Top 5 Ways to Promote Using Instagram

Many fashion and lifestyle bloggers on Instagram are gaining brand awareness and followers through giveaways. It’s a simple idea, but an effective one!  I have entered several Instagram promotions and even won a Starbucks gift card for being one of the first followers to direct message a blogger. Contests and giveaways are simple ways to reward followers and expand your social media presence. With over 500 million active users and approximately 15 million registered businesses on Instagram businesses can tap into that audience and, for a relatively low cost, build brand awareness, create a larger following, and generate more social media “buzz”.

Here are five Instagram giveaway ideas for businesses.

1. Tag a Friend Giveaway

When you first announce your event on Instagram, tell users to tag a friend in the comments section who they want to bring to the event. Tell users who comment they will be entered to win a gift card or item to your business.

  • Example: Rocket Surgery, a new Greenville, SC restaurant, had its grand opening and Sidewall Pizza (their parent restaurant) told Instagram users to tag 3 friends in the comments to be entered to win a gift card. Their followers did the advertising for them and raised a lot of awareness for the grand opening.

rocket surgery grand opening

2. Event Hashtag Promotion

Create a hashtag that is brand relevant but also specific for your business’s event and enter users into a drawing if they use it. This tactic creates user engagement with your business’s page while staying brand relevant.

  • Example: Tandem, a local Greenville, SC creperie and coffeehouse, created the hashtag #eatforgood when they had a fundraising dinner. They posted three pictures with the hashtag, two prior to the event and one after, and encouraged others to do the same. This wasn’t a giveaway, but it did raise awareness for the event by generating conversation about the fundraiser.

tandem fundraiser

3. Exclusive Instagram Offer

An Instagram story is where users can post videos or photos to a feed that is visible to followers for only 24 hours. Post giveaways or offer codes exclusively on your stories. This provides an incentive to frequently check your content and it rewards your most loyal followers who do just that!

  • Example: J.Crew revealed their new products through their stories only to their Instagram followers for a special sunglasses event.

j crew sunglasses

j crew sunglasses

4. Make a Video Contest

Allow your audience to create their own videos for a contest. This can either be via an Instagram story or a post. The best video will win a gift card, product, or cash prize.

  • Example: Oreo’s followers were encouraged to post videos of their participation in their Oreo Games (a virtual event), for a chance at a prize of $100,000. This contest promoted their brand and product and stimulated audience engagement.

Here is one of the winning Oreo Games videos.

oreo games competition

5. Post a Story or Photo Contest

Ask your followers to post their own story or photo related to your brand’s product or event and enter them into a giveaway where the winner is chosen randomly. This can be more casual and organic than a video contest that requires more social media skill and tech savvy. Users can post while at the event or using the product and don’t have to worry about being the best. This encourages increased participation from followers to help spread the word about your business.

  • Example: Dunkin Donuts asked users to post special memories with their Dunkie for their Valentine’s Day event. The winner won $2,500 and a year’s worth of coffee and donuts.

Ultimately, building a greater social media presence on Instagram can generate more revenue for a business. How much revenue, you ask? According to The Social Club, Businesses with 5,000-25,000 followers can expect $50-250 in return for each post and businesses with 25,000-50,000 followers can expect $200-450 in revenue per post. This is a significant amount considering the low costs of posting on Instagram and providing prizes for giveaways. Not a bad trade-off, right?

Unsure where to start? We specialize in creating engaging social media posts and ads for our clients. Contact Harris Quinn by email at

Catherine Luke – Content Creator

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