3 Easy Instagram Contests For Rapid Growth

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Instagram Accounts that hold contests regularly grow 70% faster!

Posts that are related to Instagram contest posts tend to earn roughly 64x more comments and 3.5x more likes when compared to ‘normal’ content.

I can not stress enough how important it is to regularly run contests for growth, engagement, and to convert new customers. Plus, they are just fun!

I gathered the 3 types of contests that are easiest, most effective and the best for subscription boxes to run on Instagram. Let's jump right into the good stuff but make sure to read to the end for all the deets. 

CONTEST #1: Simple Giveaway

Simple Giveaways are one of the quickest and easiest to get new followers. You can easily give away a free monthly box, special one-time box, a discount to your store or extra product you have lying around!

Include one or all of the following directions:

  1. Follow to win - To enter follow the account posting the contest.
  2. Like to win - Like the contest post  to enter (double-tap to win)
  3. Tag to win - Tag a friend (@name) in the comments for an additional entry per name.

A great example of following all 3 directions is Curology's Giveaway 

You Can see in 6 hours it got over 3,500 likes and 1,000 comments. As opposed to the previous post with only 1,400 likes and 14 comments. Contests clearly skyrocket your engagement and following. 

CONTEST #2: Photo Submission

Asking your followers to submit a photo of your box is one of the best ways to gather amazing user-generated content and social proof. Images and testimonials from many people are huge for building trust and appealing to new customers. Plus, you have tons of free content and photography to showcase on your media channels. I think this is the best contest to run as an evergreen contest you host consistently every month.  

Directions to include:

  1. Post your photo with our product and include #[brandedhashtag]
    note - make sure to create a relevant hashtag for your contest that no one else is using, you will search this hashtag to choose a winner. 

As a prize you could give away a free month of your box, a gift bag or you could really spice things up with a mega prize like Yogi Surprise's yoga retreat. 

Yogi Surprise Instagram photo contest

This amazing contest aligns perfectly with their brand mission and tagline "Yoga Retreat in a Box" It also attracted hundreds of amazing images that they use to fill their Instagram. If they were to try and take this variety of photos it would cost thousands so it is well worth the cost of the prize to run a contest like this! You don't have to do a giveaway this big to get great results though, if you are starting out keep it simple!

Check out some of the amazing images submitted:

 Yogi Surprise instagram contest Yogi Surprise Instagram contest Yogi Surprise Instagram contest Yogi Surprise Instagram contest Yogi Surprise Instagram contest

Pro tip - some of these images are submitted by influencers, Yogi surprise places a focus on influencer engagement by sending a box to lots of them. You can get your own niche influencer list here.   

CONTEST #3: Multiple Brand Giveaway

Having a partner increases engagement by 79%. Also when you pool together to create a prize you can give away a much larger prize. You can group money and buy one large prize or you can each enter a product into a gift bag. Partner with complimentary brands or ones you have in your box. This is also a great way to get followers from a partner's IG account who already has a large social following. 

Multiple Brand Giveaway Instagram contest

Directions to include:

To Enter:

  1. Like this post
  2. Follow @[yourbrandhandle], @[partnerbrand1] and @[partnerbrand2]

    Optional instructions you could add. 

    1. Tag a friend who would love this, each tag counts as an additional entry
    2. For an extra entry repost his pic with the hashtag #[yourcontest] and tag @[yourIGhandle]

    All the Deets

    Now that you know the best 3 ways to run a contest for your brand here are all the nitty-gritty details to make sure you get the most out of it and do it right. 


    Here are some great hashtags to use to get new people entering your contest. 

    #contest #[yourbrand]contest #contests #contestalert #contestentry #sweepstakes #[yourbrand]sweepstakes #giveaway #[yourbrandgiveaway] #giveaways #winitwednesday #competition #win #[yourbrand]win #win

    Here’s how to find great hashtags with quick Instagram hashtag research

    Multi-day Contest

    If your contest runs more than one day be sure to post one to two times more. You can use the same image or better yet a fresh one. Repeat the directions in each post and make sure to check all posts when choosing a winner. 

    Announcing Your Winner 

    1. Choosing a winner is easy, just scroll through your comments feed of entrants, and tap on the screen at random.
    2. Check to make sure that the winner is a real person, some of your followers may check and comment if it looks suspicious.
    3. Update your post to close the contest (you can add "CONTEST NOW CLOSED" at the top of the post), tag and announce the winner, and that’s it!     

    Prize Tips

    If you focus on giving away prizes that are relevant to your target audience, your contest will generate better results.

    Also, as you might have guessed, giving away items of high value tends to produce higher levels of engagement.

    The chart below shows that prizes worth $1,000 or more generally achieve 5.8 engagements per 100 followers.Tailwind engagement increases with more valuable prizes

    Follow Good Contest Protocol

    When writing the description for your contest, be sure to cover:

    • What the rules are
    • Clear 
      guidelines on how to enter
    • Participation restrictions — such as age and location
    • The prize
    • The dates it runs and the deadline (
      inclu. timezone)
    • When and how you will announce the winner and how the prize is delivered or received. 
    • Acknowledge that your Instagram contest or giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Instagram

     Make sure to also check Instagram's Promotion Guidelines


    That is all you need to know to get started making impactful contests to skyrocket your growth. So to summarize, decide on a contest theme, create the rules, and establish a dedicated hashtag. You could also increase user engagement by cross-posting the contest on Facebook. Have fun with it and post consistently!


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