How to Create Giveaways on Instagram: 10 Things to Keep in Mind

Posted in: Digital marketingLast update: 14/04/21

Instagram giveaways have been growing in popularity for a number of years, and today they form part of users’ daily Instagram experience. Users expect their favorite brands to run giveaways among their fans. In fact, almost all brands use giveaways to gain more followers, increase visibility, and maintain engagement with their community. Let’s look at 10 important things to keep in mind when running giveaways on Instagram.

The concept of Instagram giveaways is simple: a brand raffles a prize among its followers by randomly picking a winner or several winners. Easypromos provides a variety of products that enable you to manage your giveaways. We’ve also prepared step-by-step tutorials which explain how to do it.

However, there are some parts of the process that may confuse those looking to organize their first giveaway on Instagram. Let’s take a closer look at some of these aspects.

1. Who can run giveaways on Instagram?

In theory, any user can organize a giveaway on Instagram. But only those with business profiles can automatically export comments or use tools such as Easypromos to manage their giveaways. This limitation means that the majority of Instagram giveaways are created by business profiles. 

Only businesses can create Instagram business accounts. Your company must have a Facebook page to be eligible for a business account.

Having a business account means the following:

  • You can export all the comments from a post..
  • It’s possible to run a giveaway by pulling comments from multiple posts.
  • Pull comments from sponsored Instagram posts.
  • Organize multiple draws from a single post.

In addition to the advantages they bring when running promotions on Instagram, business profiles provide the following benefits:

  • Access to contact options directly from the Instagram profile.
  • Access to advanced profile statistics.
  • The ability to promote posts and advertise on Instagram.

Therefore, from our point of view, the first thing to do if you wish to organize an effective giveaway on Instagram is to make sure your account is a business one. You can always change your account back to a personal one later if you choose to.

2. Types of dynamics for running giveaways on Instagram

There are three dynamics for running giveaways Instagram:

Comment giveaways. a contest for all users who comment on one or more of the brand’s posts. These comments may include tagged friends. The comments giveaway is the most-used dynamic and the one we suggest you start with.

Mention + Hashtag giveaway. Promotion for users who create a post on their account and mention the organizing brand in the post.

Hashtag + Entry Form Giveaway. The user publishes a photo on their profile with the campaign hashtag, fills out a form with their contact details, and accepts the T&Cs. Simply put, it’s a photo contest on Instagram.

These basic dynamics can be made more sophisticated, but the principle is always the same: decide whether the giveaway should be based on comments made on one of your own posts, or whether you want users to publish a post on their own profile.

The following dynamics are NOT possible on Instagram:

  • Giveaways among all followers. Instagram doesn’t give automatic information about who follows an account, so you can’t run a giveaway among all your followers.
  • Giveaways in Stories or Reels. Instagram doesn’t provide information about comments or reactions made in response to a Reel or Story. It means that it’s not possible to run giveaways for Stories or Reels. However, Easypromos always keeps up to date with changes to the Instagram platform – we’ll let you know as soon as Instagram applies changes to these rules!

3. Instagram giveaways with a hashtag

Can you organize a giveaway among all users who have used a specific hashtag? Unfortunately not. In December 2018, Facebook changed the way in which external app developers can access Instagram content. It’s no longer possible to see which users uploaded content with a specific hashtag. You can see the photo or video that accompanies the hashtag but not the user who posted it, making it impossible to automate the process. In addition, it is not possible to collect content that is more than 7 days old.

So what options are available for running a hashtag contest? One option is to ask users to mention the brand in the description of their participatory post. This works because Instagram does allow you to see which accounts have created posts with mentions. As well as mentions, hashtags can be included in the descriptions, which is why hashtags are included in most contests where mentions are required. Easypromos enables you to apply advanced filters in mention and hashtag contests. For example, you can run a giveaway among all users who have mentioned the brand and added a minimum number of hashtags, or who have correctly predicted a sports result via hashtag (#TeamAWins o #TeamBWins).

4. Giveaway activation moment

Because you can pull comments any time, management of a comment giveaway can be done once the giveaway has ended. In other words, the organizer can publish the post to Instagram and visit Easypromos to choose the winner once the period has ended.

When it comes to a Mention + Hashtag giveaway, you must activate the promotion at the start of the campaign; mentions and hashtags are monitored in real-time and the Instagram API doesn’t allow you to retrieve past mentions. So if you publish a mentions giveaway on Monday and you don’t activate the promotion on Easypromos until Wednesday you’ll have missed out on all the mentions made on Monday and Tuesday.

When running a giveaway on #Instagram, it’s the organizer’s responsibility to share terms and conditions. Click To Tweet

5. Legal bases and terms of use

According to Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines, it’s the responsibility of the organizer to publish the official rules and terms and conditions of the giveaway. In addition to the general rules, the terms and conditions should explicitly include the following points (copied verbatim from Instagram’s guidelines):

  • A complete release of Instagram by each entrant and participant.
  • Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

Easypromos provides a free tool to enable you to create and host legal bases for online promotions, designed to provide legal coverage to sweepstakes carried out on Instagram and other social networks.

