Comprehensive Guide to Run Successful Instagram Contest

With more than 400 million monthly active users and more than 90 million posts per day, Instagram has become one of the best networks for internet business marketing.

With this network, you can increase your users’ interaction and bring your Internet business closer to its goals.

An Instagram contest is one of the things that help increase user engagement, But launching an Instagram contest has its own rules and complexities that you must follow all the rules to have a successful Instagram contest.

In this article, we’re going to take a look at how to run an Instagram contest, which you can use to increase the engagement of your Instagram page users.

Increasing the users’ engagement of an Instagram page means increasing the online business audience and sales of products or services.

Instagram contest

Branding an Internet Business by Run an Instagram Contest

The most important thing for Internet businesses is branding! Branding means introducing your business brand to more users.

There are a lot of people participating in the Instagram contest, and each of them sees your brand name over and over again.

With all these benefits, why not use an Instagram contest to brand your business?

One of the best ways to increase the audience of a business is to hold an Instagram contest and use it to develop your business.

To market an online business on Instagram, you need to try to challenge your audience and invite them to participate in your page using different methods.

Creating an Instagram contest is a kind of challenge and participation for users that you can not only increase user interaction but also help increase your business customer persona.


To run a successful Instagram contest, you need to follow some frameworks and rules to achieve the most success in your campaign.

What are these frameworks, and how can they be implemented in an Instagram contest?

In the next section, we will examine it in full.

How to Hold an Instagram Contest?

Holding an Instagram contest requires knowing some tips and frameworks. Also, holding an Instagram contest must also be scheduled to be able to reach your goal! What is your goal in holding an Instagram contest?

Having a goal is the first step in launching an Instagram contest; Here are 12 key points that will help you succeed in the Instagram contest:

  • Determining the Purpose of Holding an Instagram Contest

You must have a goal to do everything in your internet business. In fact, you can’t measure your success without a goal!

There should be a goal for you in the Instagram contest as well; This goal is different for each Instagram page, and these differences make the method of holding an Instagram contest different for each business.

Your goal should be in line with the goal of your business and the interest of your followers!

It doesn’t matter if your goal is to increase the number of new followers or increase the interaction of current users, it’s just important to have a goal.


Some of these goals are:

  • Increase the followers of an Instagram page
  • Increase user engagement
  • Branding for different businesses
  • Increase sales of a business product

instagram-grow-iconThese 4 goals are the most important goals of different businesses by launching an Instagram contest; As an Instagram page manager or business manager, set your goal by launching an Instagram contest.

Your goal could be one or more of the above! It doesn’t matter how big you are, it’s important to set goals and write them down on a piece of paper. Finally, you can measure your success rate for specific goals.

  • Know your Target Audience

  • Who is the audience of your Instagram page and what posts are you most interested in?
  • Take a look at your Instagram page! Which posts have your users interact with the most?

In other words, which posts did they like the most and comment on? Some posts are always more popular with users on one page, and others are less attractive to users.

More interaction in some posts and less user interaction with other posts is a sign to use in your Instagram contest!

The post that received the most likes is the most popular among your followers, and the subject of your Instagram contest can be based on your favorite posts.

If your Instagram page is about an online business, you need to know your business audience as well; For example, if they make up a specific section of the community and you need to increase your Instagram page followers, you should use resources that have such a target audience when advertising.

instagram-grow-iconDo you agree with a practical example?

Suppose you want to increase the number of followers on a restaurant page; For this page, you can advertise on the cooking pages, people who are active in the field of food testing, and in general the pages that work in the field of cooking and restaurants.

Determine the reason! Your target audience is people who follow the pages of restaurants, cooking, and so on, and when you advertise on those pages, you can easily increase your followers targeted.

On the other hand, if you work in a specific city, you should use the pages that have the largest audience in that city.

  • 3. Specify How users Participate in the Instagram Contest

What methods do you use to attract Instagram contestants? There are many ways for users to participate in the Instagram contest, but the methods vary according to your purpose.

Some contests are created to increase user engagement on the same page, but others aim to increase the number of followers on that page.

So your approach should be tailored to your purpose!

