72 – Instagram Giveaway Guidelines

instagram giveaway guidelines

Instagram Giveaway Guidelines – What Needs To Be Considered Running A Social Media Giveaway

So are there any Instagram giveaway guidelines? Yes there are and the more attention you pay to them the more successful your giveaway will be. I am writing these guidelines with an Instagram giveaway in mind but most apply to whichever social medium platform you use and others can easily be adapted. Each platform will also have its own rules and guidelines many of which are briefly covered here but do consult your platform

  • use the correct terminology
  • choose a goal for the giveaway
  • include the brands hosting the giveaway
  • make the giveaway appealing
  • write clear instructions on how to enter
  • include the start and end date of the giveaway
  • state that the platform is not associated with the giveaway
  • include any restrictions
  • decide how to announce the winner
  • state how the prize will be delivered
  • design lots of publicity before, during and after the giveaway
  • hashtag your posts well
  • stimulate engagement in all posts not just the main one

Use The Correct Terminology

There are strict Instagram giveaway guidelines about terminology you can use. Various countries will have laws about rules for contents, giveways etc. This is a ‘giveway‘ because it is free to enter and the winner is chosen randomly. Stick with this terminology. This is different to a ‘contest’ where there might be an element of judging or voting. With all ‘giveways’ you legally need to state the rules for entry clearly.

Choose A Goal For The Giveaway

Every post should have a goal before you write your copy and this is no exception. What is the reason behind your giveaway? Choose one goal and decide whether that should be to ‘increase your audience’, ‘get people to join your mailing list’, ‘get people to find out more about your products’, ‘get people to visit your shop’, ‘get more engagement in your posts’ etc. Once you have a goal you can design your copy and rules to achieve that goal. Use different goals for different giveaways.

Include Names Of The Giveaway Brands

Whilst this may seem obvious people do miss this especially if they have a social media username which is different to their trading name. Instagram giveaway guidelines require you to state the company name of all companies or brands involved in your giveaway.

Make The Giveaway Appealing

To make this work you need to give something away that people want. It also has to be worthwhile for you. Until you have a very large following you might not want to give anything away that doesn’t have a very low cost and large profit margin. As an artist stick to prints, not originals or framed work. Start with smaller sizes that are cheap to reproduce and ship but use a piece that you already know is popular that people will want or give them a choice up to a certain value.

Consider a print that retails at £50 that costs you £10 to print and post for example for a 1k following. Use something bigger if you have a larger following and are expecting better results or consider a set of something if your products are lower value. Write appealing copy to describe the product and photograph it well.

Write Clear Instagram Giveaway Guidelines on How to Enter

The instructions must be clear to follow to be successful. They must be simple so as not to put people off. Most giveways include the following instructions

  • follow me
  • like this post
  • comment on this post to enter

Many then go on to expand on this to say

  • you must mention (Instagram) you to a friend in the post comments

This will hopefully get their friends / followers attention who will come and read your post and then hopefully want to follow you, like the post and mention it to one or more of their friends to be in with a chance of winning too. You can expand further on this and get more attention by insisting that they mention to at least 3 friends

  • mention this post to 3 friends


  • add a separate comment for each friend you want to mention to gain an extra draw entry for each mention

If your goal is to increase newsletter signups your rule might be

  • click the link in my bio to sign up to my newsletter to enter my giveaway

You could also ask for story exposure

  • add a link to my giveaway in your stories to get an extra entry

There are many options but focus on your goal and keep things simple without adding too many or it may become counter productive. Try different combinations with different giveaways

Include the Start and End Dates of the Instagram Giveaway

Followers expect giveaways to run quickly, over 4-7 days perhaps. It needs to be short to keep people focused on it, to create a burst of excitement and to see results quickly but if it is too short then you limit the number of people that will see it and act on it in time. Experiment with your own audience. Clearly state in your rules when the start and end date and times are and include your time zone for the benefit of international customers to avoid disappointment.

State The Platform Is Not Associated with Your Instagram Giveaway

Social media platform guidelines ask you to acknowledge that your giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or associated with them. They do this for legal reasons so that there is no connection to them if anyone feels you have done anything wrong!

Include Any Restrictions

Some people don’t want to ship internationally so may make their giveaway only open to residents in their own country. Try to avoid this if you can to reach a wider audience but clearly state any age, location etc limitations applicable to your giveaway. If, however, you only service certain types of customer including restrictions will help avoid attracting people that you cannot serve and would therefore waste your time and not engage with you as an audience.

Decide How to Announce the Winner

Inform people how and when you will announce the winner in your guidelines so they know what to expect. You should also tell them how their prize will be delivered, will it be shipped, does it need to be collected, will postage be charged. Obviously the easier it is the more likely people will be to enter. Announce it on social media, on your website and in your newsletter.

Design Lots of Publicity Around The Instagram Giveaway

There are lots of opportunities for posts around your giveaway from pregivaway anticipation posts through post giveaway call to action posts. Make use of all the opportunities remembering that not everybody will see every post so you need several to ensure that you are heard!

Research Hashtags

A big component of a giveaway is that you get your existing followers (audience) to promote the giveaway to their own friends and followers, however, don’t overlook hashtags. Research hashtags to use for your posts. These posts, particularly the main post, will get massive engagement compared to your usual posts so the social media platform will likely really promote the post in the hashtags you use because of that so make them count! Strike a balance of giveaway type hashtags with industry specific, brand specific and product specific hashtags. 

Stimulate Engagement In All Posts

Social media platforms promote your posts more so that they are seen by more people if they get more engagement. This includes likes, comments, shares etc. If you stimulate engagement in all your posts around the giveaway by asking a simple question at the end of the post you will help to get that post seen by more people if people answer your question and if you develop a conversation with people around that (I will be writing about this in more detail in the future!).

If all of this seems a bit overwhelming and complicated, don’t worry, over the next few days I will show you some examples of all of this in action so that you can think about running something similar, especially useful at this time of year to grow your audience before your main Christmas marketing push!

Are you planning a giveaway? What will it be?

(Updated 01/02/2021)

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