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A strong and loyal Instagram following offers a long list of benefits for your brand and business.  But it’s hard to know how to crack the algorithm on this ever-popular social media platform.

Luckily, there’s an easy (and even fun) way to build your following and attract new prospects. We all know that everyone loves to win prizes. So why not host an Instagram contest for your new and future customers?

Though contests are great at any time, they’re especially helpful if you’ve just launched your account or if you’re trying to promote a new product.You can also use them to strengthen your connection with your customers, or to revive a waning following. In addition to boosting engagement, contests are key to building your brand and solidifying your online reputation.

And the best part is, you can do all this without spending a ton on advertising.  For best results, start by getting to know the platform. And of course, a reasonably enticing prize won’t hurt.

Check out the rest of our tips on how to host a successful first Instagram contest

#1 – Choose Your Type of Contest

  • Like to Win

The advantage of this contest lies in its simplicity. For the chance to win, users just need to like a chosen photo.

  • Comments

In this version, we choose the winner from the comments section. Here, your followers have a chance to show off their creativity. You can ask a question and choose your favourite answer, or host a photo caption contest.

  • Repost

Also known as “regramming,” this time, your followers will repost your content in their own feed for the chance to win.

  • Tag a Friend

To enter the contest, participants need to tag a friend in the comments below your photo.

  • Photo Challenge/User-Generated Content

In one of the most popular Instagram contests, participants enter to win by posting a photo on their feed with the brand or contest hashtag. Chaque participant a une chance de remporter un prix.

#2 – Choose Your Prize

In addition to attracting your customers and prospects, your contest and your prize need to reflect your company,

You want to choose a prize that will transform your clients into life-long fans. Consider what kind of offer will be exciting to them.

#3 – Make the Rules

It’s important to define your contest rules at both the internal and external level.  For your internal rules, you need to set up everyone’s roles and responsibilities, as well as key dates, prizes, methods for contacting the winner, and any other details that arise.

Publicly, you need to write out your contest rules and share them with your followers, clients and potential participants.  It is mandatory to publish a compete set of contest rules.  These rules must be fully accessible.  Here are a few examples:

  • Contest DescriptionDefine the contest goals and provide clear explanations on how to participate.  If you want your followers to share a memory with a specific hashtag, you need to be precise.
  • Rules and ParametersIdeally, your complete rules will be available online, on a blog or a web page about the contest.
  • DatesChoose and announce the contest start and end date
  • Company Hashtag This needs to appear on all your promotional content
  • Announcing the WinnerDecide if you want to announce the winner publicly or contact them directly.  If some of your participants are under 18 years old, it is best to announce that the winner has been selected, without revealing their name.

You can link to your rules in your company bio.

Instagram, how to host an Instagram contest, digital marketing

Stay tuned for Linkeo’s upcoming Instagram contest

#4 – Choose Your Hashtag Wisely

Hashtags are fabulous for spreading the word about your contest.  Sometimes followers are even disqualified if they fail to use your campaign hashtag.

Never understimate the power of a good hashtag. You’re looking for something catchy, clear and effective that’s easy to remember and share.

And before you launch your contest, do some research to make sure nobody else has used your hashtag before.

#5—Promotion Time

From start to finish, promotion is key to a successful contest. Alors, on l’assurera avant, pendant et après le concours :

  • Hook: What’s the campaign about? Why is it interesting?
  • Platforms:How will you promote your Instagram contest on other social media platforms?
  • People Do you know any influencers or relevant events you could link to the contest?
  • Timeline:Does your contest stand on its own or is it part of a larger campaign? Is it a regular or seasonal event?
  • Internal RolesWho’s taking care of the contest and how?
  • Obstacles:Can you foresee any challenges or unexpected risks?
  • Interest: How can you keep your followers motivated throughout your entire contest?

#6 Data and Reports

To make your contest worthwhile, you need to determine your most important indicators and how often you will analyze them:

  • Number of participants and comments
  • Level of engagement
  • Number of followers
  • Traffic to website and homepage
  • Purchases and products testing
  • Positive and negative feedback

Try it for yourself and see how an Instagram contest makes for a wonderful promo event.

Bon à savoirHandy Tip

If you want your contest to be legal, in your contest rules, it is ESSENTIAL to post that Instagram is not affiliated with your contest.  To learn Instagram’s contest promo rules Click here.