Instagram for Small Business: 9 Steps to Run an Amazing Instagram Contest

Instagram is one of the fastest-growing social media systems: In just five years old, the community has grown 10 x hours in size, reaching one billion active consumers. Not simply does it have a solid customer base, but its users are also highly engaged.

According to Business Instagram: 80% of users follow at least one label on Instagram, 60% of people discover brand-new products in-app, and 1/3 of “the worlds largest” viewed Instagram Stories are from businesses.

Instagram for Small Business: 9 Steps to Run an Amazing Instagram Contest

Instagram for Smaller Brands

The periods when simply large-scale labels like Starbucks and Nike could render Instagram marketing for business growing are far behind us. With a great number of business-specific features, Instagram has great marketings potential for small businesses.

However, having an Instagram presence isn’t enough to get business ensues; it requires an effective strategy. Although most small and medium-sized businesses realize that proliferation doesn’t happen overnight, you may still want to get faster results.

So what’s the answer? Create your first Instagram contest!

To begin with, let’s find out whether go an Instagram contest is a good thought for a small business or not.

Why Should SMBs Run Instagram Contests?

When it comes to running Instagram contests, most small businesses believe that their business reports don’t have a solid enough following or the engagement to be successful.

At first blush, that induces appreciation but done right, an Instagram contest can bring wonderful results. According to one study, Instagram contests are a powerful tool in a social media marketing toolkit. They have the potential to ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Boost engagement: On median, Instagram contests get 3.5 x times more likes and 64 x times more notes than regular posts. Develop faster: Having a solid Instagram following is a primary goal for many businesses. With Instagram contests, you can grow your following 70% faster than other accounts.

Small businesses can get desired results with races. Wouldn’t it be great if you could construct brand awareness, without spend occasion and money?

If you’ve decided to give Instagram contests a try, that’s great. First and foremost, know the restrictions and requirements for running a game. You should read the official Instagram promotion guidelines first to avoid violating Instagram’s different policies.

Now that you know the promotion guidelines, you want to know where to get started. Here’s a step-by-step guide to your first Instagram contest to follow ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

A Step-by-Step Guide to Your First Instagram Contest:

Step 1: Choose The Primary Purpose of Your Contest

A social media contest is a powerful promotional tool, so it’s all toward achieving your marketing objectives. Before launching your Instagram contest, you need to know what you expect from control it. In other terms, you must have a clear purpose.

Here’s the index of the most common Instagram contest aims for small businesses ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

gain adherents boost commitment grow email listing promote user-generated content increase marketings

Obviously, you can choose more than one goal to accomplish, but bear in mind that passing an Instagram contest isn’t the one-size-fits-all solution to achieving your objectives. Moreover, the participation requirements depend heavily on the primary focus of your game. The more difficult the rules are, the fewer participants you’ll get.

Planning your first Instagram contest, choose one goal and don’t make it difficult for your adherents to enter the contest.

Step 2: Decide on the Prize

People love free stuff! So having an attractive award is a proven way to attract more participates. At the same time, you need to find a relevant booty that can attract the right audience.

Simply threw, you need to choose a prize that’s both valuable for your potential customers and relevant to your label. When ascertaining the awarding for your winners, there are three main factors to consider ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Target audience Contest aim Budget

The idea of running social media contests isn’t new, so there are many Instagram contest examples that can hint at what you can give away. For example, it’s common for small businesses to choose a branded freebie as a award ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

Which one is your favourite? Let’s do a giveaway! We will give away one of each. To participate, please( 1) Like and leave a comment which one you’d like to win and why. How do you think you’d benefit from it?( 2) Tag friends that is likely to like have them too. ?

A post shared by The Happiness Planner( r ) (@ happinessplanner) on Jul 8, 2019 at 5:49 pm PDT

Or you can choose a gift certificate so that the wins knows where to find a product that fits their needs and craves. Here’s an example from Cosabella ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

Be our Valentine, Bellas.? We’re celebrating today with one last-place giveaway, perfect for you and your BFF. Each of you will receive a $100 gift card to Cosabella to treat yourselves this holiday. 1. Follow @ shopcosabella 2. Like this pic, tag your BFF& say what you’d get from @shopcosabella We’ll choose the lucky BFFs tomorrow via DM. This promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram. PC: @lienge. ebisu

A post shared by Cosabella (@ shopcosabella) on Feb 14, 2019 at 8: 06 am PST

Whether you give away your products or gift certificates, you kill two fowls with one stone: you reward participants and give them a chance to try your products( which means acquiring clients for the future !)

