With over 300 million users sharing approximately 70 million photos each day, Instagram, has quickly become one the most popular social media networks. With that many photos being shared daily, how can you stand out from the crowd? One of the simplest ways to increase following, increase engagement and stand out from the crowd is by hosting an Instagram contest. Instagram contests are an easy way to engage with followers and potential new followers, while showcasing your brand as 'fun' and 'personable'. Before launching your contest, you'll want to put some thought into the logistics. What is my end goal? What kind of contest should I run? Should there be a theme? What kind of prize should I giveaway? We're here to answer all of these questions.
Depending on your end goal, whether it be gaining followers, engagement or both, there are different types of contests you could run. A 'Like-To-Win' or a 'Follow-To-Win' contest in which followers simply 'Like' a photo you've posted or 'Follow' your account would be an easy way to gain followers in hopes of future engagement. If you're looking to gain followers and increase engagement then you might want to consider a 'User-Generated Hashtag' or 'Enter-To-Win' contest, in which users have to share a photo and/or include a hashtag. This type of contest is great for reach, but let's be honest, asking people to put in more time and effort (a high barrier of entry) in your contest means that you'll need a great prize or you will have less overall participants. However, using a hashtag is great for several reasons: 1) you're able to easily search entries, 2) allow other users to see participation in your contest and 3) it can bring cleverness and fun to your contest theme. Having a theme for your contest is more than just fun, it gives your brand a sort of purpose for doing the contest in the first place. When deciding on a theme, think holidays, current events, and relevance to your brand. Finally, you'll need to give away a prize. Ideally, you'll want to give away a prize that will encourage users to enter the contest and will also promote your brand. A great example would be a company t-shirt or gift card.
Here's an example of a previous client, Rich & Bennett. We created an Instagram contest to engage with their audience and promote ticket sales for their annual St. Patrick's Day Pub Crawl. A few weeks before the crawl, Rich & Bennett hosted a contest on Instagram asking people to share photos from previous St. Pat's pub crawls that they've attended and to use the hashtag #StPatsThrowback for a chance to win a t-shirt for the upcoming crawl. The contest had a relevant theme that was successful in encouraging the audience to engage with Rich and Bennett's account, as well as promoting the upcoming pub crawl to others.
Tips to keep in mind:
- Make sure your hashtag is unique.
- Promote the contest on other social networks throughout the duration of your campaign.
- Show the prize.
Have any tips for Instagram contests? Tweet us your ideas and success stories at @SocialApeMktg!
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