How to do a giveaway on Instagram the right way

Organizing a giveaway is often named as a great way to increase your followers.  It’s said to be simple and relatively low-cost when looking at the reward.  While giveaways have lots of benefits, many people warn others that giveaways don’t always result in success, especially in the long-term.  For this reason, we figured it would be a good idea to look into the benefits and risks in more detail.  Let’s collect some statistics and opinions to find out how to run a giveaway on Instagram the right way.

Doing a giveaway can be beneficial for your business if done the right way.  Many people think about it too easily and figure that to attract a large group of new followers, they must give away something that appeals to everyone.  This is where they’re wrong. It might increase your followers, but these followers are more interested in the product you’re giving away, rather than your business.  This way, you attract the wrong people and your giveaway will not be successful in the long-term.  Let’s take a deeper dive and find out how you can organize a giveaway that will result in long-term success for your business.

Types of giveaways

Not all giveaways help your account grow. We can divide giveaways into two categories:

  1. Large generic giveaways
  2. Small niche-specific giveaways

Large generic giveaways

Large generic giveaways appeal to almost everyone and thus seem like a great way to increase your following - and it is.  However, many accounts experience drawbacks from this approach.

For example, with this approach, you can unknowingly attract ‘ghost’ followers.  These surely are real people, they’re just not your people.  Consequently, your engagement rate will decrease, leaving you in an unfavorable position in regard to Instagram algorithms.  The amount of followers doesn’t seem to be an important factor in determining whether your post will be shown to your fans, however, the percentage of people who actually engage with your account seems to be a crucial factor. Therefore, instead of boosting your success, you create an actual handicap that weighs down on your account’s success.

In conclusion, these large generic types of giveaways rather hurt your account than help it grow.

Small niche-specific giveaways

Despite that, there are types of giveaways on Instagram that might actually help your account to grow in the long-term.  Enter small niche-specific giveaways.

There are two criteria for small niche-specific giveaways.  Your offer has to be:

  • Something specifically appealing to the target audience you want to attract
  • Something that would not appeal to people who aren’t interested in your target niche.

However, you need to keep in mind that people start following you with the hope of winning something.  You still risk attracting the wrong people who only are interested in winning.  But by making the prize niche-specific, you will at least attract people with the same interests.

You must ask yourself: “What would my ideal follower want to win?  Are these people going to be loyal and engaged followers?”.

Now, if you are part of a brand that’s able to give away their own products or other meaningful experiences, you should definitely consider doing that.

It’s a win-win with many benefits.

Benefits of a giveaway on Instagram

It can help you attract new customers

Giveaways are often used as a way to increase followers in the short-term.  But as we addressed earlier, you should not focus on follower growth only. Instead, you want to build a loyal customer base.

So, when focusing on giveaways, you must focus on acquiring new loyal customers.

In order to really benefit from a giveaway on Instagram, you need to give away something your target group is truly interested in.

Imagine this: Dave runs a small-scale Hip-Hop record company and decides to give away a brand new studio microphone to increase his followers and with that, his long-term revenue.

Who do you think he attracts?  Indeed, he attracts anyone who wants to win a brand new studio microphone.

His followers increase significantly, but then his engagement drops in the weeks following.  His comments are down and his followers seem less invested in his business than before.  How come?

Well, people who were interested in winning the studio microphone have no interest at all in Dave’s record company.  They don’t engage with his content and Instagram recognizes the drop in engagement percentage, leaving him less favored by the algorithm in the long-term.

The giveaway wasn’t successful at all.

Now imagine Dave gives away a virtual meet and greet with one of the artists on his record label.  He now only attracts people who are really interested in his record company.  As a result, maybe his followers don’t increase significantly, but he may gain a few new loyal and engaging followers.

And that’s what we’re aiming for: long-term growth.

Giveaways increase word-of-mouth

People tend to trust their environment when it comes to content.  Therefore, giveaways can be used well to increase word-of-mouth marketing.  If other people on their timelines are getting a great deal, it must be worth checking out.  This increases the reach of your account and could attract new followers who are also interested in the product or experience you’re giving away.

These are potential new customers.

Giveaways gain you data

Giveaways can be a great way of collecting your fans’ data.  You can collect email addresses for your email list by running a giveaway and if you make sure the right people sign up, this could increase your chances of making a product sale through email marketing in the future.

You can collect all kinds of data for your giveaway.  People love free stuff and if it’s worth it for them, they don’t mind giving you a piece of data.

Owning your fans’ data is getting more important to your business by the day, as organic reach is dying on social media.  Social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram have algorithms in place that only let you reach approximately 2% of your following. 

That’s crazy!

To reach more people on these platforms, you need to buy advertisements.  And because advertisement impressions are rising every year, there’s no sign that this will change anytime soon.

For this reason, you must become the owner of your fans’ data, instead of paying these social media companies.  They are the owner of your fans’ data, and they’re letting you pay your hard-earned profits to reach them.

Therefore, you must collect and own your fans’ data yourself.  Fangage is a prime example of a website where you can reach 100% of your fanbase at all times while being 100% owner of their data.

Pro Tip: with your own website for your fans from Fangage you can organize giveaways only for your true fans.  They can sign up for the giveaway by logging in with their data, of which you then become 100% owner.

It is engaging content

However you put it, giveaways usually increase your engagement.

However, this could be only on short-term notice and if you don’t do it right, it can harm your engagement in the long-term.

As said before, if you attract the right people with your giveaway, you could increase engagement in the long-term.  But for this to happen, you need to attract people who are interested in your content, thus have the potential to become engaging followers.

We can’t say it too often, you must make sure your giveaway is valuable to a group of people that can grow to loyal followers or customers.


Giveaways are tricky - you need to think critically about running a giveaway because if you do it wrong, it could hurt your business in the long-term.

However, if you do it right, it has a lot of benefits.  For example, you can reach some potentially loyal followers or customers.  While doing this, you can even collect some of their data, which can be of great value in a later stadium.

If you want to be able to manage and reach 100% of your fans from one place, while having 100% ownership of their data, you should check out Fangage.  You can create your own website for your fans for free within under a minute.  Try out all features for free in 14 days and decide on a plan that suits you later.

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