Ask Elizabeth: I see people (like you) having giveaways on Instagram and they seem to go over really well. How can I do that?
Today I am excited to talk about one of my favorite social media platforms – Instagram! I’ve been blogging for over 6 years now and I’ve learned a lot along the way (some of those things the hard way! ;)) I love being able to encourage & inspire you on your journey and share what I’ve learned with you!
I’ve hosted numerous giveaways on Instagram over time and it is a great way to authentically grow your audience and connect with new readers who are interested in the content you post! There are so many spammy ways to gain followers on Instagram right now but a well done giveaway is so not spammy and will actually result in quality followers! Hosting giveaways on Instagram is surprisingly easy. With just a couple steps and a little planning, you can soon be on your way to your first Instagram giveaway!
STEP ONE: FIGURE OUT WHAT YOU WANT TO GIVEAWAY
First you need to have something to giveaway on your Instagram. You can achieve this several different ways:
- You buy the Product: If you want to host a giveaway for a mug or a Starbucks gift card, you can purchase the prize and then give it away! This is an investment in your Instagram because you will be able to gain new followers through hosting the giveaway.
- Brand Reaches out to You: Let’s say you are contacted by Nalgene Water Bottles and they want to give you a new water bottle plus give you the option to give one away to one of your readers. You can let them know you would love to do an Instagram giveaway where you feature the bottle they gave you and host a giveaway for the other one. Most times when you are working with another brand they will be in charge of shipping the prize to the winner once you let them know who won.
- You Reach out to Brand: Now this one includes a little bravery. Let’s say that you are so in love with candles from this certain etsy shop. You can reach out to them and let them know you love their product and would love to partner with them for a review and giveaway on your Instagram. They may say yes, no, or just ignore you. That’s why it isn’t always the easiest! Don’t take a no or an unanswered email as too much of a rejection – they may have a really tight budget or be swamped with emails that they just can’t get back to you. We have to make wise decisions for our shops and businesses so we can’t always give out free things BUT sometimes it does fit with their business and they reply back yes! This may help you write that first email: Five Tips for Professional Emails.
STEP TWO: SET UP THE POST
Now that you have something to giveaway, start getting ready for the Instagram post! Here are some things to consider as you set this up
- Take a Photo: I plan a photo shoot for every giveaway I’ll have on my Instagram because I want the photo to look nice and fit in well with my Instagram feed. The nicer the image looks, the more people will want to enter to win! Also, make sure it fits in a represents your brand! We want to host giveaways to find new friends who would like the content we are already putting out. We don’t want to steer too far off track and get a bunch of people on board with a fun comic book Instagram giveaway when you never talk about nerd culture. They will just all leave when they realize that you don’t share stuff they are interested in.
- Write the text: Keep this personal & in your own voice but also make sure to give all the details and keep it simple! Here is a giveaway on my Instagram to use as an example as you write yours! Make sure to announce the giveaway, include the prize, share how people can enter, and tell them when it ends.
- Pick how you want people to enter to win: My go to is to 1. Like this photo. 2. Follow @oakandoats and @brandiamworkingwith on Instagram 3. Tag a friend in the comments below who would love this as much as you! Extra Entries: Keep tagging those friends in separate comments! Some people require people to regram their photo to be entered to win. I don’t like this method (and I never enter giveaways like this) because I’m really picky about my feed and I don’t just post content willy-nilly. By making people regram you may be missing out on people who are interested but don’t want to share that way. The point is to get more eyes on the giveaway (which I get!) but I think you can do that just as well if not better by having people tag friends in the comments. It becomes more personal and a lot of those new freinds will convert into followers.
- Schedule it: Schedule the post for a time that you think more people will be on and that fits with the content you already have on your Instagram!
STEP THREE: PICK A WINNER
There are some softwares out there to help you pick a winner on Instagram but I do it by hand to save money. I take the number of comments and put it into random number generator. That tells me a number (like 14 or 72) and I count all the comments until that number and see who the winner is. I announce it on the posts in the comments and also send them a DM on Instagram letting them know they won and I ask for their email to work out prize details.
That’s it! At the end of all three of these steps you have officially hosted an Instagram giveaway! Have you already hosted one? Do you have tips to share? Are you feeling more confident about hosting an Instagram giveaway?
Photos by: Kaylee Sorrells