How to Do a Viral Instagram Giveaway

July 7, 2021

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Who doesn’t love FREE stuff? Social media is a fantastic outlet for you to leverage your (current and future) audience’s desire to get something for nothing. If you’re interested in building your Instagram fanbase and attracting new potential clients, an Instagram giveaway can help you create buzz!

I have done Instagram giveaways since the beginning of IG! Gifting a print to my 500th follower – #instafamous – I ran my first one back in 2012. You can check out my most recent one here. Since then, I’ve tried every different way possible and long story short, the simpler you make your giveaway, the better it will work.

How to Do a Viral Instagram Giveaway with Jai Long

3 easy steps for hosting a successful Instagram giveaway

1. You need to have a single goal

Whether you’re a photographer, florist, graphic designer or in another creative industry, I’m sure running your day-t0-day business while staying on top of your ‘life’ to-dos keeps you busy enough. This is why it’s so important that you spend your time wisely to avoid the risk of being overwhelmed which can compromise your productivity and trigger procrastination.

According to the author of ‘Atomic Habits’, James Clear, scientific research has discovered that implementation intentions only work when you focus on one thing at a time. By sticking to a single IG giveaway goal, you can double down on your efforts and maximise your impact. It will also allow you to tailor your strategy more specifically and better monitor the success of your giveaway.

Examples of Instagram giveaway goals:

  • Book a client
  • Grow your Instagram following
  • Get more engagement on your profile
  • Increase your number of email subscribers
  • Acquire more leads/traffic for your website
  • Create user-generated content (UGC)
  • Populate your Facebook Pixel

Choose a goal that will have the biggest impact on your business, with the potential to influence not just one area but many.

2. Choose a simple, clear call to action

One call to action is more than enough. This determines how users can enter your Instagram giveaway and the simpler you make it, the better. Requesting too many actions from users will discourage them from entering (limiting the size of your entry pool) or not enough users meeting the correct entry criteria. Don’t make people work for it otherwise, they won’t enter.

Call-to-action ideas for your Instagram giveaway:

  • Fill out a form to enter
  • Tag 3 friends
  • Share on stories
  • Follow me
  • Save this post
  • Comment below

Your call-to-action should correlate directly with your single giveaway goal. For example, if you want to grow your IG following, your call-to-action should be ‘tag 3 friends’ or ‘follow me’ and not ‘fill out an entry form’.

Despite my single goal recommendation above, there’s also the option to use bonus entries if you have another mini-goal. This will allow you to still maintain a simple entry method while incentivising users to complete additional tasks to benefit your overall goal.

3. Collaborate with friends and others in your industry

You can partner with your industry friends to host a viral and more marketable giveaway! By collaborating with more people, you can effectively further your reach and make your value more enticing. For example, if you’re a wedding photographer giving away a package, you could possibly partner with other relevant industry vendors that couples could benefit from for their wedding day. For example, a videographer, celebrant, florist, stationery shop, hair and makeup artist, and the list goes on! There are so many possibilities for you to get creative.

As long as you stick to a theme, it’s a great opportunity to help your friends get seen and share the love!

How to Do a Viral Instagram Giveaway

BONUS: 6 more Instagram giveaway tips

🖤 Add a time limit on your giveaway

Make sure you provide users with a clear deadline for entering your giveaway. This will help you to create a sense of urgency and boost engagement rates quicker. You should also state where, when and how the winner will be announced so users can stay in the loop.

🖤 Choosing your winner

To ensure fairness, you should randomly select a winner for your giveaway. Google “Instagram winner generator” or “Instagram giveaway picker” and you’ll find lots of free and paid options to help you pick a random winner. Once you’ve got your winner, make sure you double-check that they’ve followed your giveaway qualification rules.

🖤 Instagram terms & conditions

Aside from determining your own entry rules, you’ll also need to factor in Instagram’s promotion guidelines and your country’s applicable legal guidelines.

🖤 Launching & promoting your giveaway

Your giveaway won’t go viral after creating a single Instagram post, so you’ll need to put in some extra effort to promote it. Check your audience insights for the best posting times to maximise your initial post’s reach. Create ‘reminder’ posts to share throughout your giveaway. Utilise all your online marketing channels such as your Facebook page, email list, and/or a blog post.

🖤 Reviewing your giveaway results

You’ll want to consistently monitor the progress of your giveaway from start to end. This way, you’ll be able to gauge if more effort needs to be put into certain areas. The data you track will be dependent on your giveaway goals. Once your giveaway has concluded, use your analytics data to learn more about your audience such as demographics, geographical location and peak activity times. You’ll gain valuable insights for future giveaways and your overall social media efforts.

🖤 Following up on your giveaway

People will be waiting for the winner to be announced so make sure you adhere to your promised announcement date and share accordingly. Get people hyped and make it exciting, especially for your winner! Remember to also thank all the other entrants for participating and if relevant, give them a heads up on upcoming sales or future competitions.

It’s your turn!

Instagram giveaways are an awesome way to promote your products or services amongst new fans, grow your following, and boost your engagement. As long as you keep it relevant to your business and goals, it’s also a heap of fun! If you’re just starting out, you might also want to read my blog on how to make better use of Instagram.

I hope this post has given you some inspiration for things to try during your first/next Instagram giveaway. Good luck (no pun intended).


How to Do a Viral Instagram Giveaway

Meet the Author

Obsessively wordsmithing and hyping the living daylights out of anything and anyone, Mel is our word nerd and coach from Melinda Harcourt Copywriting.

You’ll also find her regularly dropping hot website/ biz tips inside the Business Map and yelling at people for downplaying their wins (“big” or “small”, every win is still a win).




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