Looking for a quick way to gain more followers? According to the social media scheduling tool, Tailwind, running a contest on Instagram can gain a brand 70% more followers in just one quarter than not hosting one. The statistic was the result of analyzing more than 60,000 Instagram posts. Another discovery was that contests on Instagram receive 64 times more comments and 3 ½ times more likes than regular posts.
Tailwind found that after spending an average of 2 ½ minutes on a contest app, 94.46% of users share the promotion. 62.13% tell friends and encourage them to enter as well. Participation among genders is almost even, with 53% being male and 47% female. Their average age is 30, and 68% are adults.
Despite its popularity, Tailwind reported that currently, only .56% of all Instagram posts are contests. With a billion users and little competition at the moment, the timing is ripe for brands wishing to acquire new customers via Instagram. Ready to go?
Knowing the rules is critical. Get acquainted with Instagram Promotion Guidelines before doing anything else, and then draw up a set of official rules to guide the contest and be posted for participants. The brand must release Instagram of any responsibility and clearly state that Instagram doesn’t endorse or sponsor the contest. Make the rules available on all the brand’s platforms,
Next is getting set up. Choose an appropriate prize that encourages people to enter but is not so lucrative that people who have no interest in the brand will enter for the chance to win. Use a hashtag to enable easier tracking and use it on all materials and promotions. It’s obvious but be clear on the start and end dates of the contest and how the winner(s) will be notified and announced.
There are numerous contest ideas, and one of the easiest and most common is the like and/or comment to win. The advantage of this is that it makes it extremely easy for consumers to enter. The disadvantage is that it encourages anyone to enter irrespective of whether they have the potential of being a regular customer. The same holds with a caption contest of an interesting or unique photo.
Most brands use contests as part of their lead generation strategy. One way to improve the potential quality of those entering the competition is to ask them to comment after viewing a product’s photo or video. This forces the viewer to learn a bit about the product and may discourage some who will enter simply for the chance to win.
Tagging is a way to increase the exposure of the brand or interest for any who may not yet be following it on Instagram. Consider having contestants tag a minimum of three friends in the comments of the post to qualify. Here again, however, this may not be the best lead generation strategy.
A better contest may be asking visitors to answer a trivia-related question about the brand. People not knowing anything about the brand will need to do a little research and learn a bit about it before responding. If the answer can be found on the brand’s website, tipping off visitors will be timely and well-appreciated.
For some brands, another option would require contestants to show off a skill related to the brand or even use it themselves. For some, this will require visitors to visit the brand’s homepage to learn a bit before submitting an entry. In either case, be sure the contest rules include permission to use and publicize any submitted pictures or videos.
Cross-promote the contest on all the brand’s channels and Instagram ads. Build a custom audience after the contest is over and follow up with them. Measure the results afterward. If it’s an annual event, compare the year-to-year results, and make adjustments. Do the same with comments and questions.
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