10 tips to win more prizes on Instagram
Instagram is a mobile app that still isn’t widely used by a lot of compers – which means the prize draws and competitions don’t usually get many entries! I’ve won lots of prizes using Instagram, including flights to New York, £1000 Selfridges vouchers and a lovely new Olympus camera.
Here are my top tips for winning prizes on Instagram…
1. Take photos of everything!
Regular Instagram winners are people who share their own original photos – rather than just regrams. Get into the habit of taking photos of everything. Selfies, meals, sunsets, family moments… if your dinner, shoes, hair or outfit looks amazing, snap a photo – you never know when you’ll need it. Don’t be afraid to share lots of everyday moments – crop them cleverly, add filters and you’ll be surprised how Instagram can bring a dull photo to life. You don’t need to upload all your photos to Instagram though – you might want to save them on your phone, and wait for just the right competition!
2. Learn from the pros
Some Instagram photos are incredibly beautiful, and will inspire you for your own competition entries. Click hashtags to browse photos on a theme – try #travel, #landscape, #beautiful, or #instafood – and use them to style your own shots. Food photography looks good when you take the photo from directly overhead. For travel photography check out the gorgeous @worldwanderlust photos. A #flatlay of objects looks professional and beautiful and can really stand out…
3. Find and follow compers
Checking what other compers do is a great way to find competitions. To find other compers, simply click competition hashtags and tap on an entry in the results, then tap the sharer’s username. You’ll also see compers commenting on photos and can tap to visit their profile from there – follow them, or save a link to their profile as a browser bookmark. If you follow a user, you can ‘get notifications’ every time they post. Tap Following on a user’s profile page, then tap notifications – you can choose to be notified when they post a new photo or story (you can also use this for companies that run regular comps, so you don’t miss out!). Compers share a lot of competitions to their stories, so when you visit their profile make sure to tap and view their stories.
Most Instagram non-creative prize draws now require at least one friend to be tagged, so find yourself a handful of comping friends who you can tag in giveaways, and who will return the favour. If you’re on Facebook, join my Lucky Learners group and post on the Comping Friends album to find some local friends to tag.
3. Be an active follower
If you’re regularly liking and commenting on a company’s Instagram page, they’ll know you’re a fan. If you use their products, wear their clothes or visit their venue, be sure to tag them in your photo or story. Companies like to reward their fans and followers, and a competition prize is a great way to do it.
4. Ensure your profile looks good
A promoter might pop to your profile before deciding if you’re a winner – so make sure it looks good. Upload a photo and an interesting bio. Don’t share too many regram photos at once – end your comping session by uploading some original, attractive content – those are the photos people see first when they check out your profile. Enter regram photos sparingly and delete regrams from your profile as soon as the winner is announced (if the winner is announced – the lack of public announcements is a gripe many Instagram compers have!). You might want to pin some non-comping story highlights across the top of your profile too – eg. favourite travel or food photos.
5. Do a search
Unfortunately, you can only search for one Instagram hashtag at a time. Try using #competition if you’re in the UK, #contest for the US – or #giveaway works internationally, and #win or #prize might also give you results (you can search at www.instagram.com too). It might seem time-consuming at first, but you’ll soon learn to quickly swipe through the results looking for prize photos or the word ‘win’ – you can find some really low entry giveaways doing this. You can also follow a hashtag to see it on your feed – handy if you want to track entries to a competition!
In 2020 you can now search for multiple words on Instagram – you will need to choose from suggested results, so it won’t work with everything you try, but if you try searching for the word competition with various other words you might get lucky! Check the search results carefully though – brand new giveaways are interspersed with some from months (or even years!) ago.
6. Upload old photos
Instagram gives a new lease of life to old prints and digital photos – especially for Christmas, Mothers Day and Fathers Day competitions. Look through old photo albums and boxes and take photos or scan your favourites. When the right competition theme comes up, upload them to Instagram and add filters to make them look even more vintage.
7. Enter as late as you dare!
With Instagram, Twitter and Pinterest competitions, entries should be public so promoters can track them. That means other compers can easily follow your every move, waiting to copy you! Get organised and save your giveaways to dated collections, then enter on the closing date. Entering Instagram comps at the last minute gives your followers very little time to make a last minute entry of their own, and also means your entry will have prime position at the top of the recent search results…
8. Use Twitter and Google to find low entry Instagram competitions
Most companies tweet about their Instagram accounts, or automatically tweet their Instagram content. Use Twitter advanced search at www.twitter.com/search-advanced – try combining Instagram with words like win, share, upload, story, competition, or prize. When you get the results, make sure to select Latest to see the most recent tweets. Save the search by clicking More Options > Save Search and you can choose it as an option any time you start typing in the Twitter search box. Tweetdeck is also a great tool for multiple searches. Use Google search too, and tailor it to look for the same word combinations.
9. Check out the competition
Hashtag promotions are excellent for compers, because by tapping the hashtag you can see at a glance how many entries there are. If it’s a competition where entrants upload their own photos on a theme, you’ll also be able to get an idea of what you’re up against and can tailor your own entry accordingly. Do all the results look similar? What can you do to make YOUR photo stand out amongst them?
10. Add filters, GIFs and emojis
Instagram filters can make almost anything look great! Use the filters and the other settings on old digital and printed photographs to give them a new lease of life. If you hate selfies, use filters to increase contrast and fade out those wrinkles – the black and white ones work nicely! I like to use Instagram filters on photos that I want to upload to websites, Facebook or Twitter too. To do this – turn your phone onto ‘flight mode’ in the settings, then upload a photo to Instagram, add filters and share as usual. Because there’s no 4G or WiFi, you’ll get an error message, but the retouched photo will be saved into your camera roll/gallery. Then turn flight mode off and tweet it or upload it elsewhere!
When sharing giveaway posts to your story, add GIFs, emojis and text to make your entry stand out!
Finally, make sure you log in to Instagram as often as you can to check your message inbox and activity – you wouldn’t want to miss out on a prize notification! If a winner has been announced in an Instagram story, you’ll only be able to view that story for 24 hours so you really need to be checking your inbox daily!
Instagram bans are common, so check my tips on how to avoid an Instagram ban.
You might receive a winning message from someone you don’t follow – tap the paper plane icon to go to your inbox, and check for a message request bar at the top of the screen. You’ll need to accept the message in order to reply. But please beware of the profile cloning scams before you respond or give any personal details!
Enjoyed this post? You might like these too:
- 10 tips to win more prizes on Facebook
- 10 tips to win more prizes on Twitter
- How to find Instagram competitions
Have you had much success with Instagram competitions? Tell me in the comments!