Step 3: Select The Right Contest Type

Today, there are a lot social media contest forms: are happy to win, label a friend, photo contest, caption tournament, locating contest, sweepstakes, etc. Once you know the purpose of your tournament and the award to give away, you can choose the contest type that suits your needs.

When it comes to selecting the right contest type for a small business, it’s better to choose something quick and easy. Why? The simpler the contest process is, the more players you can attract.

The common alternative for small and medium-sized businesses is a like/ statement to win sort. For participants, it doesn’t take much hour or effort to like or commentary. For brands, this means a great opportunity to boost organic reach and therefore increase your brand visibility.

Here’s how Story of Roo did it ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

Win a brand new 100 EUR giftcard to our webshop! Follow us+ like this post to enter. We announce the win 28 th July. Good fortune! ?

A post shared by Story of Roo (@ storyofroo) on Jul 21, 2017 at 5:01 am PDT

Remember that the choice game sort should support your primary purpose. That signifies the instance above won’t suit every objective for every company. For example, if you want to grow your email roll, you might opt for a sweepstakes as it’s the easiest way to collect emails.

Step 4: Write Rules, Terms and Eligibility Requirements

Whether you’re a big or small brand, you should run follow Instagram’s governs in order not to be banned.

Writing the rules also helps to tell your participants everything they should know about the contest( how to enter your contest, which prizes they can receive and how, the way the winner( s) will be announced, and the dates of your competition ). In other terms, it helps to answer the most common questions your participants may have and scaped miscommunication with them.

To make your life easier, here’s the complete Instagram giveaway governs guide: Read it carefully and include all relevant information about your tournament in the terms and conditions.

Once you’ve written the rules, you need to think about where to publish them. For example, you can learn from Sloth Saloon and write about your rules below the’ how to enter’ section ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

* WIN PS50/ $50* Correctly solve the equation to get the missing answer. Good luck ??. How to play;. 1. Follow us – @SlothSaloon( we need to be able to content you if you win). 2. Correctly solve the equation to get the missing answer . . 3. Tag three friends you think would like to have a go and win PS50 . . #contest #giveaway #competition #prize #free #cashprize #wincash #mensa #games #giveaway #winmoney #gaming #gaming #onlinegaming #quiz #onlinequiz #inittowinin #puzzles #win #cycling #bikelife #fruit #foodstagram. It’s completely free to enter. Good fortune ??. The Rules. You must 18 times and older to play and follow @slothsaloon . . This rival is independent and is no connection to Instagram and the win will be selected at random tomorrow 12/09/ 19

A post shared by Sloth Saloon (@ slothsaloon) on Sep 11, 2019 at 3:01 am PDT

If your rules are short, that’s great.

If you have a lot to cover, it’s better to find an alternative way to tell your players about the rules as Instagram captions are limited to 2,200 personas.

For example, you can also publish the rules and words of qualification on your blog and invite participants to visit your website. Here’s an example of such a strategy in action ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

Excited to share I’ll be at the Wallingford, CT @Dunkin’ at 1101 North Colony Road this Tuesday for their Peel Party from 9am-11am! The first 50 guests will get a FREE$ 5 gift card to grab some coffee and “Sip, Peel, and WIN” – because August 21 through September 24 everyone who purchases a large or extra-large-sized hot, iced, or frozen beverage are able to obtain a “Sip. Peel. Win.” game piece stickered on their beaker that could be worth anything from a free drink to Keurig( r) Coffee Maker, TVs, talent cards, and some other ah-mazing surprise giveaways. . . NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. 13+ and legal tenants of 50 US and DC. Game piece while renders last. Online Daily Sweepstakes ends 9/24/ 19. Online Grand Prize Sweepstakes aims 11/15/ 19. For game piece and Official Rules, visit Sponsor: Dunkin’ Brands. #sponsored #dunkin #sippeelwin #dunkinct

A post shared by Connecticut YouTuber& Blogger (@ kallie_branciforte) on Aug 26, 2019 at 6:05 am PDT

If you want to create your first Instagram contest, make sure you run it legally so that you can give participants a positive suffer of utilization of social media tournaments. Working on the contest the provisions and requirements can be daunting, but you can use your guide for future reference, so it’s worth it.

Step 5: Create a Branded Hashtag for Your Contest

Hashtags play a key role in increasing organic reach. As clickable words and topics, hashtags make it easier for customers to discover relevant content. When it comes to running Instagram contests, it’s also important to use hashtags for two main reasons: to attract an audience and find your participants with ease.

