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Best Practices for Competitions

Social media contests or giveaways can deliver powerful results for your business. They can increase followers, generate sales for a product or service, build your community or increase engagement. There are some best practices you should follow in order to get the best results. We’ve personally ran quite a few competitions, and these are some of our best practices that will help increase the success of your competition and the number of entries you receive.

1. Plan Around A Goal

The best way to create a competition is to base it on a goal. Have a goal in mind when developing the competition. Here are a couple different goals:

  1. Encourage your target audience to submit user-generated content.

  2. Increase follower Count: You can use giveaways to build your audience on different social media channels.

  3. Boost Brand Awareness: Giveaways can be a great way to make more people familiar with your brand. To increase brand awareness, you can ask people to tag their friends on your posts.

  4. Drive Engagement: Whatever your ultimate campaign objective is, you’ll end up driving engagement with social media giveaways. That’s because brands usually ask people to like, comment, and share their posts to win the contest.

  5. Promote New Products: Giveaways are a great way to put the spotlight on your new line of products. They can help generate more leads and boost sales.

2. Don’t Make It Complicated

You’ve probably logged into Instagram before and seen a giveaway going on where in order to enter, you have to follow six different accounts, share it to your Instagram feed and Instagram story and comment. Having all of these steps is going to discourage people from entering. It’s way too many steps, and they won’t think it’s even worth entering.

KEEP IT SIMPLE. Don’t make your target audience do a million things to enter. We recommend keeping it between two to three steps. Depending on what goal you select from the previous section, you can then develop a call-to-action for the competition and come up with a certain metric you want to track to see how effective the actual giveaway is.

Here is a great example of a great giveaway run by HydroFlask.

Screenshot via Instagram by Hydroflask

In this giveaway, Hydroflask celebrates reaching 200k followers on Instagram by doing a giveaway. All they asked fans to do is to follow @hydroflask on Instagram and tag two friends in the comments to enter to win a 32-oz. Hydro Flask. That’s it! They kept it super simple and had over 12,600 likes.

3. Choosing a Prize

One of the key points of doing a social media competition is the prize of course! When doing a social media competition, you are asking them to do something for your company. Whether it is liking your page, sharing your post on their story, posting a picture using your hashtag or any combination of these. The chance to win a prize is the incentive for completing these actions. It is important to have a good incentive that is of interest to your target audience.

A big mistake businesses make is choosing prizes they are personally interested in, instead of what their target audience is interested in. If you are tracking your goals, you will likely find your competition doesn’t perform as well as you hoped. We recommend taking a look at your target audience and understand what type of prize would appeal to them.

You can also give a discount code to everyone that enters your competition. By giving a 15 or 20 percent discount to everyone who enters, it gives them more incentive to enter. They know the likelihood of winning the grand prize may be small, but even if they don’t win, they still get a discount! This can help increase entries and revenue.

4. Spread The Reach Of Your Competition

There are a couple ways you can increase the reach of your competition. One way to get your competition in front of more eyes is to put some ad money behind it. If you are doing a social media competition on Instagram, you can boost your post. Set the audience to your target audience and put a couple dollars behind it. Even if you are only putting $10 a day to boost the post, you can still get it in front of more eyes. A little can go a long way.

Another way is to encourage social shares from your competition. Have you ever seen a contest where you are given an extra entry for sharing the contest on your story? From the business side, it’s no sweat to give them an extra entry for helping get more views for your competition!

5. Picking a Winner

When planning a competition, you will need to decide how winners will be chosen and how you’ll notify them. If you run your competition from our tool, there are a couple different ways you can notify a winner. Gigg allows for multiple ways for winners to be selected at the competition level.

  • Random: Winner(s) are chosen at random based on Gigg’s randomized selection.

  • Social Votes: Winner(s) are chosen by the number of votes made by voters during the duration of the competition.

  • Company Choice: Winner(s) are chosen by the host during

6. Get Inspired

Still need some inspiration? You can be more creative and get inspired from what other Instagram marketers are doing, then applying the most successful techniques to your marketing campaigns! Here are some other great examples:

Kopari Beauty celebrated its milestone of garnering 100k followers with anamazing giveaway. While there’s only one winner, the lucky winning fan scored one of every Kopari product AND a Kopari beach towel, hat, and sweatshirt. To enter, followers must comment on the post with their favorite Kopari product and tag a friend.

At Ringly, jewelry meets technology, helping users track fitness activities, mobile alerts from their phone and aiding in guided meditation.

They did a giveaway and to make it even better, Ringly decided to give away two of their Ringly products to the winner and their BFF.

One way to make your giveaway more fun and engaging is to offer a “shared” prize! A shared prize is giving the winner a prize for themselves and another person or friend.

Not only does it make giveaways more fun, but it doubles the chance of entries because it ups the chances people will share it with their friends.


Backcountry is an online clothing brand that sells outdoor gear. To help build brand awareness, they created a contest to bring in more sales and UGC (User Generated Content). Contestants simply had to share pictures of their own best-ever experiences with the simple tag #goatworthy.

Everwell collaborated with seven other health brands to make the ultimate product bundle for their followers. In the caption, they provide an easy entry method and stated that the winner would be announced on June 6th by 3:00PM.

When you’re hosting a giveaway or contest, you have to let people know what dates the campaign starts and ends on Instagram. Participants need to know how many days they have to enter and when the giveaway ends.

The last thing you want is someone entering to win your giveaway, when it ended weeks ago!