Running giveaways on Instagram is a fantastic way to engage your audience, drive growth, and help you reach all your marketing goals.
Whether you're running quick and easy giveaways directly on Instagram, community photo contests, or more elaborate and powerful opt-in giveaways you'll need to ensure that you're outlining clear and transparent rules and guidelines for your campaign.
We're going to take you through an in-depth breakdown of what you'll need to include in the rules, or terms and conditions, that govern your giveaways. Here's a quick rundown of everything we'll be covering:
- Display Your Rules In An Appropriate Place
- Use The Correct Terms
- State Any Brands Hosting The Giveaway
- Acknowledge That Instagram Isn't Associated With Your Giveaway
- Include Prize Details
- Include The Start & End Date Of Your Giveaway
- State Eligibility Requirements
- Provide Clear Instructions On How To Enter
- Rules For Photo Contests
- Rules For 3rd Party Giveaways
Where To Display Your Rules
Before you write up your terms and conditions you'll need to decide how you want to share them with your entrants. It's usually a good idea to include the basic rules of your contest in your caption, but when you start getting to the more nitty-gritty terms and conditions you might want to house them elsewhere to prevent your caption from becoming overly cluttered.
You can do this by writing your terms and conditions in a comment or below your post, or you can take our recommended approach and display your terms and conditions on a dedicated giveaway page on your website which you link users to from your bio.
If you're running your giveaway with a 3rd party app like Gleam you can even house your rules and guidelines inside the giveaway widget for entrants to easily access.
What To Include In Your Rules
Now that we've taken a look at where you can display your rules, let's dive into what exactly you will need to include in them.
Make Sure You Use The Correct Terms
Anytime you run a promotion on Instagram it's highly important that you're using the correct terminology. Terms like giveaways, sweepstakes and contests might sound interchangeable, but they're actually different types of promotions with different laws governing them.
Giveaways & Sweepstakes involve prizes being randomly given away to users who enter by completing designated actions that don't require a purchase or other forms of consideration. This includes giveaways where users have to like a post or follow you on Instagram for a chance to win.
Contests are prize promotions where entries involve an element of skill and winners are selected based on merit. Instagram photo contests fall into the contest category.
Acknowledge That Instagram Isn't Involved
Instagram's Promotion Guidelines state that anytime you run an Instagram contest or giveaway you must provide:
Acknowledgment that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.
If you run your giveaway with Gleam we will automatically include the Instagram release to your terms and conditions.
The Names Of Any Brands & Companies Hosting The Giveaway
If your giveaway is being sponsored or hosted by any brands or companies you are required to include their names in your giveaway. It's a good move to tag these other brands in your Instagram caption if possible.
You also need to make it perfectly clear what exactly it is you're giving away. This includes any relevant specifications or stipulations that may be present.
You'll also need to include information on how the prize will be delivered to winners.
The Start & End Date
You need to make the opening and closing dates of your giveaway perfectly clear from the get-go. This includes when your giveaway starts, when you will stop collecting submissions and when winners will be drawn.
You should also specify what time zone you start and end times are in.
If your giveaway is only open to individuals above a certain age, or residents of particular states or countries then you need to specify this in the terms and conditions of your giveaway.
Clear Instructions On How To Enter
Perhaps the most important component of your giveaway rules is providing clear instructions and guidelines on how users have to enter.
If you're running your giveaway directly on Instagram you will need to precisely outline all the steps users will need to take to enter.
If you're running your giveaway on your website or an external platform then you can detail your entry requirements there and use your Instagram posts to instruct users to follow the link in your bio and follow the instructions there to enter.
How To Get Users To Enter
The way you ask users to enter your giveaway should reflect the goals of your campaign. If you want to quickly engage your audience and grow your following you may want to task them with liking your post, following you, and tagging their friends in the comments to enter.
You can also run highly engaging Instagram photo contests. Running this type of contest has tremendous upside including driving awesome engagement and collecting powerful user-generated content. They also have a few necessary extra rules you'll need to consider which you can check out here.
If you want to drive a wider selection of powerful actions and maximising the value you get from your campaign you should consider running your promotion with a 3rd party giveaway platform.
How Winners Will Be Chosen & Announced
Another key piece of information you will need to include in your terms and conditions are the details of how you will be choosing winners. This includes when winners will be selected, and if they will be randomly chosen or picked based on another criteria.
You will also need to specify how you will be announcing and contacting winners, and how long winners will have to claim their prize before it is redrawn. It's a good idea to announce your winners with an Instagram post as well as directly contacting them. You can do this via Instagram direct messages, getting them to send you an mail, or sending them an email yourself if your giveaway requires them to sign up with their email address.
It's also important to include information about when and how the prize will be delivered to winners. This includes specifying if the winner is responsible for picking up prizes or paying for shipping cost.
Photo Contest Rules
If you're running a photo contest on Instagram there are some extra terms and conditions you will need to add in addition to those we've mentioned above.
Type Of Content
You'll to specify what types of photos, videos, or other content you want users to submit. The clearer your instructions are, the higher quality of submission you will receive, and the more value you will get from your contest.
You will also need to instruct participants on how they need to tag their submissions. The best ways to get entrants to tag their submission posts are by using a designated #hashtag or tagging you in the post with a @mention.
This will make it easy for you to collect entries and choose winners, especially if you run a photo contest with the help of Gleam's powerful import actions.
Winner Selection Criteria
You should also provide a clear and transparent overview of how you will be selecting winners for your contest.
Specify if winners will be selected randomly or based on merit, and if your winners are picked on merit outline exactly what your selection criteria is.
Get Permission To Use Their Content
Anytime you run a photo contest you want to be able to collect the best user-generated content you receive to use in your own future marketing efforts.
You should make it clear in your terms and conditions that by entering your contest users are giving you permission to repost or use their submissions in your own marketing content.
If you run your Instagram photo contest with Gleam you can easily get explicit permission to use UGC, and even import submissions directly into a stylish gallery where you can display them on your website.
Rules For 3rd Party Giveaways
Running opt-in giveaways with a 3rd party app such as Gleam gives you an opportunity to take your Instagram giveaways to the next level.
You can run Gleam giveaways on your own website or a dedicated landing page we provide and drive traffic to your campaign from Instagram and beyond.
This type of giveaway gives you the ability to drive more powerful actions across multiple platforms and maximise participation by driving traffic from multiple sources.
When you run your giveaway with Gleam you will be able to add your terms and conditions to your campaign and make them easily accessible from inside your giveaway.
The only real downside to this approach is that 3rd party giveaway apps are prohibited from incentivising likes and follows. While this isn't ideal, the added ability to drive and track an enormous array of meaningful actions and direct traffic to your campaign from all your channels makes it well and truly the most effective type of giveaway you can run.
Take a look at this demo giveaway we've put together to get an idea of the type of actions you can drive, and how you can display your terms and conditions inside your giveaway:
Find Out More About Running Powerful Instagram Giveaways
- Running Contests & Giveaways On Instagram
- How To Run Instagram Photo Contests
- Drive Sales With Instagram Welcome Offer
- 40+ Ideas For Your Contest Or Giveaway
- 150+ Awesome Prize Ideas For Your Contest
- How To Run A Successful Hashtag Campaign
- 80+ Instagram Ideas For Boosting Engagement
- Using User-Generated Content In Your Marketing
- Running Photo Voting Contests