Working on your competition, “ve been thinking about” a branded hashtag to go along with your giveaway. It must be unique but related to your business. Something like the instance from Cellucor could work well ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

? FRIDAY GIVEAWAY? Here’s your chance to win 1 of 3 cases of C4 On The Go! #C4OnTheGo – To enter: 1. FOLLOW @ cellucor 2. LIKE this photo 3. TAG 3 friends – That’s it! Win will be announced on Tuesday 12/11. US only. No purchase necessary .

A post shared by Cellucor (@ cellucor) on Dec 7, 2018 at 7:00 am PST

Having a unique branded hashtag for your game is great, but it won’t help to increase reach. For that, you need to combine specific and generic hashtags: use common ones like #contest and #giveaway to increase your reach, and a branded one for the navigation.

Step 6: Consider Collaboration with Brands or Influencers

If you’re not a large company, it can be difficult to attract many participants to your competition unless you work with other brands or influencers to help each other. As a small business, it’s more like you don’t have a budget to collaborate with world-known brands or Instagram bloggers who accusation much.

However, you can still reach out to other small businesses that have the same target audience or micro-influencers to offer partnership. When it comes to creating your first Instagram contest, considering collaboration with brands or influencers is a proven way to offer more prizes to your participants and increase reach.

What is more, you can become a giveaway sponsor to get wonderful answers without spending much occasion or burning through your budget.

Case in point: Reusable bamboo coffee cups company Reusaboo teamed up with a micro-influencer Eva, also known as Captain Bobcat Blog on Instagram, to promote its products ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

[?] Instagram GIVEAWAY [?]( Gifted) It is still #plasticfreejuly and let’s tackle now the Big Four to reduce plastic debris.?. The Big Four are the worst offenders: plastic bags, drink bottles, straws and coffee cups.? These are by far the easiest changes to make and you have the biggest impact by swapping them for reusable ones. This is a no brainer and I’m sure a lot of you already constructed changes that will make sure that the problem of the Big Four will be soon eliminated. However, watching fellow humen when out and about – I can be found in, there is still work to do and people to educate?. We have teamed up with @reusaboo to promote and give away one of their sustainable, bamboo coffee cups, that are biodegradable, hot resistant, ensure a great coffee taste and come with one year warranty. One of these bowls with a merriment, cool publish is up for grabs! ?????? To enter the rival, all you need to do is 1. Follow @ captainbobcatblog and @reusaboo 2. Tag a like-minded friend who’d love these too 3. Like this post Good luck? Full T& C apply: this competition ends 22.07.2019 and one winner will be picked arbitrarily. Open to UK inhabitants simply, entrants must be over the age of 18. No cash alternative. Provision of the prize is the responsibility of the publisher. #lifestyleblogger #passonsomepositive #giveaway #competition #enter #win #plasticfree #plasticfreejuly2019 #plasticfreeoceans #bamboo #bamboocup #sustainable #sustainableliving #plasticfreelife #reusable #reusablecoffeecup #takeawaycoffee #nosingleuseplastic #outandabout #ecofriendlyproduct #ecofriendly #ecofriendlyliving #environmentalist #greenblogger #ethicalinfluencers #ethicalbloggerl

A post shared by Eva – Captain Bobcat (@ captainbobcatblog) on Jul 15, 2019 at 3:07 am PDT

Eva passed a tournament on her profile which been instrumental in 487 likes and 338 remarks. That’s great ensues for the company that has 480 followers on Instagram, right?

Step 7: Make an Eye-Catching Visual

Launching your first Instagram contest, make sure you have an eye-catching visual for it. Why? First of all, it’s proven that colorful visuals increase people’s desire to read content by 80%( PDF ).

Moreover, Instagram is a photo/ video sharing platform and its content is the main reason why the network has gained in popularity over the last few years. People are visual beasts, and it’s easier for us to realize visual information.

When the time has come to Instagram contest image, it must have three components to grab attention ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

It depicts your loot It tells about the contest It creates a sense of urgency

Just take a look at an example from Passion Planner. There’s no need to read an Instagram caption to understand that this post promotes a giveaway and its dates. It hooks attention which entails a possibility to attract more potential participants:

View this post on Instagram

We are proud to announce our Community Empowerment Program, where we are giving away 100,000 planners to help empower your community. Are you in? ????? – ???[?][?]?? Are you a teach, coach, business owned, or community commander? Do you want to help make a positive impact in the world? Apply now for a chance to receive FREE* planners for their own organizations! Help empower others to create the life they’ve ever craved with Passion Planner.? – Applications due Monday, 3/11 5 PM PT. Don’t miss out on this opportunity! Link in bio.* Does not include shipping expenditures. U.S. Domestic simply. Tag a friend who’d be interested! ?[?]?[?] – #passionplanner #pashfam #community #empowerment #giveaway #inspiration

A post shared by Passion Planner (@ passionplanner) on Feb 25, 2019 at 12:22 pm PST

Want to know the best part? There’s no need to hire a professional designer to create a similar eye-catching visual for your game – merely use a free and easy-to-use design tool like Crello to customize your image and put text on it just in a few clicks.

