Get your customers engaged with an Instagram contest


A 2016 Bloglovin survey found that Instagram was the most engaging social platform. Instagram users are more likely to like, comment, and follow businesses and brands than users on any other social network. How do you convert some of those social media users into new customers?

Host a contest to increase your business’s reach and engage customers, without paying for pricey ads.

Before you launch your contest, set up measurable goals to gauge the success of your contest. The best type of contest for you will depend on your goals and brand needs.

For instance, if you’re a new shop in town looking to increase brand awareness, holding a ‘like & follow to win contest will deliver measurable outcomes like follower count increase, engagement, and website traffic. If you want to drive social media traffic towards a big sale or new product launch, you’d probably prefer that customers repost your content instead of liking it to maximize impact, so you would measure reposts and website traffic.

Here are 3 types of Instagram contests that you can quickly execute to engage your current customers and snag some new ones to boot:

Like/Follow To Win Contest

In a “Like/Follow to Win” contest, simply post an image with a caption asking Instagram users to follow your account and like a post. Everyone who follows you and likes the post will be entered into the contest. Increase the effort to enter (and increase your reach) by including a tagging request. Ask users to tag themselves for extra chances to win.


These are easy to set up and easy to monitor. With a low barrier to entry, this contest is an easy way to increase your Instagram reach.


Because users don’t have to spend much effort on entering the contest, they’re not going to invest much more energy into your brand, and they might forget about the contest and your brand before the contest ends.


A sneaker retailer posts a photo of their new line of sneakers on Instagram. In the caption, they write “We’re giving away a pair of these limited edition sneakers to one lucky winner! Like this post and follow us to enter to win. Winner will be drawn at random on September 30. For 1 more entry in the drawing, tag yourself in this photo.”

Comment To Win Contest

Ask users to comment on a photo uploaded by your brand for a chance to win a sweet prize. It gives your audience the opportunity to get creative, and provides an opportunity for you to solicit feedback and goodwill from your potential customers.


Asking users for comments drives up engagement for your Instagram account, plus it provides the best kind of free advertising for your brand or product: customer advocacy.


Because this contest takes more effort to enter, you might get less contest entries.


A restaurant asks their Instagram followers to comment on their contest post with their favorite menu item from that restaurant. The restaurant chooses a winner at random.

Photo/Video Submission Contest

Ask users to upload a photo to their profile, tag your brand handle in the caption, and use a custom hashtag to enter the contest, like #BrandSelfieContest.


This contest turns your customers into brand advocates, and transforms their profiles into mini ad campaigns for your business or brand.


You’re depending on your users to submit content, so you won’t be able to control the message and aesthetic of photos and videos that are tagged as your handle.


A travel company asks their users to post a selfie with the name of their ideal vacation location, tag the company in the photo, and use the hashtag #IWannaGetAwayContest. A winner is chosen at random.

One last tip: don’t forget to check Instagram’s promotion guidelines to make sure you’re following their terms and conditions.


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