How to do a Giveaway on Instagram

How to do a Giveaway on Instagram to Generate Leads & Expand Brand Reach

If you haven’t yet learned how to do a giveaway on Instagram, now is definitely a good time. Running a giveaway or contest on Instagram is one of the best ways to engage new and existing audiences. It’s also one of the best ways to generate a ton of leads and followers, fast!

There are some very powerful statistics to back up why you should do a giveaway on Instagram:

  • 91% of Instagram posts with over 1,000 comments are related to a giveaway or contest.
  • Contests and giveaways on Instagram receive 3.5X as many “likes” and 64 more comments than the average Instagram post.
  • Instagram accounts that run regular contests grew 70% faster than those who did not.

But here’s the bad news: Unfortunately, being the person that has to organize and run a giveaway on Instagram can be a bit of a nightmare without the right resources. 

We’ve heard horror stories of companies having to manually reply to hundreds or even thousands of DMs (direct messages) in order to get the email address of each contestant.

And just as tedious, in the likely event that you’re asking people to share a post and you need to track the hashtag, there’s potentially hours of manual work to determine the winner.

So, do Instagram giveaways work for most companies? For the most part, yes, Instagram giveaways do work. Even if you run an Instagram giveaway manually, IG giveaways should produce a desired outcome.

Fortunately, the manual way of running an Instagram giveaway is now the old way of doing things. 

In 2021, there’s finally a better way to run a giveaway on Instagram, which is exactly what you’re going to learn in this article.

You’ll learn, step-by-step, how to run a successful Instagram giveaway in 2021 using the latest tools available for Instagram

Additionally, we’ll make it easy for you to determine the best giveaway ideas for Instagram and your brand, as well as whether or not you should do a giveaway on Instagram.

Here’s the agenda for the best way to do a giveaway on Instagram in 2021:

How To Do a Giveaway on Instagram

  1. Use the best software to do a giveaway on Instagram.
  2. Decide on the outcomes you wish to achieve from your Instagram giveaway.
  3. Determine the entry criteria for your contest.
  4. Explore different contest ideas for your Instagram giveaway.
  5. Choose the prizes for your giveaway.
  6. Choose a hashtag and keywords for your Instagram giveaway.
  7. Put a time-limit on your Instagram contest.
  8. Create chatbot and dialogues for your giveaway in
  9. Launch and promote your Instagram giveaway.
  10. Determine how to choose and notify the winner of your Instagram giveaway.

Let’s get straight to it! Here’s how to set up a giveaway on Instagram!

See Who Is On Your Site Right Now!

Turn anonymous visitors into genuine contacts.

Try it Free, No Credit Card Required

#1. Use the Best Software for a Giveaway on Instagram

As previously mentioned, the process to run a successful giveaway on Instagram can be tedious. So, why is that? 

The biggest problem companies have run into running giveaways on Instagram, has been the lack of software to help facilitate and streamline their IG giveaway. 

Think about it, after you announce that you’re running an Instagram giveaway, you can probably expect a ton of DMs asking about when the draw is being held, who can enter, and more. This only continues to be the case during the contest, and for a short period of time after the contest is finished.

Furthermore, think about why you’re running a giveaway on Instagram in the first place — to get leads, followers, sales, and engagement, simultaneously. So the even bigger problem companies have running giveaways on Instagram has been keeping track of the number of contestant entries and capturing lead data.

Use SweepWidget contest tool to streamline everything! With SweepWidget, you can have users follow a profile, like a post, or leave a comment on a post, submit a post, view a post, and visit a profile. Furthermore, you can manage all of your entries in one place where you can easily pick a winner. It takes care of all the hard work and makes running a contest simple.

Until now, there has been no streamlined way of doing this that didn’t require custom development work.

But, lucky for those of you reading this, you will not have those problems to worry about.

