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Contests on Instagram

lookfamed - 30. August 2019


Step 1: Know the guidelines for competitions

If you plan to post a competition on Instagram, you should also create a plan beforehand as with other contributions. But before this plan can be drawn up, it is necessary to know the guidelines for sweepstakes. So that you are legally on the safe side and don’t get bogged down, we from Lookfamed have summarized the general rules in this article for you:

    1. According to German law (according to § 4 No. 5 UWG) you are obliged to create the sweepstakes in a clear and understandable manner. This means that for the period of the competition you have to provide a precise description of the prize and who can participate in the competition.
    2. You must also list the data protection conditions for participation. These include the note that the data of your followers are only used for the competition (unless the data is used for newsletter distributors, it is then mandatory to make this clear) and that they also have a right to get information about their data, their correction or their deletion.
    3. Instagram has also set up guidelines for promotions for competitions. These say that you have to exempt Instagram from any responsibility. This means that you have to make it clear that Instagram does not cooperate with you or is a co-organizer of the competition. So, regardless of Instagram, you are responsible for setting up and complying with the rules, conditions and winnings. Instagram also points out in its guidelines in point 2 that you must not call on other users to mark content incorrectly (therefore, you must not call on your followers to mark friends under a competition).

Step Two: Choose a competition type and implement it correctly

After familiarizing yourself with the guidelines, you can now draw up a more detailed plan of how your competition is going to look. If you click through Instagram, you will see that there are different types of competitions. It is best if you choose a competition type right from the start. There are basically three types:

First there are the private competitions. Here the competition is posted in a story and the raffle takes place among all users who replied privately to the story. Advantages and disadvantages of the whole thing: Only you can see the participants. Most of the time, users feel motivated to participate in such competitions since they do not have to post anything publicly and do not have to do much. The drawback, however, is that such competitions cannot generate a greater reach.

Next, there are the hashtag competitions: In this type of competition, users are invited to post their own contributions on a topic and to mark them with a hashtag. It is exciting for the participants because they have to be creative. Another advantage of this type of competition is that each participation extremely increases the range of the competition. In a very short time, a lot of people can become aware of your competition or product. Unfortunately, the effort for the participants is very high and therefore discourages many.

In the third and most common way, followers are asked to follow the account and to like or comment on the post in order to participate. In the comments you are also welcome to call for creativity to make the competition more interesting. Watch out! Contrary to many examples that can be found on Instagram, according to Instagram, as already mentioned, you should not ask your followers in the conditions of participation to link their friends to the competition! Some users even motivate their followers by stating that each marker would increase their chances of winning:

(In order not to harm anyone, the name and picture have been censored in this example.)

Of course, you still want to increase your reach with your competition and reach as many participants as possible. Our tip: Don’t link friends as a condition of participation but rather as a request to your followers.

With the large mass of competitions on Instagram, you should make sure that your raffle remains attractive to your followers. Even in competitions it is important to reach your followers personally and not to use any layout product images! Therefore, we also recommend using your own pictures. The best one is where you are also depicted on but the profit is still the focus.

Here is a good example from

In general, the same rule of thumb applies to competitions as to other collaborations: Quality comes before quantity – It’s better to post a large competition in between, rather than constantly smaller ones and thus overwhelming the community. Of course, the amount of the profit also plays a role in the reach of a competition. For example, around 17k people took part in the raffle for the iPhone X from @ However, we do not mean that prizes always have to be expensive. The important thing is that you can address your followers and future customers with the profit. The more relevant and exclusive the price, the less it has to be worth. It is therefore advisable to choose a product that your followers can connect with you. As always, the added value for your community should be the focus.

Step 3: Profit Distribution

Problems can sometimes arise with the distribution of winnings because it is not always easy to write to every winner. For this and of course especially in hashtag competitions, the profiles of the participants must be public. Our tip: As did, write immediately in the caption when the competition is over and link the winner in your own post.

If the selection of the winner is too difficult for you, you can also rely on tools. Finally, since we don’t want to advertise a special tool, we list several here:

Facelift Cloud – automatic drawing of winners in timeline competitions, over 50 templates for promotions such as competitions, data generation (social CRM) and much more.

Tintup – this tool is free and helps you if you want to choose a winner in a hashtag competition.

Woodbox – this tool offers complete monitoring for all possible competitions on other social media channels.