4 Instagram Contest Ideas to Engage Your Followers

Name: Michael Georgiou
Date: November 28, 2016
Source: Social Media Examiner

Do you want more engagement on your Instagram profile?

Have you considered rewarding your followers with a giveaway?

Instagram contests give people an entertaining reason to interact with and promote your business and products.

In this article, you’ll discover four types of Instagram contests that will engage your fans.

4 Instagram Contest Ideas to Engage Your Followers by Michael Georgiou on Social Media Examiner.


#1: Host a Like-to-Win Contest

One major factor in finding success on Instagram is getting those magic likes to start rolling in. A “like to win” contest is an easy way to do that. Simply post a contest image(usually a graphic explaining the contest) and tell people to like it to win. Then pick a random winner from among the likes, comment with the winner’s handle, and boom, you’ve created a contest.

When you post the contest image, add several related industry hashtags to capture an audience and don’t forget to include #contest and #giveaway, which will help you get some followers quickly. A great contest with a compelling prize can dramatically expand your audience on Instagram.

A series of like giveaways is the best way to go, because it helps build momentum. One-offs tend to be less effective. People will come back again and again to your page if you offer contests regularly. Regular giveaways give followers lots of chances to win, and more importantly, multiple chances to engage.

Below is a perfect example of a like contest: clear rules, a cool image, and a well-communicated timetable. It’s important to require entrants in like contests to also like your page, in addition to liking the image.

Use eye-catching images for your Instagram contest posts.

Contest images don’t always have to show the product. If you do regular giveaways and start building a relationship with your audience, you can get more creative with your images.

Get creative with your Instagram contest images.

A simple like contest on Instagram can help you quickly create excitement around and interest in your page. The best part? It’s easy for everyone!

#2: Launch a Selfie Contest

In a selfie contest, you invite people to post photos of themselves using your product, posing in unique locations, or showing off your logo all over the city.

Selfie contests on Instagram do a wonderful job of connecting your audience to your product and putting social context around your marketing. There’s no better example of personal engagement with a product than through a selfie contest.

Be creative! Selfies like this one from C2Fit’s contest not only offer useful engagement on Instagram, but also bring out fun, compelling images!

Invite Instagram users to post photos with your products.

If your product isn’t physical, that doesn’t mean a selfie contest won’t work for your business. Human Foosball ran a selfie contest that capitalized on its audience and that serious gameface.

Instagram selfie contests can also be effective for businesses without physical products.

Don’t forget to announce the winner with an image on your Instagram. People love to see that someone actually won and it generates momentum for future contests.


Be sure to announce the winner of your Instagram selfie contest.

The cool thing about selfie contests is that the content comes from users rather than you. This frees up your time and energy for other projects, while also showcasing your customers.

#3: Run a Hashtag Contest

Like so much of social media, Instagram is built on hashtags. In a hashtag contest, ask people to post photos and require they use your hashtag. Then you just search for the hashtag and choose the winner.

This kind of contest is particularly good for branding purposes and getting your name out there. The reach doesn’t come from you but from your followers’ audiences (their friends and their friends’ friends).

It’s easy to create a “share to win” contest. This simple giveaway from Lou Taylor uses a great image and offers some basic instructions.

For an Instagram hashtag contest, ask users to post a photo along with your campaign hashtag.

Luxe Fitness uses a combination of hashtag and voting to create regular contests for users, generating tremendous results. Users come back again and again, tag their friends, and dramatically increase the reach of the brand.

Ask Instagram users to tag a friend to increase the reach of your contest.

Hashtag contests are a perfect way to tap into the viral nature of social media and they work wonderfully for growing your Instagram following.

#4: Design a Voting Contest

With voting contests, ask Instagram users to submit photos to your hashtag and thenhave other people vote on the best photos through likes or comments. The photos could be of anything to do with your business. Whoever gets the most likes or votes wins! It’s that simple.

This kind of contest encourages users to get more deeply involved with your product, as they have a stake in pushing your reach wider. That kind of investment can offer exponential results.

A voting contest is more involved than the Instagram giveaways mentioned above. If you want folks to do something for you, you need to offer something compelling as a prize; the bigger, the better. It’s also critical that you spell out the rules explicitly on your Instagram.

This contest from Chord Hero hits all of the right notes by including detailed instructions on how to enter the contest right on the image, allowing people to share the contest across platforms without losing the parameters.

With Instagram voting contests, ask users to vote on the best fan photos through likes or comments.

Running a voting contest requires more involvement from you. You’ll need to keep track of each entry and the number of likes, and in the case of the example above, be sure the rules have been followed. In return for that effort, you’ll get a truly expansive level of engagement not only by the participants, but from their network of friends as well.


Running Instagram contests can help you increase your reach and improve engagement. Pick one of these contests and set it up today.