How to find Instagram competitions
Because it’s so tricky to search on the Instagram platform, there isn’t really an easy way to find giveaways, prize draws and contests – which means a lot of them have only a handful of entries. I enjoy comping on Instagram, although recently my feed seems to be full of the frustrating ‘tag a friend to enter, each tagged friend is another entry in the draw’ type of spammy giveaway!
New to Instagram comping? Read my post – and watch my YouTube guide – on How to find, enter and win Instagram competitions. Also check out my 10 tips to win more prizes on Instagram!
How to find Instagram comps
There are a number of techniques you can use to find prize promotions on Instagram – combine them to get the best results. You’ll find competitions where you create your own original content, and easier prize draws where you have to follow, like, comment, tag or share to your stories or feed.
1. Do a search
You can search using a single hashtag on Instagram – and since 2020, you can also search for words or phrases. Here’s some hashtag suggestions to try – remember to filter the results by Recent first!
- #contest (US)
- #sweepstakes (US)
- #giveaway (international)
- #loopgiveaway (loop giveaways are popular in US, Canada and Australia but not so much in the UK)
The #win search will give loads of results, but you can swipe through quickly keeping an eye out for the words WIN or GIVEAWAY on the photos.
Try searching for hashtags related to events, for example:
Search for local competitions too, by adding locations to the hashtags. Here’s some ideas for UK specific tags you can search:
Also try searches for your town or city – eg #LondonCompetition or London Giveaway
On the results page you can choose to Follow a hashtag too, which means that hashtagged posts will appear in your feed.
2. Search Twitter
You can search Twitter without being a member, and it’s an excellent resource. At www.twitter.com/search, look for ‘win Instagram competition‘, ‘upload Instagram win‘, or similar search strings. You can do several things with the results – click LATEST at the top to see recent tweets. Lots of promoters send tweets but forget to link to their Instagram account; try their Twitter username first, otherwise you may need to tweet to ask them what their username on Instagram is!
3. Search Google
Follow my tips on a targeted Google search, trying various keywords and phrases – win Instagram competition, etc.
4. Swipe through your feed and stories regularly
Instagram learns what you want to see from your actions on the platform, so if you enter a lot of competitions it will start to show you more similar content, especially promoted posts and stories. So put time aside to check through your feed and stories for promoted posts, some of which will hopefully be comps!
5. Follow @competition.finder
Competition Finder is a great account that shares loads of UK giveaways on their grid and in their Instagram story.
6. Check competition listings sites
In the UK, search The PrizeFinder, Loquax forums, Competition Database & MSE competition board for ‘Instagram’. And of course check my SuperLucky Facebook page regularly.
7. Follow and bookmark other compers
A great way to find Instagram comps with very little effort is to stalk other compers, and keep an eye on the hashtags they’re using. To find Instacompers, click on any competition hashtag to see all the entries, then tap individual photos to visit profile pages. You can then check the other comps those people are entering, and click on hashtags or tags to track down the original competition post or details. Still struggling? Google the hashtag they’re using to try and find competition details! Follow or bookmark the profiles of regular compers – if you follow them, your home feed will usually have a good selection of comps.
Keep in mind that other compers may soon start stalking you too – enter promotions as late as you can, so people don’t have time to copy you! Once you get into the swing of Instagram, you might want to set up your own secret group or chat to share Instagram competitions with a few comping friends – working together you should be able to find lots!
8. Turn on notifications
From a profile page, you can turn on notifications for a user. Tap Following, then Notifications and choose to be notified when they create a post, story or live video. the ‘More’ (…) menu at the top of a user’s profile page – you’ll get a mobile notification when they post a new photo. Use this sparingly to track busy compers and your favourite brands, and you’ll be the first to know if they share a competition or a competition entry.
9. Find and follow related companies
Instagram is good at showing you related brands – when you go to a brand profile, try tapping on the down arrow on the right of their profile. You’ll see a Suggested for you heading with lots of related users – swipe through and follow any you’re interested in, or tap each one and scan their feed for any signs of a giveaway. This is a handy way to find local businesses who might be running comps – eg. restaurants, boutiques or beauty salons.
10. Add friends – and tag each other
If you have comping friends on Instagram, team up to tag each other in the comments of competition posts – then be sure to check your Activity feed daily to find and enter all the comps you’ve been tagged in! It’s a good idea to find a couple of local comping friends too – try and find some in a local Facebook comping group.
Always check T&Cs!
Be warned – there are usually no T&Cs for Instagram comps, so you’ll have to work out if the comps are actually valid in the UK, or even if they’re still open to entries! First of all – check the first comment on the competition photo – or the main bio, as promoters will often add a link there. If there’s still no sign of T&Cs there, add a comment to ask the promoter about closing dates or eligibility – it’s a pain to win a product from the US, as you sometimes have to pay import tax on it! If you spot £ signs in the prize details, that’s a clue it’s a UK promotion ($ signs could mean US, Canada or Australian promotions!)
If you have any more tips on finding Instagram comps, let me know in the comments.
Also check out 10 tips to win more prizes on Instagram!
It’s helpful for me. Thank you
I need follow
This is such good advice! On the flip side, we wrote a bit about how to host good competitions (especially if you can’t find ones you like to participate in!): https://schedugr.am/blog/instagram-photo-contest-businesses/
That’s a very useful article – thanks for the link!
We have lots of competitions. Any ideas of where to get the word out?
There are some ideas in this post Maria – what country are you in? https://superlucky.me/promote-competition/
Great Instagram giveaway from Florum Magazine, check out the details at http://www.florumfashion.com/fashion-tech/#/instagram-12-days-of-christmas-giveaway/ or http://www.instagram.com/florummagazine
For me Instagram is hottest right now in terms of effort-to-returns – I highly recommend! The orange people are of course a bonus 😉
Di, can you help me, I’ve entered some genuine Instagram competitions but have never won, how would a promoter / company notify a winner I don’t understand if you can message through Instagram. Thanks
Becca, I’ve listed the methods of informing winners on my other post at http://superlucky.me/2014/07/instagram-competitions/ – it IS possible to send a DM (direct message) on Instagram but they’ve not made it very easy to find this on the app. It’s a little in-tray icon at the top of the home screen (tap the house icon) and will show a little red dot if you have a message. Some promoters prefer to comment on your photo and ask you to email them though – in this case look for a red dot under the heart/speech bubble icon to show you have a notification!
Thanks for this, I’m off to check now