5 Jun

5 Tips for a Successful Instagram Contest

A strong social media presence is essential to success as a modern retailer, but it can feel impossible to grow your Instagram following in a world of ever-changing algorithms and skyrocketing costs for paid advertising. Hootsuite reports that 60% of Instagram users find new products via their feed, and the platform boasts a much higher interaction rate per post than other social networks.

But how can customers find your boutique’s Instagram account—and then make purchases—in the first place? If you don’t have the budget or the marketing background to invest heavily in paid advertising, an Instagram giveaway can be a low-cost and highly effective way to gain new followers and boost your boutique’s online presence. Here are five tips for an Instagram contest that will help you gain engagement and followers on social media.

1. Maximize Your Exposure with Partners

Before you kick off your contest, consider bringing on a few partners to broaden exposure for the giveaway and create a more substantial prize package. Well-chosen partners can increase the visibility of your contest and your brand by advertising it to their unique followers. That means you’re more likely to gain new followers over the course of the contest as different users see your brand for the first time.

The most important part of contest partnership is relevance; it should be clear to your followers why you’re working with your selected partners. If your boutique focuses on clothing, you might choose to partner with retailers that sell complimentary items—like beauty products or accessories—for a multi-brand giveaway. You could also consider partnering with your wholesale clothing provider to cross-promote your boutique and their brand. Finally, you could work with an influencer to shoot creative assets and cross-promote the contest to their followers in exchange for merchandise.

2. Select a Prize with Broad Appeal

Once you’ve found the perfect partners, think about your prize package. You want to get the most entries and engagement possible, so focus on prizes that will appeal to all of your followers. That might mean a prize package with multiple items, gift cards the winners can spend as they like, or the option to choose a few of their favorite products up to a certain value.

3. Offer Multiple Prizes

Like an appealing prize package, multiple tiers of prizes can boost your entries—and exposure for the contest overall. If you offer just a single grand prize, your followers will think their chance of winning is low and be less likely to enter at all. By contrast, if you offer a few smaller prizes, the odds become much better! Your additional prizes don’t have to be high in value; you might offer a few $25 gift cards, a single item from your boutique, or even a % off for the first 100 entrants to entice more shoppers into your store. The key is simply boosting the perceived chance of winning your contest.

4. Advertise on Additional Platforms

The Hootsuite report we referenced above is filled with tons of valuable facts about Instagram, including this key information: 95% of U.S. Instagram users also use Youtube, 91% also use Facebook, and 60% also use Snapchat. That means cross-platform promotion is a great way to increase your contest success and boost your Instagram following. If customers follow your brand on Facebook, Snapchat, or Youtube but not Instagram, a contest post on one of these other platforms can direct them to your Instagram feed, where they just might click that “Follow” button when they enter! In addition, you’ll want to promote your contest via email and in-store signage to reach customers who don’t follow you on any social platforms.

5. Make Every Entry Work for You

Hosting a contest with a valuable prize package, influential partners, and strong marketing is a great way to gain followers and boost engagement for your Instagram account. However, the best way to guarantee engagement is to build it into the entry requirements. Use the tactics below when setting up your content rules to make sure your maximize engagement and get the best possible return on investment.

Follow to Enter: Require that users follow your account and the accounts of your giveaway partners to enter the contest.

Regram to Enter: A repost of your contest assets on another user’s feed counts as one entry. You can also adapt this into rules such as “post your favorite product on your feed and tag us to enter.”

Tag a Friend to Enter: Ask followers to tag a friend in the comments of your post as a method of entry. This is one of the most effective ways to ensure that new users see your feed.

Like & Comment to Enter: Require users to like the giveaway post and leave a comment to enter. Likes and comments increase the chances that users who don’t follow your account will see it while they’re browsing Instagram. They may notice that a friend has liked and commented on your giveaway post, or see the post in their explore tab thanks to its high engagement.

Have you ever executed a successful Instagram contest? Or do you have additional questions about putting together your first giveaway? Share your thoughts in the comments!

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