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How to Run a Giveaway

client features content planning giveaway instagram ideas social media Oct 17, 2021

So you want to run a giveaway on social media. Sounds easy enough, right? You choose the product, service, or special offer you’re giving away, people comment, you pick a winner. Bada bing, bada boom.


Not so fast! Depending on the prize, your number of followers, and the timing, there are actually a lot of moving pieces when running a successful Instagram giveaway. Let’s break it down. 


Solo vs. Collaborative Giveaways

You can absolutely run an independent giveaway on your social media page. Alternatively, you can team up with another related business or two to expand the giveaway’s reach and, hopefully, gain some new and genuinely-engaged followers. The con of coordinating with another business is just that: more cooks in the kitchen could be more trouble than it’s worth. 


Our advice: Try it both ways! You could begin by teaming up with a local business who already slays the giveaway game. Next time, try hosting your own solo giveaway—or vice versa.




How to Enter Your Giveaway

If you’ve ever entered an Instagram giveaway yourself, you’d be familiar with the basic structure. You enter by liking the post, following the account, and tagging a friend or three in the comments. But when running a giveaway yourself, watch out for any nuances. If you give bonus entries for sharing to Stories or claim “only one entry per follower,” be mindful of how you’re going to track that.


Our advice: Keep it simple. “To enter, follow us, like this post, and tag a friend.”


How Long to Run your Giveaway? Depends on the Prize

Typically, the duration of a giveaway should reflect the value of the prize. You’ve probably experienced it—your Instagram feed showing you three-day-old content that’s no longer relevant. (Fun!) By running a giveaway over the course of a few days, you’ll have a better chance of getting it in front of as many eyes as possible. 


To help followers notice your giveaway, share the initial post to your Stories daily, reminding folks to tap through and enter to win. Be sure to direct people to the original post to enter, since the winner will be selected from that post alone.


Our advice: For a smaller giveaway, 24 to 48 hours is an appropriate length of time. Drum up some quick excitement, pick a winner, and carry on with your regularly-scheduled social programming.


Announcing a Winner

Before you can announce a winner, you have to choose a winner. Depending on how many people enter your giveaway, you could take a video of yourself physically drawing a name from a hat and post it to Stories. People not only love a behind-the-scenes look, they love seeing that a giveaway is real, not rigged. 


If you have too many entries for a hat, there are sites that allow you to input data and randomly select a winner. On the flip side, you can always ask a friend to pick a number between 1 and however many entries you have—then count your way through the comments to find your winner. 


Our advice: However you choose, announce the winner in Stories. That way, the winner will only be tagged for 24 hours and not permanently attached to one of your in-feed posts. 


Have other questions about running an Instagram giveaway? Let’s hear ‘em! 

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