Please take a moment to celebrate…


Here’s why you’re celebrating: Using the latest Instagram tools from, you get: 

  • Instant lead capture with an Instagram chatbot.
  • Ability to inform fans and prospects of your giveaway with an Instagram page welcomer.
  • Instant replies to contestant questions with Instagram auto-reply tools.
  • Capture and store lead data and contestant contact information in a custom audience.
  • Track contest entries and immediately determine the winner(s) of your giveaway.
  • Automated follow-ups via SMS, email, Messenger, and other remarketing channels.

There are many other benefits to using to run your online contest or giveaway.

One of the top reasons to create a giveaway on Instagram using is the platform allows you to learn about each visitor through their chat responses. This allows you to segment the list for better marketing optimization later on!

You can also sync with Facebook, in addition to Instagram, in order to send automated remarketing campaigns to your Instagram giveaway audience on either platform.

Here’s how to get started with the best software for an Instagram giveaway:

Get early access to new Instagram tools.

➕ Use partner code UNICORN to jump to the head of the list!

#2. Decide the Outcomes you Wish to Achieve from Running an Instagram Giveaway

After you’ve setup the engine that’s going to drive your Instagram giveaway, it’s time to define a goal for your contest. For instance, you might want to:

  • Generate more engagement on your posts.
  • Grow your Instagram following.
  • Get more people to sign up for your email list.
  • Produce user-generated content (UGC).

If you’re launching a new product or service, a giveaway campaign can be a resourceful way to drum up excitement and interest. 

For product-based businesses, UGC is a powerful way to generate fresh content and gain a new perspective about how your product is being used.

Instagram contests will almost certainly boost your post engagement, resulting in multiple benefits in relation to the Instagram algorithm. With your post performing well, it may rank higher in hashtag searches, allowing new audiences to find your content. 

Alternatively, maybe you want to draw attention to your blog, or another page on your website. If this is the case, you might ask participants to go to your blog or web page to find entry-criteria there — such as a question you then want them to answer in your Instagram comments section.

Lastly, perhaps you’ve partnered with a brand and, in exchange for one of their products as a prize, they’ve asked you to include a request to follow their brand as part of your entry-criteria.

Once you’ve determined the goals of your giveaway, the following steps on how to do a giveaway on Instagram will become much easier.

#3. Determine the Entry Criteria for your Instagram Giveaway

What is “entry criteria” for a giveaway?

Entry criteria are the actions contestants will need to take to score points or earn entries in your giveaway.

Your entry-criteria is going to depend on your goals. For instance, if you want to spread brand awareness, you might ask each participant to like your post and comment with the name of a friend — this allows you to increase your reach quickly, and could result in new followers.

There are a number of different types of actions you can require as entry criteria into your giveaway on Instagram. Here we’ll cover the most common, followed by examples of how to use them in your actual giveaway.

Possible entry criteria for an Instagram giveaway:

  • Comment on a post.
  • Send a DM to your Instagram page. 
  • Mention your brand in an Instagram Story.
  • Tag a friend.
  • Use a branded hashtag
  • Share a post.
  • Follow your Instagram page.

Likes, Follows, and Tags

When learning how to do a giveaway on Instagram you may be tempted to grant an entry or award points for likes, follows, and tags.

Sure, likes, follows, and tags are easy actions for people to perform, but they are not the vehicles that will ultimately lead to your giveaway going viral.

I’m not saying you don’t want to encourage these actions in your contest. In fact, you should encourage them and reward them with points, because they are valuable. 

Likes will help to boost engagement. Follows will increase your follower count. And Tags will increase awareness and are easier to track. 

However, if you instead asked followers to like your giveaway and repost with a branded hashtag while also mentioning your brand in an Instagram Story, you’ll compound your reach.  And if you’re using a cross-channel marketing tool like, having followers spread the word of your Instagram giveaway on their other channels for the chance to win greatly expands your brand’s reach — if ten followers with 100 followers each re-post, that’s a chance to reach 1,000 new people.

Now, let’s explore some ideas for your giveaway that will put this entry criteria to good use!

