Instagram Marketing

Why Instagram Contests Fail (And What To Do About It)

I spend a lot of time attending to my personal Instagram account. I go to local meet-ups, take lots and lots of photos, edit images, reply to comments on my posts, add my own comments and likes to the wonderful accounts I follow. My personal Instagram account is kind of a big deal to me.

It has taken time to develop relationships.  I am still developing my personal artistic style. I’ve been active on Instagram for a year and a half, I am slowly raising the bar re: the kinds of images I choose to post. That’s why I will probably never participate in a ‘Repost to Win’ contest.

As an avid personal account user, I find ‘repost to win’ contests border on spamming my followers. The graphics are rarely appealing – they are full of text and read just like an ad. Unless I have a solid friendship with someone at the company and want to support my friend (not the company), I keep scrolling past these types of contests.

I do understand the lure of the ‘repost to win’ contest appeal. As marketers, we’ve been told to make a contest easy for people to enter; the more complicated the contest is, the less likely someone will participate.

Luckily, there’s a win-win situation for hosting a contest on Instagram.

Host A Contest Which Allows Users to Create Their Own Images

Why not run a contest which lets the entrant create their own image for entry, instead? By allowing entrants to create an entry that fits their artistic style, they can participate without compromising the integrity of their feed.

This kind of contest takes a bit more planning and effort on the part of your followers, but the users who take the time to enter are more devoted to your brand. You, the company, have to provide a theme – for example, wearing a piece of your clothing, or interpreting a specific word or idea you supply. And, to enter, entrants must use a specific hashtag when they post their image.

Instagram Contests Done Right

I think Stitchfix has the right idea. Every Friday they highlight a follower who has used the #StitchFixFriday hashtag. Followers take pictures of themselves wearing clothes they have purchased from the retailer for a chance to win a $50 credit.

Some people do end up sharing a mirror selfie, but if you search the hashtag, you will find there are plenty of people who get much more creative when sharing images showcasing their love of StitchFix clothing.

Have you considered hosting an Instagram contest? How can I help make it an event you and your followers will enjoy? Share your questions in the comments!

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