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Are your Instagram followers not engaging with the content you post? Do you sometimes feel that the efforts you put into this social media outlet are in vain?
So, how about running an Instagram sweepstakes to strengthen your relationship with your target audience and get more likes at the same time?
Instagram is one of the most popular social media outlets in the world with over a billion users, according to Statista data. That’s why there’s no mystery as to why more and more brands are focusing their attention there.
The problem is that the platform’s algorithm favors posts with a lot of likes and comments. So, small businesses and accounts with few followers go unnoticed on the network.
In this context, running Instagram sweepstakes can help you gain more visability on this social network. And we’re not only talking about likes and new followers, but also about more engagement.
With this in mind, we’ve gathered everything you need to know on the subject, such as the best tools and the rules for contests on the platform.
Let’s get started?
What are Instagram sweepstakes?
Instagram sweepstakes are promotional actions valid for a limited time to promote a brand’s product or service.
It works like the promotions run by physical businesses, such as the traditional coupons and contests. The difference is that instead of someone manually drawing winners from a box, the process is carried out through an app.
To participate in an Instagram sweepstakes, participants need to follow the brand’s profile page, then like a post or comment and pass it on to a friend, according to the rules determined by the brand.
Why run Instagram sweepstakes?
You’ve probably seen – or even participated in – some type of social media contest. But do you know why so many brands and companies adopt this practice on their profile pages?
As you can imagine, running a promotional event on Instagram provides a ton of benefits. Below, you can check out a few of them:
More engaged followers
As you may have noticed, most Instagram contests require followers to interact with the brand’s page. This may include liking or commenting on a specific image, for example.
This type of action increases user engagement, in other words, the followers start interacting and relating more with the page. With this, the platform’s algorithm understands that the brand’s posts are more relevant, making them appear in more people’s feeds.
More visibility online
Another very common way of running sweepstakes on Instagram is to ask followers to tag one or more friends in a post’s comments.
With this, the post is seen by more people, increasing the brand’s visibility on the network. And the more users exposed to the brand, the greater the number of followers, likes, and comments!
Closer relationship with your audience
Everyone likes to get a gift, right?
Running sweepstakes and contests on Instagram is a way of strengthening and improving your relationship with your followers.
When the prize is relevant, the action, besides stimulating your followers’ desire to win, will make them feel valued.
How to run an Instagram sweepstakes
See how this type of strategy can be great for your business?
But, in order for your Instagram contest to work, it’s essential that you plan it carefully.
With this in mind, we’ve listed the 5 steps you need to follow when running this type of contest:
1. Set your goal
Like any online marketing strategy, the first thing is to keep in mind what you want to achieve with the sweepstakes.
When you set a clear goal, you can accurately determine what steps need to be taken to achieve it.
Instagram sweepstakes can help your business in many ways. But the most common goals are:
- Gain more followers
- Increase traffic (directing Instagram users to your website, blog, or a specific landing page)
- Create more engagement on the profile
- Sell a product or service
- Promote a brand launch or new feature.
2. Determine the prize and number of winners
Now that you know the results you want to achieve with the sweepstakes, it’s time to decide on the prize.
Ideally, you should reward the winner (or winners) with products or services from your own business, or that relate in some way to your brand.
By doing so, participants will have greater identification with your business and the solutions it offers. In other words, they won’t stop following or interacting with your profile after the contest has a winner.
In this sense, get to know your persona. This makes it easier to choose the best approach for your sweepstakes.
Another important detail is the number of winners. There are no rules, but it is important to evaluate if you’ll be able to afford to give prizes to multiple winners.
3. Create the rules
Now it’s time to define what the participants need to do in order to compete for the prize. In other words, the means necessary to achieve the goal you chose in the first step.
And since the possibilities are practically infinite, what counts here is creativity.
You can create an exclusive hashtag for your contest and ask your followers to post photos using it.
Besides creating a unique identity for your brand, hashtags also work as keywords. In other words, they make it much easier to find your product, business, or service on the network.
Other very common tactics during an Instagram contest are:
- Follow the profile: This one helps increase a brand’s reach and number of followers the most. It also works if combined with other criteria
- Like a post: Just ask users to like the promotion’s official photo to participate in the sweepstakes
- Tag one or more friends in comments: This is another technique that helps increase the brand’s number of followers and reach on the social network
- Answer a question: This is a classic and very efficient criterion to increase users’ engagement with the brand
And, of course, don’t forget to set a start and end date for the promotion, when the draw itself will take place.
No matter what the purpose of your Instagram sweepstakes is. The criteria and rules need to be quite clear to avoid confusion.
4. Promote the sweepstakes
With the rules ready, start promoting your Instagram sweepstakes. Create an attractive image and write a killer copy!
In order to increase participation, it’s also worth announcing the promotion on other channels, such as the brand’s social media, blog, website, and e-mail marketing.
Keep an eye on the times when your audience is most active on the internet to ensure maximum views.
And use all Instagram’s features to promote your sweepstakes, such as Stories and Reels.
5. Analyze and announce the results
The moment that your followers have been waiting for has arrived – the announcement of the winner or winners.
Before announcing who won the prize, make sure you check that the winner(s) didn’t violate any of your promotion’s rules.
With everything in order, announce the names of the winner(s) and contact them by direct messaging.
And, in order to make your sweepstakes exciting and unforgettable, one tip is to announce the winners on a livestream on Instagram.
Are there rules for sweepstakes on Instagram?
Believe it or not, Instagram has its own guidelines for sweepstakes and promotions run on the platform. You can check all of them by clicking here.
The platform recommends that you not encourage users to tag themselves in photos in which they aren’t included, for example.
Plus, Instagram recommends that when you run sweepstakes, you make it very clear that it isn’t promoted, sponsored, or managed by the platform.
And that’s not all. It’s important to pay attention to Federal Government rules for the distribution of awards.
Failure to comply with guidelines may result in fines and even the loss of your Instagram account.
3 Instagram sweepstakes platforms
Now that you know everything about Instagram sweepstakes, how about getting to know the best sweepstakes websites and apps?
We’ve listed 3 platforms. Check them out below:
Our first suggestion is Shortstack, a one-stop service for running contests on social media.
This is a powerful tool where you can even create landing pages specifically for your contests.
AppSorteos is a free tool that is quite easy to use.
After you create an account on the platform, you register the Instagram account on which you want to run the sweepstakes, select the post and that’s it! AppSorteos randomly selects a winner.
Wishpond is paid, but it has certain exclusive advantages and features.
The app is quite complete and can be used on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and even on your business’ website.
In addition, Wishpond can be used for promotions that are more complex, such as photo, video hashtags, and text contests.
Now that you know how to create an Instagram sweepstakes, keep learning how to use social media to make your business take off.
Did you know that you can sell on Instagram and that it also has a type of virtual store? No? Make sure you read our full article on the subject. Just click here.