Oct 21, 2019

How to Use Viral Giveaways to Get More Instagram Followers

How to Use Viral Giveaways to Get More Instagram Followers

Are you using Instagram for your business?

Whether you’re just starting out in business or are up and running, here’s what you should know: Instagram can be a powerful marketing tool.

Instagram has over 1 billion active users in 2019. A rapidly growing platform, Instagram lets you expand your presence.

That way, you can stay connected with your audience while they’re engaging with their friends or looking up celebrities.

Here are more reasons to use Instagram for your business:

  • Opportunities to drive sales. Instagram focuses on visual content, allowing brands to showcase their products and services.
  • Higher engagement. Stats show that engagement with brands on Instagram is ten times higher than Facebook.
  • User-generated content. User-generated content seems to dominate Instagram. Brands like Starbucks regram their followers’ photos that highlight their products. This increases positive word-of-mouth.

If you do your research, you’ll find that there are many ways to grow your Instagram followers…

  • Like and comment on others’ Instagram posts
  • Respond to comments people leave on your posts
  • Create a unique hashtag and encourage others to use it

...and so on.

If you want to increase your following in less time, you know that the usual methods can be time-consuming.

Yet, a powerful strategy for growing your followers in no time is a viral giveaway. What is a viral giveaway and how does it work?

Get More Instagram Followers by Running a Viral Giveaway

A viral giveaway is basically a giveaway where people can win a prize or incentive in exchange for referring as many of their friends as possible.

Businesses that run viral giveaways often require people to enter their email address on a landing page. (This helps a business stay in touch with its giveaway audience after the campaign ends.)

Here’s a simple example of a viral giveaway created using UpViral, a viral marketing tool:

As you can see, on the first page (called a giveaway opt-in page), people enter their email address. After they enter their email, they’re taken to a share page where they can share the campaign with their friends.

Where does getting more Instagram followers fit into the picture? Here’s how it works. It’s really simple:

Using UpViral, you can incentivize your giveaway entrants for completing certain actions that benefit your business.

We call this special feature Custom Actions. (We’ll discuss more about using Custom Actions to grow your Instagram following in a while.)

2,546 new Instagram followers from a 26-day contest

David Fraser, founder of Bunkie Life, did a 26-day contest using UpViral.

His main goal was not to get new Instagram followers. Rather, he wanted to promote his bunkies by getting more people to refer them and generate sales.

But because his business also had other goals, which included growing its Instagram presence, he leveraged Custom Actions. One of his custom actions was “Follow us on Instagram.”

By completing this custom action, participants would gain 50 extra points:

After the 26-day period, he collected 2,546 new Instagram followers.

<<Read the complete Bunkie Life case study>>

Can you imagine achieving this kind of result in less than a month?

What’s amazing was that David didn’t even run a contest on Instagram to get more Instagram followers. Plus, growing an Instagram following was just one of his mini-goals.

Yet, the results were amazing.

How to Host a Successful Giveaway to Get More Instagram Followers

Running a successful giveaway doesn’t have to be hard. Here’s a step-by-step guide.

1. Have a goal in mind.

Since you’re here, that means your goal is to get real Instagram followers. That’s a great goal to start with.

Just remember that no matter what your goal is, it needs to align with a bigger business strategy.

Perhaps the reason why you want more Instagram followers is to...

  • Increase brand awareness
  • Boost your website traffic
  • Acquire new customers
  • Encourage positive word-of-mouth marketing

Knowing your goals will help you be able to maximize your Instagram following after your giveaway has ended.

2. Find an awesome prize.

The next step is to choose a giveaway prize that appeals to your target audience. I repeat: The prize has to be relevant.

A lot of brands fail in this step because they give away something irrelevant.

For example, a business that sells clothing gives away a totally unrelated prize, like an iPhone.

(While an iPhone is enticing, people who join your contest to win that iPhone may not even be interested in doing business with you!)

At the end of the day, pick a prize that attracts loyal fans and customers - not prize hunters.

The key is to pick a prize that represents your business.

If you’re a clothing brand, give away one of your shirts. Teaching people piano lessons? Offer your course for free. You could also give away a discount coupon to encourage people to buy your product.

You get the idea.

Why is this important?

Since you want to increase your Instagram followers, you might as well attract followers who are likely to become your customers in the future!

Read more: How to Choose a Contest Prize That Attracts Qualified Leads and Helps You Go Viral

3. Create a landing page and share page.

A giveaway should have a dedicated landing page.

For this page to be effective, it needs to convince people that entering the giveaway is the best decision they’ll ever make.

A giveaway landing page should contain these basic elements:

Clear and captivating headline. The headline should immediately convey that people are invited to join a giveaway. Right away, they should know what they can win.

Image of the prize. Use a high-resolution image of your incentive. Pick a background color that makes the image stand out.

Details about the prize. Mention the features and benefits of the prize. In fact, you can upload a short video about your prize. One of our users, Max Rhymes, uploaded a video where an expert showed participants why the prize mattered. (Read the case study.)

Giveaway entry form. People need a place to enter their email address. Reduce the number of your form fields to encourage more sign-ups.


This is where the magic happens.

The share page should contain social share buttons + a unique referral link that people can use to invite more friends to sign-up.

Most importantly, it features your custom action button that invites people to follow you on Instagram in exchange for more points!

To set-up your custom action button inside UpViral, go to Setup. Under Incentives, click Points. Scroll down to the last part of the page Points for Custom Actions. Here’s a screenshot:

You can also create more custom actions if you want to meet other business goals. For example, asking people to join your Facebook group, commenting on a blog post, or subscribing to your YouTube channel.

Read more about the Custom Actions feature right here.

A word of advice:

Assign bigger points to custom actions that matter most to you. That way, people will prioritize completing that action. In this case, that custom action would be following you on Instagram.

4. Promote your giveaway.

An important but often neglected step of your campaign is promotion.

The more you promote your giveaway, the more popular it becomes. If you don’t promote it, nobody hears it. Plain and simple.

To ensure that your campaign reaches as many people as possible, here are some strategies you can use:

  • Post it on contest directories
  • Write a blog post about it
  • Run Facebook ads
  • Feature it on your website (UpViral allows you to embed your giveaway as a widget or popup)
  • Post your giveaway on Instagram (In your call to action, tell people that they can access the campaign link in your bio section.)

Read this guide to get more ideas on promoting your giveaway.

5. Evaluate your results.

Let’s say you’ve already announced the winner. Now that your giveaway has come to an end, it’s time to track its results.

How many leads did you get? How many signed up directly or were referred? Most importantly, how many new Instagram followers did you gain?

After running a couple of giveaways, you will have a deeper understanding of what works and what doesn’t - your choice of prize, landing page copy, and promotional strategies.

This helps build your confidence in growing your following not just on Instagram, but on other platforms that matter to your business.

Get Amazing Results With UpViral’s Custom Actions

What do you think of today’s post?

Are you excited to run a giveaway to increase your Instagram followers?

Give UpViral a try to incentivize ANY ACTION that will help you gain leads, increase your social media followers, and more. Check out UpViral today!