Step 8: Work on the Good Instagram Contest Caption

Once your image has hooked Instagrammers’ attention, it’s time to convince them to had participated in your tournament, and an Instagram contest caption plays a major role in it.

Your caption should tell readers about the contest, prizes, principles, and dates. It likewise should create a sense of necessity so that they become participants immediately.

A great instance of this comes from Hippeas Snacks ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

View this post on Instagram

#GIVEAWAY [?] Summer’s not over yet! We’ve teamed up with Bai and HOPE Foods to help you stock up on your favorite snacks for your last-place summer escapades. Enter to win 2 cases of Bai, 3 cases of HIPPEAS, and 6 VIP free product coupons for HOPE foods! Principles: 1. LIKE this post 2. FOLLOW @ drinkbai, @hippeassnacks, and @hopefoods 3. TAG your picnic partner Winner will be announced in specific comments of each brand’s post on 7/22. Open to U.S. inhabitants simply. Must is eighteen +. Good luck! #FlavorLife #Giveaway

A post shared by HIPPEAS (@ hippeassnacks) on Jul 16, 2019 at 12:27 pm PDT

The company knows how to write great captions for contests so that they grab attention, and here’s what you can learn from Hippeas Snacks ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Tell consumers about your game to grab followers’ attention( don’t forget to mention prizes) Add informed of how to enter your contest Explain the rules( briefly) Include a call to action Apply relevant hashtags( up to 4)

Writing your caption, don’t forget to use emojis and break your text up to make it readable.

Step 9: Launch Your Contest and Promote it

Your contest is finally launched. What’s next? It’s time to spread the word about your contest to increase reach and get more participants. If you have a blog or use email marketing, you can promote your Instagram contest via those channels. But if Instagram is your only marketing tool, you need to construct the most out of this system ๐Ÿ˜› TAGEND

Announce your contest via Instagram Stories: With a short lifespan, Instagram Stories create a sense of necessity, so the number of people who watch Instagram Stories daily is growing at a rapid speed. Promoting your race via tales is a great way to make sure your contest didn’t get buried in the feed. Request your partners to promote your game: When you collaborate with other labels or influencers, you enter an already established community of loyal followers who can become your players. Involve your participants into contest promotion: For example, you can give your participants a reason to help you promote your contest like Cape Shark did it with its bonus entry.

View this post on Instagram

GIVEAWAY ??? As a HUGE Thank You for the very best Summer yet we’re doing a GIVEAWAY !! We couldn’t do what love doing if it wasn’t for all of you and we thank you all so so much better! That being said for the last week of August we are giving away our brand-new Heather Cranberry and Heather Autumn T-Shirts& a sticker battalion to TWO lucky winners !? RULES BELOW?? Follow @ capeshark? Like this photo? Tag 2 friends in the comments? BONUS ENTRY! Post this photo in your narrative for an extra entry !!*** #capeshark #capesharkco #chatham #harwichport #falmouth #haynnis #orleans #eastham #capecod #capecodsummer #capecodnights #supportlocal #shoplocal #localsupportinglocal #madeoncapecod #lifeoncapecod #capecodinsta #capecodcompany #igerscapecod #capecodlife #capecodstyle #capecodliving #capecodvibes #capecodcouple #powercouple #ecofriendly #waterbasedink #sharks #giveaway

A post shared by CAPE SHARK CO .( r ) (@ capeshark) on Aug 26, 2019 at 5:42 pm PDT

When planning your first Instagram contest, think about ways to promote it in advance. While there are many cost-effective alternatives to spread the word about your competition and attract more participates, you should plan this activity to get better results.


Running an Instagram contest is a proven way to promote your small business and achieve your business goals faster without spend too much of your budget.

Although it takes time and effort to create your first Instagram contest, the payoff is huge. Moreover, this step-by-step guide are contributing to make the process easier.

If you want more assist with passing your social media races, you can rely on Wishpond to run your contest smoothly.

About the Author

Instagram for Small Business: 9 Steps to Run an Amazing Instagram Contest Val Razo is a freelance SMM consultant with 5+ years of experience who assistances small and medium businesses. Val claims that Instagram has great marketings potential, so she recommends both big and small brands to use this platform for business rise. Follow her on Twitter to stay tuned for more.

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