the users to make them want to keep reading.
  2. Remember that you can always edit the text of the post. Once the sweepstakes post is published on Instagram, you can edit the text from the three dots in the top right corner of the image, among other options. You cannot change nor modify the image.
  3. Post reminders of the sweepstakes and publish it on other social networks. A good way of getting the word out about your sweepstakes is to publish it on other social networks to attract more traffic to Instagram, or you can include the information in a newsletter. In addition, if your sweepstakes lasts longer than 2-3 days, it’s advisable to post reminders to reach the whole community of followers and get more participation. You can post the reminder on other social networks or create a post on Instagram that leads the users to the sweepstakes post.

 

Structure and text examples to create an Instagram Sweepstakes

TEXT OF THE POST

➡ Enter now! You can win a [#PRIZE]. Instructions:
✅  COMMENT on this post explaining [QUESTION and/or HASHTAG].
✅  FOLLOW OUR profile @ID_user [AND THE PROFILE @ID_USER].
✅  TAG [NUMBER FROM 1 TO 5] friends so that they can enter too.
Pay attention because on the [DATE] we’ll announce the winners! ?
The winner will be selected randomly using #Easypromos: https://bit.ly/InstaSweep
➡ Terms & Conditions in the link in the BIO. Good luck!

TEXT AND LINK IN THE BIO
Enter now! You can win a [#PRIZE]. Search for the SWEEPSTAKES POST on our profile and PARTICIPATE NOW. Terms & Conditions: [LINK TO THE TERMS AND CONDITIONS OF THE SWEEPSTAKES]

 

Do you want to run an Instagram Sweepstakes in an easy and fast way? Create your sweepstakes now and you’ll see all the advantages yourself! And remember, your first Instagram sweepstakes is free!

 

How to select the winners randomly from the comments on the post

Now that your contest giveaway post is live and you want to select your winners from the participants who have commented on your post and have mentioned two friends. To do so you are going to need to use a tool to help you out. This is exactly what the easypromos Instagram Sweepstakes tool is designed to do. Please click this link for the tutorial explaining step by step how to select winners. You will soon see that with our giveaway tool the process is less than 3 minutes of your time.

 

 

Randi Jensen

International Business Developer in Easypromos