How to find Instagram competitions
“Di… how do I find Instagram competitions?”
Ah, I’m asked this question all the time! There is no easy way to find Instagram competitions, prize draws and contests – which means they’re usually very low entry, particularly when you consider most of them can only be entered on a mobile device!
How to find Instagram comps
There are a number of techniques you can use to find Instagram giveaways and comps – combine them to get the best results, looking for both creative ‘upload’ competitions and ‘regram’, like or comment prize draws.
Do a hashtag search
Currently, you can only search using a single hashtag on Instagram. Try using #competition if you’re in the UK, #contest for the US – or #giveaway works internationally – in the US, Canada and Australia you can also try #loopgiveaway (these multi-promoter prize draws haven’t caught on in the UK yet!). You can even try #win – although you’ll get LOADS of results! Do this search on your mobile app or on the website (the #competition search results can be found at instagram.com/explore/tags/competition.) Don’t give up when you see how many irrelevant results show up – including some frightening orange bodybuilders! You’ll soon get the hang of scrolling quickly through these, looking for photos of prizes, or the words WIN or GIVEAWAY featured on the photos – most will require a simple regram. Open the photo to find out more information – look for the T&Cs, and scan for £ signs in the prize details, which are a clue it’s a UK promotion ($ signs could mean US, Canada or Australian promotions!). Occasionally I’ll sit and do this for a couple of hours or so while watching TV, as a targeted Instagram search session – I usually win at least one prize!
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 photo Instagram win‘, or similar search strings. You can do several things with the results – click LATEST at the top to see recent tweets, or click PHOTOs and look for the ones with ‘WIN’ on! 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!
Follow my tips on a targeted Google search, trying various keywords and phrases – win Instagram competition, etc.
Check competition listings sites
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! If you like, follow or bookmark the profiles of regular compers – if you follow them, your home feed will usually have a good selection of comps, plus you can tap the heart and go to the Following tab to see what they’re up to!
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 to share Instagram competitions with a few comping friends – working together you’ll be able to find lots!
Turn on notifications
From a profile page, you can turn on post notifications using 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 entry.
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 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!