#4. Explore Different Contest Ideas for an Instagram Giveaway

There are many potential contest ideas for your Instagram giveaway.

However, before we do that, here’s something important…

In order to run a successful Instagram giveaway, we strongly recommend making it a requirement for contest participants to perform an action where you’ll be able to capture their contact information, such as:

  • Commenting on a post.
  • Sending a direct message to your Instagram page. 
  • Mentioning your brand in their Instagram Story.

You may be thinking, “How can I capture contact information from someone that comments on my post or mentions me in an Instagram Story?” 

And those are valid questions, because before 2021, that was not possible. Got your attention? Good! 

Because in the following contest ideas and examples, you’ll see why you chose to use to facilitate your Instagram giveaway!

Instagram Giveaway Example #1: Choose your favorite with a comment on a post

One of the most recommended entry criteria for an Instagram giveaway is to comment on a post. 

Using comments as entry criteria is highly recommended also because of’s Comment Autoresponder tool. 

For example, you could post a photo with selection choices to Instagram. Invite people to leave a comment with their favorite option.

This option is simple and very effective. Here’s why…

Instagram Comment Autoresponders by will dramatically increase the engagement and visibility of your posts because you can instantly send a message to any contestant who comments on your post.

Additionally, you can add a link in your response to drive traffic to a landing page related to your giveaway.

Here’s an example of what that could look like:

Use a Comment Autoresponder on all posts used in your Instagram giveaway. Then, ask your followers to comment with a specific keyword, such as COFFEE or TEA. 

When people comment with the keyword, it triggers a sequence that will allow you to ask the contestant for their contact information in a Messenger chat dialogue. 

After capturing their contact information, you can even send the person to any one of your landing pages by adding a link!

Instagram Giveaway Example #2: Enter to Win by Answering a Survey

This contest idea invites users to click the “Message” button on your Instagram page and send a DM using a keyword.

Similar to the Comment Autoresponder, after the contestant sends the DM using your keyword, you can trigger a quick survey for them to answer follow-up questions as a way enter to win.

Chatbot surveys are great because you can:

  • Ask lead qualifying questions
  • Capture contact information, and
  • Direct contestant traffic to a landing page with a link. 

Instagram Giveaway Example #3: Tag a friend in your comment to win 

Have followers tag one of their friends in the comments section of your giveaway post for a chance to win. This allows your brand to reach new potential leads on Instagram and grow your audience.

When using contest requirements to “tag a friend in the comments,” your existing audience does the work of sharing your content with their friends. And if their friends have similar interests and like your Instagram contest, they’ll enter and tag their friends too. Your follower count then grows exponentially.

Plus, using, you can send a Comment Autoresponder to capture and save their contact information!

Here’s another Comment Autoresponder working its magic on an Instagram post where the call to action is “Who are the best digital marketers to follow in 2021? Comment “Marketer” and we’ll send you the link ⭐”

As you can see, by replying with the keyword “Marketer” I enter into an interactive chatbot dialogue. This particular example has the intent of sharing one of the latest pieces of content from

However, you can use this opportunity to collect valuable feedback from contestants, collect contact information, or ask the contestant to perform another action to earn more entries or points in your Instagram giveaway.

Instagram Giveaway Example #4: Photo contest

Ask participants to upload a photo of themselves using your product or service in an Instagram Story

This is another easy opportunity to spread brand awareness, since your participants’ posts will be seen by their own network of followers and friends. You should ask participants to include your brand’s hashtag, or tag your brand, for optimal visibility.

And even better, if you ask the contestant to tag your Instagram handle in their IG Story, you capture their contact information using the Instagram Story Mentions tool.

Here’s an example of someone mentioning’s Instagram handle in their IG Story, and what happens afterwards:

Instantly, you receive a notification message from along with a text in the Messenger app.

Then, if you tap on the notification, the Messenger app opens automatically and a chatbot dialogue begins.