How users participate in the Instagram contest

If your goal is to hold an Instagram contest, learn about different ways to attract them and use one of them:

  1.  Send photos directly by users: If you want to launch an Instagram contest that aims to increase the interaction of current users of the Instagram page, the method of sending photos by users is suitable for you.
    For example, suppose you want to hold an Instagram contest during Nowruz for the best Nowruz table photo; Users can participate in the contest by sending a photo of their Nowruz tablecloth, and you can give the best photo to the judges or users of the page.
  2.  Posting a photo with a special hashtag: One of the best ways to start an Instagram contest is to ask users to post a photo with a specific hashtag.
    For example, if you manage a flower and plant store, you can ask users to take a photo of their flower and plant and publish it with a special hashtag.
    We mean a special hashtag, a hashtag that has not been used on Instagram, and you can use it to view all the posts related to your contest.
  3.  Tag your page in the contest participants’ post: If you are looking to increase the followers of your page, you can ask them to publish a post with the conditions you want to participate in the contest and tag you in it.
  4. Follow your page: Some pages want to increase the number of their followers and have no other purpose!
    Such pages can tell users that they can participate in the contest by following the page; Then use different tools to draw lots between all the followers on your page and deliver the gift to the winner.
  5.  Mention friends under your posts: A great way to increase the followers of different businesses, especially store businesses!
    If you have an Instagram page where you introduce your products, all you have to do is design a contest post and ask users to mention a few of their friends in the comments section.
    By highlighting people, they will see your post, and eventually, a number of them will follow your page. Are you following Amazon’s Instagram page? Amazon’s Instagram contests are all based on this method.
    Suppose 10,000 people want to take part in such a competition, and the rules of the competition are that each person must mention 5 people!
    In this case, 50,000 people will see your post and your followers will increase significantly.
    How much your followers increase depends entirely on the quality of that post and the type of page you have!

With these 5 methods, you can easily reach your goal in the Instagram contest!

There is an increase in followers in all of these methods, but you should choose one of these methods according to your purpose.

  •  Clarify Contest Rules for Users

Every contest on Instagram has its own rules; For example, as soon as we say that you have to mention 5 of your friends to participate in the contest, we have specified a rule.

There are some things on Instagram that users have to do, and if they don’t, they won’t participate.

If you are planning to publish a post with the hashtag you want in your Instagram contest, you must tell that user!

In fact, these will help you succeed in your Instagram contest, and of course, you should keep in mind that your rules should not be too strict to stop users from participating in the contest.

Clarify Contest Rules for Users

  • Set a Proper Hashtag

Choosing the right, attractive and relevant hashtag for your brand name is not an easy task, but with a little creativity, you can find it.

A good hashtag is a hashtag that if you search for it on Instagram, there are no posts or very few posts. In this case, if users want to participate in the contest, they can easily publish their posts with that hashtag.

You can easily see all the competition posts with the same hashtag on Instagram and participate in the contest.

If you are planning to brand your business, part of your hashtag should be the name of your business or anything that makes the audience remember your business.

If your hashtag can’t keep your brand name alive in mind, you can’t have a successful Instagram contest.

So after selecting your desired hashtag, search for it in the Instagram search section and if the post is not found, select it.

You can use our amazing tools to find the right hashtag: Instagram free Hashtag Generator


Features of  a suitable hashtag for the Instagram contest:

  1. There is no post with that hashtag on Instagram.
  2. Your hashtag should be short and concise so that it can stay in the minds of users.
  3. The hashtag must remain in the minds of users and the user can remember it until the end of the contest.
  4. Don’t use popular language hashtags; Because your hashtag is for all users with different languages.
  5. The selected hashtag is reminiscent of your business brand.
  6. The hashtag selected should be appropriate for the type of contest

Here are six tips to help you find the right hashtag for your Instagram contest.

  • Determine a Specific Topic for the Instagram Contest

This is a very important issue that what content should users post to participate in the contest?

In fact, you have to specify the subject of your content so that users are not confused about how to publish the image!

For example, you can ask users to post pictures of summer fun so give gifts to the best-published images.

In general, the subject of your competition should be relevant to the activity of your page, business, products, or services.

6. Determine a Specific Topic for the Instagram Contest

  • 7. How to Determine the Winner of the Instagram Contest?

