They say you can’t get something for nothing, but by running promotional giveaways on Instagram you can come pretty close. By offering your followers the opportunity to access one of your products or services for free, you can get something priceless in return: engagement with your customer base.

Instagram giveaways by nature offer your customers a chance to interact with your brand, whether they’ve just discovered you or have been following you for years. They offer the opportunity for you to extend your brand’s reach by bringing in algorithm-friendly comments and shares, hitting a few of Instagram’s KPIs along the way. And they drive Instagram users to your page, exposing them to your products and personality, which boosts brand awareness both on and offline. Giveaways are also a great way to give back to your customers, letting them know you appreciate their support and that you want to keep it.

Running a contest on any social media platform is pretty straightforward, and Instagram is one of the least-regulated platforms out there when it comes to holding a giveaway. (Check out their list of rules here: There are even a handful of tools, like AiGrow or Gleam, that will do the job of picking the winner for you. So what are you waiting for? Let’s figure out what kind of Instagram giveaway is best for your business.

Why Run an Instagram Giveaway?

There are a few common types of Instagram giveaways out there; in fact, you’ve probably participated in a couple of them yourself already. Here’s a breakdown.

Like and comment to win: The easiest type of contest for your audience to engage with; just prompt them to like and comment (and of course, be following your account) to get entered into the drawing. It takes minimal effort to enter and has a smaller effect on your brand reach than some other types of contests.

Photo caption contest: You post the photo, your followers caption it: easy peasy. Effectiveness may vary depending on the products or services you offer, but if you’ve got a funny photo that’s related to your brand content, it’s a great opportunity to get people talking. Even if there are people who don’t submit captions, if they’re part of the conversation, they’re helping your algorithm.

Tag a friend (or three): Having your current followers tag their friends is a surefire traffic-driver and one of the most guaranteed methods of boosting your presence on Instagram. If even 50 of your customers tag three friends in order to enter your Instagram giveaway, that’s 150 people who now know about your brand who didn’t before. This type of Instagram giveaway is great for experiences— restaurants, shows, escape rooms, etc.— but it can be tailored to any type of product or service.

Submit your own photo: Effectiveness may vary depending on what you sell, but asking folks to show themselves using your products in their daily lives starts a conversation with them that helps build your relationship and makes them feel seen and valued. Also, offering something small (a gift card or small product) in exchange for permission to use their photo, whether they win your Instagram giveaway or not, means this can help generate content for your brand as well.

Hashtag contest: Prompting your customers to create a hashtag for you, whether it’s for a new product or the brand as a whole, is not only a fun way to get your customers thinking and talking about your brand, but to get a peek inside how they think about your products. And as with the photo contest, this offers the chance to start a conversation with your audience (the way simply tagging some friends might not).

Host an Instagram Giveaway with My Content Co

My Content Co knows how to create relevant, engaging, and timely digital content, just like you know how to grow your small business. We specialize in creating websites, blogs, social media posts, and newsletters that are consistent with your brand. Partner with us to keep your Instagram presence timely and relevant, so that you can get back to doing what you do best – running your business. Visit us online or contact us today at 410-324-3934 to get started.