This is a great option for running a contest or giveaway because you can immediately thank the person for sharing news about your campaign and ask them to perform another action.

Furthermore, in your thank you note, let the contestant know how many points or entries into the giveaway they just earned. This serves as instant gratification, which highly increases the chances of them performing more actions to help spread the news of your giveaway!

The Instagram Story Mention tool allows you to do two things: 

  1. Instantly reply any time you or your business are mentioned in any Instagram Story.
  2. Add a link to Instagram Stories.

Instagram Giveaway Example #5: ‘Caption This’

Some brands post images and leave the caption section blank with a “Caption this for a chance to win” command. 

Your participants will enjoy the chance to offer creative captions for your image, and you’ll be able to add the caption to your post with credit to the winner once your giveaway ends.

Incorporate the ‘Caption This’ giveaway example with one of the Instagram automated messaging tools from in order to capture the lead and track the the new contact throughout your giveaway!

Instagram Giveaway Example #6: Send a DM to enter!

The last Instagram Giveaway example is a good idea to lower friction and get more participants to enter into your Instagram giveaway.

This way, people can enter your giveaway and have a chance to win without having to share anything public. Wait, why’s that a good thing? Here’s why… 

If you use’s Instagram Welcome Message tool, you’ll:

  • Still gain a new lead when they provide their contact info. 
  • Be able to inform them of the rules of your giveaway.
  • Inform them of your product or service and send them into your marketing funnels.
  • You can opt-in the user to your other marketing campaigns.

The following is an example Instagram Page Welcomer in action:

instagram page welcomer

This Welcome Message captures the participants email and phone number and asks for permission to opt-in to other messaging channels, such as email and SMS campaigns.

See Who Is On Your Site Right Now!

Turn anonymous visitors into genuine contacts.

Try it Free, No Credit Card Required

#5. How To Choose Instagram Giveaway Prizes

The prizes you choose for your Instagram giveaway are more important than you may initially realize.

Here are three important tips on how to choose prizes for an online contest or giveaway.

Choose prizes that only attract people that are in your target buyer personas

A common mistake made by marketers choosing prizes for contests or giveaways is to misalign the prize with your brand. 

For example, everyone wants a new iPad or a $100 Amazon gift card. However, not everyone is a potential customer of your product or service — unless you’re selling shampoo or toilet paper.

So, only choose prizes that align extremely well with your product or service, and so will the contestants that enter into your Instagram giveaway!

Give away multiple prizes at different tiers

Another common mistake people make when running online contests is that they only give away one prize. Now, although this isn’t as big a mistake as choosing the wrong prizes, by being lazy and only choosing one prize, you’re going to limit the amount of people who are willing to compete for that one prize.

However, if you have multiple, lower tiered prizes below your top prize, now everyone who enters feels like they have a chance to win something. Therefore, you’ll get more people into your giveaway and capture more leads if you have multiple tiered prizes.

Include different ways to win, including one guaranteed way win something

If you really want your Instagram giveaway to go viral, take the time to create multiple ways to win prizes, including one way to guarantee that you’ll win something.

Here’s how to do it the smart way.

You need to set an “Instagram value” for the prize you’re guaranteeing to give away. Meaning, how many actions on Instagram does someone need to take to give away a branded t-shirt, one month free of your product or service, or anything that you can easily afford to give away.

For majority of you that haven’t assigned values to different Instagram actions that followers or prospects can take, do your best with a small bit or research to find out how to calculate the value of a follow, a comment, a hashtag, or sharing of a post. 

Ideally this is something you can easily measure, such as a hashtag. 

Now, take the total value of the prize you’re guaranteeing to give away, and do the math on how many actions someone needs to take in order to win that prize. 

Lastly, in the rules or guidelines to your contest, say something like this: “The first 50 people to comment on our Instagram posts [XX] amount of times wins a free [your brand name] t-shirt!”

I guarantee if you have even a decent Instagram following, this will make your Instagram contest go viral.  

