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Instagram Contest Ideas for Businesses and Direct Sales

The following is an excerpt from a longer training guide that comes with my Instagram: Share, Serve and Sell WOW Webinar. The video training and full length PDF guide are available for purchase here.

Run an Instagram Contest for Your BusinessContests on Instagram are a great way to achieve goals such as increasing engagement, getting new followers, sending people to your website, and making sales.  As of right now, Instagram does not have rules against or regulating how you can run a contest on your account, so be creative! Here are some ideas that seem to work well – make sure the instructions are clear in your caption, such as how to win and if they can enter more than once. And add the hashtag #contest!

  • Announce a giveaway that will be randomly drawn from anyone who comments on your picture.
  • Give something away to the very last commenter at a specific time.
  • Ask your followers to post pictures with specific content – such as them holding your product, or a video saying why they want to win – and to use a certain hashtag to label the picture, or to tag your account so you are notified. Then choose a winner randomly.
  • Have a photo contest where you will judge a photo (identified by tagging you or with a hashtag) based on certain criteria. Could be most creative, or best use of filters, most inspiring caption etc. You be the judge or as part of the contest, as your viewers to like the picture they want to win and the picture with the most likes gets the prize.
  • Run a scavenger hunt contest. In your post list 3+ items your viewers need to take pictures of and post with your tag/hashtag to be entered. Be as simple or crazy as you think your audience can handle!
  • Play a guessing game. Take a picture of you or your product in a location others would know, or doing something they can guess. Have them guess your location or activity and choose a winner among those who answered correctly.
  • Have a seasonal/holiday photo contest. Have your readers dress up or decorate for a specific holiday, and post something specific in the caption with your unique hashtag.  Choose among the participants.
  • Ask your followers to be creative by posting a photo that depicts something specific. For example, Valentine’s Day is coming, post a picture that represents true love and use hashtag #trueloveKC (the KC to identify it as Karen Clark’s vs. random people using the #truelove tag!)
  • Simply announce that all ________ (some activity such as new subscribers to your newsletter, or likes on your Facebook) within a certain time period will be entered to win, and the link is in your bio. Put the link to the specific action you want them to take so it’s easy!
  • Finish your sentence – Have readers fill in the blanks of a sentence such as the last 3 words of a song lyric, or 3 favorite colors, or I want to win because… It can be a set answer required or any answer is entered.

What Instagram contests have you seen that look like fun? Have you run any yourself? Leave a comment and share!

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