Everyone loves free stuff, right?
Contests with a great prize can help you cultivate brand awareness, gain brand new followers, and otherwise work on building your brand.
Instagram is a social media platform where contests tend to work particularly well.
Not only is the prize appealing (if you do it right), but contests also have that “gamification” factor that gets people hooked in a big way.
But for every Instagram contest that's a massive success, there are quite a few that fall flat.
This can happen for a variety of reasons, but a lot of the time, it's because the brand didn't have a clear road map from the very beginning.
Instagram contests aren't something where you want to just kind of wing it and see what happens.
You need to plan ahead.
This means two things: knowing what you're trying to achieve, and knowing who your audience is.
In an article at Entrepreneur, the founder and CEO of a successful digital marketing company explains what you can do to make sure you have a plan.
Establishing your objectives.
Set your objectives and know what you hope to gain from the contest.
Do you want to get more followers? Build brand awareness or create brand loyalty? Do you want a specific number of mentions or a certain amount of user-submitted content?
The more specific you are with your objectives, the more likely you’ll see positive results.
Come up with a theme that works for you.
Whether it’s seasonal, topical, or something specific to your business, have a clear theme for your contest.
Hashtag it up.
Create a new hashtag for your contest, or use one that’s also being used by one of your competitors or a popular national brand. See what contests your competitors are currently running to get an idea of what seems to be resonating with your desired audience. Take a look at other Instagram contests to get a feel for current trends.
Establish the ground rules.
An effective Instagram contest needs clear ground rules. Post the rules to avoid any confusion or potential issues when winners are selected. You’ll want to determine:
- A clear start and end date
- Eligibility requirements, including any age requirements
- How many winners you plan to have
- Whether or not you’ll announce the winner or just state that a winner has been chosen (which may be a good idea if you’re going to allow participants under 18)
- Prize or prizes to be awarded
- Requirements for entry
You can find more helpful advice about Instagram contests over at Entrepreneur.