Lessons from My First Instagram Giveaway

What You Can Learn From My Big Instagram Giveaway Mistake - Plus, Some Good Tactics by @collettelazor

Over the weekend, I hosted an Instagram giveaway for If the Jewel Fits. I read a ton of articles and decided to go with the classic "tag a friend" promotion. Here are the things that I did right: 

1 // Created a graphic that made the giveaway clear. 

My formula: a simple title, "Instagram Giveaway" with text explaining the promotion (in case people don't read the caption) and a picture of the item. 

2 // Added all giveaway terms in the photo description. 

It clearly outlined how to enter, when the contest would end and included the must-have disclaimer from Instagram. 

We get by with a little help from our friends! HOW TO ENTER: Tag your #bestie in the comments below for a chance to win an initial charm necklace for both of you! One entry per person. Tag only one bestie. The contest includes two necklaces with the initial of your choice - One for you, one for your bestie! All entries must be submitted by Sunday, 1/17/16 7pm EST. The winner will be contacted on 1/18/16 via direct message to coordinate. Good luck! Per Instagram rules, we must mention that this is in no way sponsored, administered or associated with Instagram.

#jewelry #initialjewelry #initialnecklace #initialcharms #charmnecklace

3 // Made the entry time short to create a sense urgency. 

The contest was only valid for 2 days. In the description, I clearly stated the end date / time and when the winner would be contacted.  

4 // Omitted "giveaway" hashtags. What? Why? How?  I know this is crazy talk.

I did it because I didn't want the giveaway-hungry people to enter. Those aren't true fans of my work. I wanted to reward current followers and attract their BFF's which are most likely my target, too. 

5 // Posted a reminder graphic on Sunday. 

Since it was a short giveaway period, I shared another graphic that called out the giveaway in case people missed the first post. It was text-only and lead back to my feed to find the original photo. That ensured all entrants were posting on the original photo. 

With the "tag a friend" approach, I was guaranteed fresh eyes on my Instagram feed. All of the above sounded like a formula for success, right? So, what did I miss? 

I forgot to require entrants to "follow" my feed.

That's right. I got people to interact with one photo, but without that clause in the terms, they unfortunately didn't "follow" on their own. 

The final results: 

+   1 new follower
+   16 contest entrants / comments
+  9 photo likes
+  2 happy besties with new necklaces

Now what?

I want to focus more time and effort on Instagram (personally and professionally) this year. Now, I have ideas on what to do differently next time.