The most important issue in an Instagram contest for users is how to choose the winner of the contest!

In fact, you need to know how to choose the winner of the contest in the best possible way that will satisfy even the most unsuccessful users.

There are two general ways to choose an Instagram winner:


  • Choice by page followers: One of the ways you can determine the winner of a contest is to vote by page followers.
    Once you have received the desired content from users, you can publish it on your page and ask users to like their favorite images.
    The number of likes on a post means that more users have liked it.
    In this way, there is no more dissatisfaction of users, and the winner of the contest has been chosen by them.
    This method greatly increases the interaction of your page, but some users may be looking to increase the liking of their post unnaturally (unrealistically) that your page interaction will be unrealistic.
    To solve this problem, you can also warn users that they will be removed from the contest if they use unrealistic likes and comments.
  •  Selection by the jury: To select the winner, you can give the received images to the judges and survey them.
    Your judges will usually choose the best photo based on different criteria and announce the person who shared that post as the winner.
    In this way, users may be less satisfied with you; Because in this method, most of the judges’ tastes prevail.
    Of course, note that the judging method and the criteria considered must be fully transparent to users.

A suggestion! I suggest using two methods in your competition instead of one; Provide two prizes to determine the winner of the selection of followers and the jury.

In fact, it uses both methods, and the best images are identified by users and judges.

  • Preparation of an Acceptable and Suitable Award Related Page Theme

Users do everything in the contest to win the race and get the prize! So the rewards you give them should be worth the trouble.

When choosing an award, you need to consider:

  • The characteristics of your audience
  • Users’ profiles
  • And budget

In order to satisfy users. Requesting users to participate in the contest means doing activities to brand your Instagram page!

In fact, you should be rewarded with the value of the time, energy, and cost of page followers.

Preparation of an Acceptable and Suitable Award

After setting a budget for the award, your business and brand are also very important; If you have a travel-related business such as a travel agency, it is great to give travel tickets to users!

But if you’re managing a business that has nothing to do with travel, traveling may be fun and engaging for users, but it won’t have much of an impact on your branding.

Giving business services or products to users is one of the most common gifts on Instagram, which has a huge impact on the success of the Instagram contest.

If you have a valuable product or service in your business, why not use it as a reward for your Instagram contest?

  • 9. Set a Time Limit for Participating in the Instagram contest

Each contest is held at a specific time and the Instagram contest is no exception to this rule!

Instagram contests should start at a certain time and end after a few days.

The more limited the duration of the competition, the more successful you will be in holding that competition; Of course, keep in mind that the time of this contest should not be so short that you do not have the opportunity to inform users.

Instagram contests set a time limit for user participation and then spend a few days selecting the winner.

Participants are then invited to attend your business on a specific day and the prize will be awarded.

If you can get a short video with quality images from the participants at the time of the award ceremony, you can do good branding when publishing that content on your Instagram page and gain the trust of many users.

9. Set a Time Limit for Participating in the Instagram contest

  • How to Advertise and Inform Users about the Instagram Contest

Once you’ve identified all nine of the above, now is the time to identify a source for advertising, informing users, and attracting new followers.

What channel do you want to use to attract more audiences?

There are many channels for attracting followers and informing each of them, depending on the type of competition, the type of business, and ultimately the amount of your budget.

Advertise and Inform Users about the Instagram Contest
Some of the most important traffic absorption channels are:

  • Influencer Marketing: Influencer marketing is a great way to increase the actual number of followers of a page.
    With this method, you can use people who are active in your field of activity, which has a large audience, to increase followers; Influencers advertise on your Instagram page in exchange for the cost of the page and the business, and in this way, you get real followers.
    Note that you must use the influencers in your field of activity and consider the geographical location of the followers of that influencer!
    Because if its followers are from London and you have a business in a city like Toronto, advertising will not have much effect on your business and will only increase the number of non-targeted followers.
    If you want to know more about Influencer Marketing Advertising, check out Influencer Marketing and its importance for online business.
  • Instagram Pages: Many Instagram pages are related to your business and have many followers.
    These pages are willing to include your ads in exchange for a fee; If you need ads on such pages, be sure to check the quality of the followers on those pages and then advertise on them.
  • Using other social networks: If you work on other social networks such as Facebook, Twitter, Linked In, etc., you need to know that these social networks can also help you in advertising your Instagram page.
    Just introduce an interesting and professional post about introducing your Instagram contest and make it available to your followers.
    In this case, in addition to introducing your content to users, you have been able to draw users from other social networks to your Instagram page and increase your followers.
  • Website: If you run a website for your business and provide your services through it, this website is a great channel to attract more audiences for your Instagram contest. Just put a banner ad on your website and ask users to visit your Instagram page for more information about the contest.
  • Mentioning people by followers: In previous cases, we looked at this as one of the ways to hold a contest!
    You need to know that this method is one of the best channels to increase Instagram followers and page ads.
    This way, your followers will enlighten a large number of their friends, and their friends may also participate in the contest or follow your page.

