If you take a good look at social media, it seems like that for some social media users, they were born to be successful in the world of social media and everything has always been easy for them. They get promotional products left right and centre and enjoy fame and acclaim daily. Their followers are engaged and their posts are on brand, every time.


But for other users, it seems like social media is a constant struggle, and something that they don’t understand or know how to use successfully. It might seem like there’s some magical mystery to getting more followers, likes and engagement – but it’s actually quite simple. You need to be consistent and you need to post content that your followers actually want to see.


If you’re a model train company – post about model trains and anything else that your customers might want; like a special kind of glue or some such. If you’re a fashion label you post about trends and include your customers modelling your clothing on posts – so long as it’s on brand, it’ll work for you. Plus – a great thing to do for increased clout is to involve your followers. People love getting a little flash of fame, and a cheeky mention or shoutout is a great way to enhance your brand. Your fans will love you for the mention you give them or the picture you post of them enjoying your product or service.


If you are after more reach on social media (and who isn’t, really?) then you need to start looking for other ways beyond the hashtag where you can drive greater engagement and interaction with your brand.


A great way to really get more reach is to hold an Instagram competition where you drive engagement or followers using a compelling prize. In this article we’re going to show you how to generate more interest in your brand by using social media competitions, in the hopes that it helps you to get your business to where you want it to be.


After all, if you’re a business, you need to be using social media to increase your profile and to improve your brand reach. Social media is a great way for big businesses to act small again, and for you to reach out and have a great conversation with your customers on a platform that they use for pleasure and knowledge.


There are a couple of different types of Instagram contests including the following:


  • Like to win contests. You simply ask a user to like an update and they get an entry in the contest.
    • Pros – There are very few barriers in place for people to engage with you. All they have to do is like your brand and then they get an entry, Simple.
    • Cons – There is very low engagement and low consumer connection with a competition like this. People don’t have to spend much time on this to enter which means that they don’t have to be invested in your brand.
  • Hashtag User-Generated Content Contests. You need to create a specific hashtag and then ask people to share photo or event using that hashtag to enter.
    • Pros – Engages your target market and deepens the connection with your brand. Also spreads the reach of your brand because their friends and followers see your picture/entry too.
    • Cons – If the request is too detailed for the competition, people might be likely to disengage with your competition.


How to Create your Instagram Contest

  1. Plan your contest strategically before you start. Set your objectives and be sure to write out goals for the event. The clearer your goals the more likely you are to achieve them. Your objective – whether you want to increase followers or generate mentions of your brand – will determine what kind of contest you choose.
  2. Build your contest. Keep the title short and attractive, create the visual elements to the competition (like posts to share or posters promoting the competition) and keep it all consistent.
  3. Launch your contest. Go for it. Post on Instagram, your blog, website, Facebook… Just get it out there and be sure to keep promoting it to ensure you meet your goals.


You’ll find that a campaign like this can do wonders for your brand. After you have created the competition and it’s live, be sure to monitor the outcome of the competition using a marketing tool like Iconosquare. Without measuring your impact it will be next to impossible to measure your return on investment. And after all – figuring out your ROI is a vital part of measuring the efficacy of your competition. Without this data it will be difficult to tweak your competition for the next time you run one.


Running a competition is a great way to increase the exposure for your brand and to increase your messaging. Depending on the aim for your competition you might enjoy greater engagement or more sales – it’s up to you. Remember that your success will depend on your preparation and follow up, so be thorough for the best results.