Definitive Guide to Give Visibility to a Comments-based Instagram Sweepstakes

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

These days, having an active Instagram profile is vital if you want to achieve visibility for your brand and products. And what better way to achieve this goal than to run regular sweepstakes among users who comment on your Instagram posts? Doing so will help you ensure that your publications achieve the desired reach – and at a very low cost. Read on to discover the good practices to follow when promoting your sweepstakes posts.

One of the factors most often used when measuring the effectiveness of a post is its reach. Generally, the greater the reach of a post, the more engagement it generates. This important and significant metric is not visible in Instagram personal profile posts, although it is visible in sponsored posts and stories and in the insights in Instagram Business profiles. Here are ten tips to consider when disseminating your comments-based Instagram sweepstakes to ensure it obtains maximum reach:

  1. Create a cobranding action to boost dissemination
  2. Use the participation requirements: ‘comment’ and ‘mention’
  3. Create the post on your Instagram profile
  4. Use the hashtags #sweepstakes and #giveaway in your post
  5. Promote the sweepstakes in your bio and as a story
  6. Invest in online publicity
  7. Announce your sweepstakes via newsletter
  8. Promote the sweepstakes on other online channels and your website
  9. Don’t forget the offline channels
  10. Keep in mind promotion and contest portals

1. Create a cobranding action to boost dissemination

Before publishing the post of your comments-based Instagram sweepstakes, consider all the possibilities that Instagram provides. Decide which type of sweepstakes to carry out, what prizes to offer, and what the requirements for participation will be. And of course, decide whether to make your sweepstakes part of a cobranding strategy with two or more brands promoting the campaign. In this way, all the brands involved can share the same sweepstakes, making it possible to increase the dissemination exponentially. Have a look at this example where a single sweepstakes was promoted by various Instagram profiles:


2. Use the participation requirements: ‘comment’ and ‘mention’

There’s no more effective way of making a post viral than to make some mandatory requirements for participation:

  • To enter in the prize draw, users necessarily need to comment on the post. You can ask them to answer something interesting to know for your business and to use specific hashtags in the comment.
  • To qualify for the prize, participants could also be asked to mention friends in a comment below the sweepstakes post. This will help you to make the sweepstakes viral and boost brand awareness. We recommend you don’t ask participants to mention more than five friends.


*Note: With the changes applied by Instagram on April 5, 2018, the Instagram API no longer allows third party applications such as Easypromos to verify if a user is follower of a brand. That’s why we don’t recommend making it a requirement to follow a brand to participate, since it can’t be checked automatically with an app. You can still suggest it in the participation dynamics.

3. Create the post on your Instagram profile

It’s important to think carefully about what the post of your comments-based Instagram sweepstakes will look like. The image should fit the text, the instructions should be clear and easy for participants to follow, the text should fit in the window so users don’t have to scroll to read important information and so on. We suggest you follow these tips when creating your sweepstakes post on Instagram.


4. Use the hashtags #sweepstakes and #giveaway in your post

You can use the hashtags #sweepstakes and #giveaway in the post. This way, Instagram will display the post to everyone who searches for this hashtag. All the hashtags you use in your posts become links that can be clicked on. This means that users can easily find posts about themes that they are interested in, such as sweepstakes. It can be a good idea to use several hashtags throughout the post with key words to disseminate your sweepstakes across different lists of posts.


5. Promote the sweepstakes in your bio and as a story

The bio of an Instagram profile can also be used to spread word about your comments sweepstakes. The bio is where users can learn more about you and your Instagram profile, so it’s the perfect place to promote the sweepstakes you’re currently running. Write a small summary of the sweepstakes and add a link to the terms and conditions or to an external site where the details of the promotion are provided. Here’s an example of the text you could use to publish the sweepstakes:

Participate now! You could win a [PRIZE]. Look for the SWEEPSTAKES POST on our profile and PARTICIPATE NOW. Legal bases: [LINK TO THE SWEEPSTAKES’ TERMS AND CONDITIONS]

Another highly effective way of disseminating a post is via Instagram Stories. This feature is more and more popular among users and is therefore an essential tool for sharing your sweepstakes. An Instagram Story now often gets more views than a normal post. In addition – as we’ve already mentioned – a story’s reach is displayed beneath it, providing the sweepstakes organizer with information about how many views the story has generated and which users have seen it.

It’s important to remember that stories have a short lifespan: just 24 hours. After this, the stories disappear from your profile, so the best way to promote a sweepstakes via Instagram Stories is to upload an image every 24 hours until the sweepstakes has ended, accompanying each story with messages such as ‘Just three days left!’ Or ‘Last day for participating in our sweepstakes!’



*Important note. You could use the story to tell users to check the link in the bio to find out more about the sweepstakes – the terms and conditions for example. If your Instagram profile is a verified brand account you can also link the story to an external site. This will enable you to link to the terms and conditions or to a site with information about the sweepstakes.

6. Invest in online publicity

All Instagram posts have a unique link. Share this link on other social networks and use it to invest in publicity campaigns by redirecting traffic directly to the unique link to your Instagram post. You can pay for traffic via services like Facebook Ads and Google AdWords.

*Important note: On Instagram, it’s possible to promote posts directly from the Instagram app or create new sponsored posts from the Facebook Ads tool. In both cases, a new Instagram post is generated, meaning that the comments and likes of the sponsored post do not accumulate in the original Instagram sweepstakes post. If you want to count these comments as well and add them to the original sweepstakes, it is then necessary to count the interactions separately and add them before carrying out the final sweepstakes.

7. Announce your sweepstakes via newsletter

Do you send out weekly newsletters to inform your clients about news and other product-related content? Make the most of your Instagram sweepstakes by sending out a newsletter to your database to inform about it. This will enable you to reach your target audience, boost sweepstakes participation and increase engagement from your followers.

8. Promote the sweepstakes on other online channels and your website

To give greater visibility to your comments-based Instagram sweepstakes you can promote it via your brand’s other social media channels, as well as your website and blog. You could also create a specific landing page for the sweepstakes. These actions will help you to dynamize your channels with content that is diverse and appealing to users. Tell users about your sweepstakes and lead them to your Instagram profile so that they can participate.

You can also carry out the same sweepstakes on another social network (Facebook for example), but always keeping in mind that participants then have the chance to take part and win twice (via Facebook and Instagram for example).


9. Don’t forget the offline channels

Don’t let online promotions make you forget the physical point of sale! Your promotion should be appealing and the CTA (call to action) should be clear, attention-grabbing and highly visible. Do you have a physical store? Promote your Instagram sweepstakes at the POS (point of sale) and try to capture the attention of offline customers and convert them into online fans. You’ll then be able to promote your sweepstakes and Instagram profile to your online fans, contact them directly, and inform them about the latest news, etc.

10. Keep in mind promotion and contest portals

It may be that your target audience is very wide-ranging and you’re interested in reaching more people. In that case, you can review the contest portals and the promotion and discount portals to promote your sweepstakes.


Has this article given you new ideas to how to disseminate and increase the reach of your comments-based Instagram sweepstakes? Then remember, your first sweepstakes is free! ?


Randi Jensen

International Business Developer in Easypromos

Publication date: 2017-09-27