Running a giveaway on Instagram seems relatively simple, right? You get a great prize, write some simple step to enter, make sure people follow you and pick a person at the end of it all. 

The reality is that there’s actually more to running a successful giveaway.

Now there are two definitions of successful here: 

  1. Having a million people enter and getting a thousand new followers
  2. Having your ideal customers enter that may lead to REAL new business

Here’s why you want #2!

At first glance it might seem great to have so many new followers all of a sudden, and it might even feel like having as many followers as possible is the north star. As a small business owner, this isn’t the case. 

By having a large, but unengaged following, you risk that your posts will be seen by more random people instead of the valuable audience members that actually love your company! Read more about how engagement works on this post! 

YOU WANT CUSTOMERS! There’s no dancing around it. Instagram is to be used as a marketing tool, but what’s the point if it’s not bringing you new or recurring customers?

It may be tempting to grow fast, but the truth is that a small account that is full of engaged, excited and loyal customers will bring a way bigger return on investment over time. 

But how can you make sure your giveaway doesn’t bring in all the random people that will follow just for a prize and unfollow as soon as they don’t win it?!

It’s a tricky topic but we have some tips to help your giveaway succeed!


This is SO important. Especially if you have a very specific niche, a very broad niche, sell a service, sell a product – basically no matter who you are: THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT.

As tempted as you may be, avoid giving something very general. Everyone loves a Starbucks Giftcard or a Restaurant Voucher, and this is the exact reason you have to avoid these. Anybody who comes across this post will want to enter because everyone can use this, but they don’t have to have any interest in your business! You will get followers that will never like a post or buy a product from you, so it’s boosting a vanity metric while ultimately wasting your time.

Instead, giveaway a product or service that you personally provide, OR a product that is very closely related to your niche! For example, a travel agent doesn’t have to give away her services, she could also give away a cute passport holder and luggage tag or a scratch map like @theoutofofficegal did. 

This way the people that follow because of the giveaway are genuinely interested in travels and will be more luckily to use her services down the line. 


Another temptation: a giveaway with 25 other instagram accounts, so that each person that enters has to follow everyone involved! Seems like a great way to get your followers up and reach a lot of people, but again a very risky move. 

First and foremost, these loop giveaways rarely have a specific niche that will fit perfectly to yours, so the people that follow you because of the giveaway will likely unfollow quickly. 

Secondly, these are really annoying for your REAL followers! A giveaway can be a great way to give back to loyal customers, but when they see that they have to follow so many other random people just to enter, they’ll be disappointed and might even lose trust in you and your brand.

Instead, team up with a couple people that you hand-select! Bonus points if they are brands that relate closely to yours but don’t compete or if you have worked with them before just like @blonde_inthedistrict has done. This is still a good way to get the giveaway in front of more people, but they will be higher quality followers. It’s also going to be nice for your followers to be introduced to another brand that they may really love without overwhelming them.


Call out the exact types of people that you want to attract, for example “hey travel lovers!” or “Calling all aspiring photographers”. These terms will help attract people that will genuinely connect with your brand.

If you want people to tag friends to enter, use the same tactic: “tag another mama” like @bravefreetravel wrote. This way, the entrants will be more likely to tag others who might be truly interested in your offerings. 

Include the location if you have a local business! You may be able to send a package with your product, but if you only have 1 brick and mortar store in Calgary, then there is no use of having a person that lives in Toronto. They may love the item, but won’t beagle to buy it or recommend it to most (if any) of their friends.

Use these tips to make sure that you have a giveaway that brings your account more ideal followers! And check out this post to find out how your post can be easily optimized so that it gets seen by more people.


If you’re a realtor, we’ve got the perfect prize for you – choose between a daytime house shoot or a simple home video! A value of $225

Click here to enter!



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