With these 5 methods, you can easily increase the number of participants in your Instagram contest and help increase the interaction of your Instagram page.

  • Monitor User Posts

In order to be able to participate in the contest, users must fully comply with the rules of the contest!

To verify the posts, you need to monitor them to see how many of the submitted projects have complied with the competition rules and can be included in the posts to be judged.

Monitor your posts carefully, So you can use them when choosing a winner.

Monitor User Posts
Here are some things to look for when selecting yours:

  1. A number of user posts: When holding a contest, check the number of posts that users publish with your hashtag. In the first days of the competition, the number of posts may be very high and in the last days, it may be less.
    Of course, this depends entirely on your advertising method, which may increase the number of user posts in the final days of the competition.
    Also, try republishing these posts on your page so that users know that their posts about you are valuable to you.
  2. A number of likes per post: If you publish posts on your page, check the number of likes per post. Some posts get more likes, which means more popularity for users, and they are more likely to win the contest.
  3. A number of participants: How many users participated in the contest? Check their number daily and write it down in your system or analysis sheet.
  4. Top Participants: Who uploaded the most content during the contest? This metric helps you get to know your biggest fans.
  5. A total number of likes: The total number of likes received for competition posts that you should check to see the interaction of your page.
  6. The number of followers increases: One of the goals of the competition is to increase the actual followers of a page; At the end of each day, check the increase in page followers, and if the number is lower than expected, make changes to your ad before the end of the contest.
  7. Increase page engagement: If you manage a business page, analyzing it is not difficult; Just go to the insights section and see the different information.
    One of the most important things to consider when hosting an Instagram contest is how much users interact and increase it. In fact, you need to see how your page’s interaction has changed from the first day to the end before and during the race.

A Note! If your Instagram page is new and has few followers, few users are likely to enter the contest.

In this case, you can monitor the submitted posts yourself and there is no need to use analytics systems.

It should also be noted that the low number of posts sent by users does not mean the low efficiency of the Instagram contest, and the same number of posts may attract several thousand followers.

Instagram analytics tools
If you have a popular page, you can use Instagram analytics tools such as Iconosquare to monitor posts.

  • 12. Select the Winners and Announce their Names in Public

After performing the previous 11 steps, now it’s time to determine the winners of your contest! Users have been waiting a long time to see the result of this step.

At this stage, you must determine the winner of the contest based on the opinion of the judges or the number of likes!

If possible, host the contest live so that users can have more confidence in the outcome of the contest.

Once the winners of the competition have been identified, invite them to attend your company’s business or venue during a ceremony.

Then, along with them and your business flag, take photos and videos and introduce them as the winner of the contest on your page.

Select the Winners and Announce their Names in Public


Instagram Contest is held for different purposes.

To hold an Instagram contest, you must first determine your purpose. These competitions require some factors and rules that, if followed, can be very effective; In this article, we have reviewed these important rules and factors for holding an Instagram contest so that if you are planning to launch a successful Instagram contest, you can achieve your goals by following them.

Now tell us about your experiences!

Have you ever held an Instagram contest or had the experience of participating in a successful Instagram contest? Share your experience with us and other users in the comments section.

Hi, I'm Alomen; an Instagram and digital marketing expert. This Website shows tutorials, tips, and tricks on how to use Instagram. If you have any questions or problems with Instagram, you can call me with the hashtag #Alomen and I will answer in now time. Sign up for our email newsletter to stay in touch with our Team.
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