6. Certificate of validity for Instagram giveaways

Naturally, some participants of Instagram giveaways may have doubts about the winner selection process. To avoid suspicion and to furnish the giveaway with maximum transparency, Easypromos has introduced the concept of a Certificate of Validity.

The Certificate of Validity is a document that the Easypromos platform automatically generates in order to guarantee that the winners have been selected randomly and that the results obtained have not been tampered with. 

The Certificate of Validity is published so that anyone can see it. It also records all movements related to the selection of the winner. For example, if a user who does not meet the requirements established in the terms and conditions, the Easypromos system enables you to replace this winner with an alternate. This substitution will also be reflected in the giveaway’s Certificate of Validity.

In addition to the certificate, Easypromos also provides video animation that visually simulates the act of conducting the giveaway. Publish the video as a post, story, or via a link in the account’s bio. The video and the Certificate of Validity are both provided for the same reason: to inspire confidence and guarantee that the giveaway has been carried out fairly and squarely.

7. Giveaways with other brands or influencers

It’s a common practice to run giveaways in collaboration with other brands or influencers. The most common dynamic is as follows: a brand publishes a post from its account and asks users to comment on it to enter the giveaway. At the same time, the other organizing brand publishes a similar post. All users who have commented on either of the two posts enter the giveaway; in other words, all the comments on the two brands’ posts are grouped together.

Easypromos provides an application that facilitates the whole process of consolidating comments and assigning winners. Use this application both for sweepstakes organized by different brands, as well as for influencers. The key to the process lies in an integrated system of collaboration between different accounts in which mutual exchange of connection credentials (username and password) is not necessary. This means that if you organize a giveaway with influencers, the influencers won’t need to share their usernames and passwords with you so you can retrieve the comments on their post. Find out more about influencer giveaways: How to Organize a Giveaway with Influencers on Instagram.

8. Giveaways with other social networks

Easypromos enables you to run a Multi-Network Giveaway for all users who have commented on one or various Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, or YouTube posts.

The fundamental point in this type of action is that the participation mechanism must be comment-based since this is the common functionality that all these networks share. The system will import all comments from the selected posts and run a single giveaway among all participants. In the list of comments generated after importation, you can see which network each comment came from.

9. Information about participants

The only information that Instagram provides about participants is username, comment and date of comment.

This is why it’s important to note that you won’t be able to generate leads or obtain contacts for your newsletter from an Instagram giveaway. Instagram giveaways serve to strengthen the connection you have built with your community within the social network itself. If you wish to obtain more information from your participants, like their basic contact details, or their consent for receiving commercial or promotional material, you should set up campaigns that include explicit registration. You can organize these campaigns with Easypromos, too. Examples include games, Photo Contests, Video Contests, Writing Contests, Spin the Wheel, Surveys, or Distribute Coupon Codes.

In order to facilitate contact with your winning participants (especially if there were many participants), Easypromos provides the Claim Your Prize tool. This enables you to publish a page containing the list of winners, where users can identify themselves using their Instagram username/password and leave their details using the specially enabled contact form. If any non-winning user tries to claim a prize that doesn’t correspond to them, the system will detect it and prevent them from completing the prize-claiming process. 

10. Avoid identity theft

There’s a lot of talk about TikTok and Twitch lately, but Instagram continues to grow. In 2020, it had about 1.2 billion users, making it the most-used social network after Facebook, YouTube, Instagram and FB Messenger.

Figures like these mean that business opportunities on Instagram are endless. But unfortunately, they also attract pirates seeking to take advantage of people’s enthusiasm and goodwill. In recent years we have observed a proliferation of fake giveaways and identity theft used to obtain contact information. The most common example of this is when an opportunist creates a duplicate of the main brand’s account, publishes a copy of the giveaway post, and asks users to leave their contact information in order to participate. 

How can you avoid having your identity stolen or your Instagram profile copied?

First of all, it’s worth noting that these copies or imitations are usually quite crude and aimed at inexperienced users. Nonetheless, it’s a good idea to follow these recommendations:

  • When possible, ask Instagram to verify your account. In this way, you’ll get the famous blue check next to your username so that when a user visits your profile, he or she will know they’re interacting with the right account. 
  • Publish the terms and conditions and don’t ask for too many entry criteria. For example, a comment with a couple of mentions is reasonable, easy to obtain and communicate.
  • Make it clear in the description of the giveaway that you will use the Easypromos Claim Your Prize to contact winners.
  • Carefully read our “Guide to Identifying Fake Giveaways on Instagram and Knowing What to Do”

We hope that these tips help you create your first Instagram giveaway. Remember that your first promotion with Easypromos is totally free, so you can familiarize yourself with the system and experience the advantages of using a tool to manage your giveaway. 

If you have any questions we’ll be happy to help!

Miquel Bonfill

Co-founder at Easypromos

Publication date: 2021-04-14