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How to Run a Successful Instagram Contest or Giveaway

There's a right way to run a contest on Instagram and there's a few wrong ways. In this article we cover the things you need to do to run Instagram contest properly.

Laura Lewis
4 min read ·

Contests are a great way to reach your audience, reward them for participating with your content and reach a whole new pool of followers. But there are a few things to keep in mind and in this article we're going to outline what you need to do to run that Instagram contest efficiently and effectively.

Instagram contest rules & regulations

Chances are that you've heard running Facebook contests is complicated and there's a lot of rules because there are. But fortunately, Instagram contests are so much easier.

However, there are still a few rules that you need to be aware of:

  1. Use specific release wording
    According to Instagram’s promotion guidelines, your contest should acknowledge that Instagram doesn't endorse the promotion and has no responsibility for anything that may happen to people who participate in a particular contest.
    Here is the wording you can use when announcing the giveaway or contest:
    "This promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram. By entering entrants confirm that they are thirteen plus years of age, released Instagram of responsibility and agreed to Instagram's terms of use."
  2. Ask to tag friends in comments
    You can't encourage users to tag themselves or others in a photo in which they do not appear. The same rule applies to yourself. However, you can tag people in a comment. So saying "Tag a friend below" is perfectly okay they just can't be physically tagged in the photo or video itself.
  3. Disclose all terms and conditions
    You must fully disclose the terms and conditions of the contest or giveaway. This can include things like:
    - start and end date of the contest
    - conditions to enter
    - how the winners will be determined
    - any other defining criteria
    You also want to make sure you've determined those factors before you're ready to launch the contest.

Length of the contest

Choosing the right length will help you to achieve greater results. If you end the contest or giveaway too soon you'll miss out on extra followers. And if the contest ends too far into the future you risk losing the interest of your audience.

The rule of thumb here is anywhere between a minimum of 2 weeks and a maximum of 6 weeks. That's where you get the best performance. Also, depending on the contest's duration, you'll determine how many times you want to post about it to keep your audience's attention.

Use correct terminology

Make sure to use the right terminology. Something like sweepstake or giveaway indicates a random winner and something is given away. Contest insinuates that there is some sort of judging or skills involved.

For example, if I run a contest and said: "Post a photo to Instagram and we will pick our favorite as the winner", that indicates that some sort of judging is going into the determination.

You want to make it clear that you're running a contest include the word contest or giveaway in text on the actual image. Use contest or giveaway in that first sentence even the first word of your caption. Make it clear and obvious that it's not an everyday post.

Select the winner fairly

Once your Instagram giveaway or contest is over you'll need to pick a winner. Instead of collecting all the entrants manually copy-pasting usernames and checking if the winners follow your account you can let our winner picker do all that for you automatically.

Once a winner is selected, Arbitery verifies that they have followed all the rules and provides you with a ready-to-use template for announcing the winners.

Mark the contest as closed

Just that the contest is over doesn't mean that your work is over. What we recommend you to do is to edit the caption for that contest and write closed.

So if somebody sees that contest post they will know that it's no longer valid and won't try to submit another entry or text you asking questions.

Additionally, you want to make sure that you're familiar with any of your local state, provincial, or federal type regulations when it comes to contests, sweepstakes, or giveaways. We don't want you to be in violation of any legal laws either.

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