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Instagram is a photo and video sharing site that attracts a wide audience. Instagram may seem like a place where only niche businesses like those in the fashion or food industries can succeed, but it’s definitely not a network you should rule out.

Instagram is primarily a mobile app that has to be downloaded to a mobile device before you can sign up for an account. Currently, there is no way to create a business-specific account, so business and personal accounts are created and function in the same way (though how you use it for your brand is up to you).

Do you want more engagement on your Instagram profile?

Have you considered rewarding your followers with a giveaway?

Instagram contests give people an entertaining reason to interact with and promote your business and products.

Here’s four Instagram Contest Ideas to get you started, just be sure to follow Instagram’s Promotion Guidelines.

#1: Host a Like-to-Win Contest

One major factor in finding success on Instagram is getting those magic likes to start rolling in. A “like to win” contest is an easy way to do that. Simply post a contest image (usually a graphic explaining the contest) and tell people to like it to win. Then pick a random winner from among the likes, comment with the winner’s handle, and boom, you’ve created a contest.

When you post the contest image, add several related industry hashtags to capture an audience and don’t forget to include #contest and #giveaway, which will help you get some followers quickly. A great contest with a compelling prize can dramatically expand your audience on Instagram.

A series of like giveaways is the best way to go because it helps build momentum. One-offs tend to be less effective. People will come back again and again to your page if you offer contests regularly. Regular giveaways give followers lots of chances to win, and more importantly, multiple chances to engage.

It’s important to require entrants in like contests to also like your page, in addition to liking the image.

A simple like contest on Instagram can help you quickly create excitement around and interest in your page. The best part? It’s easy for everyone!

#2: Launch a Selfie Contest

In a selfie contest, you invite people to post photos of themselves using your product, posing in unique locations, or showing off your logo.

Selfie contests on Instagram do a wonderful job of connecting your audience to your product and putting social context around your marketing. There’s no better example of personal engagement with a product than through a selfie contest.

If your product isn’t physical, that doesn’t mean a selfie contest won’t work for your business. Human Foosball ran a selfie contest that capitalized on its audience and that serious gameface.

Don’t forget to announce the winner with an image on your Instagram. People love to see that someone actually won and it generates momentum for future contests.

The cool thing about selfie contests is that the content comes from users rather than you. This frees up your time and energy for other projects, while also showcasing your customers.

#3: Run a Hashtag Contest

Like so much of social media, Instagram is built on hashtags. In a hashtag contest, ask people to post photos and require they use your hashtag. Then you just search for the hashtag and choose the winner.

This kind of contest is particularly good for branding purposes and getting your name out there. The reach doesn’t come from you but from your followers’ audiences (their friends and their friends’ friends). A combination of hashtag and voting can generate tremendous results by encouraging users to come back again and again, tag their friends, and dramatically increase the reach of the brand.

Hashtag contests are a perfect way to tap into the viral nature of social media and they work wonderfully for growing your Instagram following.

#4: Design a Voting Contest

With voting contests, ask Instagram users to submit photos to your hashtag and then have other people vote on the best photos through likes or comments. The photos could be of anything to do with your business. Whoever gets the most likes or votes wins! It’s that simple.

This kind of contest encourages users to get more deeply involved with your product, as they have a stake in pushing your reach wider. That kind of investment can offer exponential results.

A voting contest is more involved than the Instagram giveaways mentioned above. If you want folks to do something for you, you need to offer something compelling as a prize; the bigger, the better. It’s also critical that you spell out the rules explicitly on your Instagram.

Running a voting contest requires more involvement from you. You’ll need to keep track of each entry and the number of likes, and in the case of the example above, be sure the rules have been followed. In return for that effort, you’ll get a truly expansive level of engagement not only by the participants, but from their network of friends as well.

Running Instagram contests can help you increase your reach and improve engagement. Get creative and allow users to share what matters to them. This could be things like artwork, photos with friends, or pictures doing things that they love.

Want even more Instagram contest inspiration? Call My Brother Darryl for a free consultation.


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