#6. Choose the Hashtag & Keyword for your Instagram Giveaway

Your campaign hashtag is important for promoting your contest and sourcing content shared as entries in the contest, as well as an additional tool to track your success and analytics. 

In giveaways that don’t use, however, your campaign hashtag may be the only tool you have to track entries and your giveaway’s success. 

Lucky for you, is going to make that job much easier. In fact, for those using to run their Instagram Giveaway, your branded hashtag’s purpose is solely to increase awareness of your campaign.

Choose a hashtag that’s related to the campaign, theme, product or service, or your business.

The campaign hashtag should be exclusive to that individual campaign. Be sure to do a quick search to find out if it’s already in use.

Hashtags for a giveaway or contest should be easy to recognize and spell. In this example from @Upworkinc, they’re using the #UpworkSuccess hashtag and encouraging followers to post content using that hashtag and to tell a success story about being a freelancer.

#7. Put a Time Limit on your Instagram Contest

How long should you run a giveaway on Instagram?

Tell your participants how long they have to complete your requirements by putting a time limit in your caption, and then adding “Giveaway Closed” at the end of that time. 

For instance, you might put, “Giveaway! Over the next 24 hours, please use the word RESORT, tag a friend, and include your favorite place to travel for a chance to stay overnight at one of our resorts.”

The time-limit will ideally create a sense of urgency, and incentivize followers to engage with your post more quickly — which will also help your giveaway stay at the top of your followers’ Instagram feeds.

#8. Create Chatbot Dialogues for your Instagram Giveaway

Create your first chatbot dialogue in

Use the chatbot builder to create automated messages to reply to comments, mentions, Instagram Stories, welcome messages, and a whole lot more!

If you’ve never built a chatbot dialogue in, you may want to take a look at the following articles before you get started.

In this screenshot I’ve highlighted some of the most popular chat widgets in for how to do a giveaway on Instagram.

These chat dialogue widgets will help to capture, store, and attribute lead data to each individual who enters into your Instagram giveaway. And, if you want to get fancy, you can pass the lead data into Google Sheets or your CRM.

Use chatbot to collect giveaway participant emails and phone numbers

Here’s the same example from earlier of a fun and interactive Instagram page welcomer designed to collect contact information from our Instagram page fans. 

[insert instagram-page-welcomer-high-motion]

As you can see, this Instagram page welcomer has all of the elements needed to engage your audience, inform your audience of the giveaway, ask for contact information, and more. 

Additionally, on the backend of this page welcomer, using multiple integrations, you can send the lead data to Google Sheets and follow-up with each contact via email or text message.

You could even keep your team excited by showing them the number of contestants entering the competition in real-time by sending lead notifications to Slack

Capture lead data and feeback of giveaway participants

How do you extract emails from Instagram? This is a fair question, and it might seem like a daunting task to be able to extract emails from your followers.

Your autoresponder can simply request the best email address for your contact in question in order for you to reach them on the outside. 

Then, BOOM!💥 You have a high-quality new contact to get in touch with in the future.

Setting up email opt-ins for your Instagram page is super easy, too, and it works much like your Facebook messenger opt-in page. 

All you have to do is enter a block of information, a widget, for instance, that says, “What’s the best email where I can send your free guide?” and you’ll have yourself a winning integration. 

The user will then reply with their email address which can be automatically and immediately stored in your database. 

Furthermore, you can use a unique tag or attribute, which makes it easy to segment your giveaway audience to both determine a winner and send highly targeted remarketing campaigns.

Set a frequency cap

This provides protection so that if someone comments multiple times on the post, they won’t be sent messages repeatedly about the contest. The default is one hour.

Test your giveaway chatbot

Last thing to do before you’re ready to launch your Instagram giveaway is to test out your chatbot dialogues. 

If you’re using the Instagram Comment Autoresponder, comment on your Instagram post, and the chat window will pop up with your first question!

Answer the first question and the bot will ask you to confirm your email.

Finish the chat flow, laugh at your own GIFs if you included them, and then come back to!

Navigate to leads, and then audiences. You’ll see that you’ve been added to the audience.

#9. Launch and Promote your Instagram Giveaway

Doing a giveaway on Instagram is primarily about building your lists, generating new leads, getting more followers, and expanding your network reach. And giveaways are ideal for doing that because handing over your contact details is a small price to pay for the chance of getting something for free.

Creating a buildup to your giveaway will drive excitement, shares and even virality.

And since you’re using OmniChatⓇ technology by, you can inform your contacts and opt-in contestants across multiple messaging platforms simultaneously!

Here are a few resources to help you build your pre-launch list using

In your contest post, you can communicate your contest or giveaway with text in the image or graphic. This way, it won’t be dismissed as just another photo when people are scrolling through their Instagram feed.

Choose an image that’s related to the theme of the campaign. In your contest post caption, include the terms of entry and legal disclaimers mentioned above.

Using, you could make this experience interactive and inform them of the above via chat, if you prefer.

How you promote the campaign will depend on how long it will run. Decide if you’ll post multiple times a day or once daily. Based on your Instagram analytics, determine the best times of the day to post (which may differ for different days of the week).

To ensure more people see the contest, cross-promote it to your Instagram Stories, your Facebook group or page, your newsletter, or in your store.

Note: If multiple people manage your Instagram account or you’re managing the campaign for a client, it’s important to establish who’s responsible for engagement and answering questions related to the campaign.

#10. Determine How to Choose and Notify the Winner of your Instagram Giveaway

When planning your campaign, you also need to decide how winners will be chosen and how you’ll notify them. 

Will you use a random generator tool (free online tools are available) or will entries be judged? Will you email the winners or DM them on Instagram? Or use another method?

Once you’ve notified the winners, you can publicly announce them on Instagram via a campaign post. It’s a best practice to inform winners privately before publicly announcing them on Instagram.

Tag and/or assign attributes to your participants to easily manage giveaway

In, you can create an audience of everyone who mentioned your giveaway or performed one of the many trackable actions on Instagram. 

Every interaction that happens in automated Instagram messages gets saved to your contact database, creating rich customer profiles.

You can view a contact’s profile, including conversation history and the responses saved as attributes, from the contact manager.

You can create an audience using either Tags or Attributes. Your audience is automatically generated.

Download the audience of contest entries to a spreadsheet so you can pick the winner. You could use a random number generator and match it to a row in a spreadsheet.

What are Instagram’s Rules for Contests and Giveaways?

Instagram isn’t too strict when it comes to running a contest or giveaway. In fact, it’s relatively easy compared to Facebook regulations that limit entry requirements and conditions.

When it comes to Instagram contests, an important rule to follow (and which most people are unaware of) is the statement of release. The following statement, or one similar, must be included on all contest posts shared to Instagram:

Per Instagram rules, this promotion is in no way sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm that they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.

Be sure to insert this statement at the end of your Instagram contest caption.

Additionally, you’ll want to ensure you don’t ask participants to tag themselves in your content, or tag something that isn’t in the photo — Instagram will penalize you for this.

Review Instagram’s promotion guidelines for a full list of rules and regulations.

See Who Is On Your Site Right Now!

Turn anonymous visitors into genuine contacts.

Try it Free, No Credit Card Required

How to do a Giveaway on Instagram: Important Next Steps

Experience the contest chatbot template on Messenger now! 

Learn more about the power and other use cases for the World’s best chatbot for Instagram.

Use to run a giveaway or contest on other platforms: How to Do a Giveaway on Facebook in 9 Simple Steps.

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Generate more leads and meetings for your sales team with automated inbound lead capture, qualification, tracking and outreach across the most popular messaging channels.

I agree to receive text and email updates from


Engage and monetize your tribe using direct messaging automation for Instagram and Facebook Messenger.


I agree to receive text and email updates from