How To Host A Contest On Instagram

I have a confession to make; I am completely addicted to Instagram. Over the past 6 months, the free photo-sharing social network app has become bigger and better than ever. After being acquired by Facebook in early September, Instagram now has over 80 million registered users. Free photo-sharing social networks apps are growing in popularity and powerful corporations are looking to get involved with them. Instagram’s rival, Snapseed, was just bought by Google last week.
Instagram allows anyone with a smart phone to create content and engage with followers and fans through their mobile device. It is the ultimate haven for brands to connect with customers. Since the app is fairly new, brands are still trying to figure out the best way to integrate Instagram into their marketing efforts. However, I have seen quite a few unique ways in which brands are trying to get involved.
In my opinion, hosting an Instagram contest is the most efficient way to reach an audience. It is a quick and easy way to generate visual content with existing followers as well as attract new ones.  Here are four tips on how to host a successful Instagram contest adapted from Bill Miltenberg’s PR News article:
1.       Offer a Prize: Everyone likes an incentive. Many brands host special giveaways that are exclusive to their Instagram followers, which in turn acquires new followers in the process. Get creative!

2.       Use a Specific Hashtag: To make sure you can measure the success of the contest, make a special hashtag that contest participants have to use in order to win. Temple University has recently launched the Temple Made campaign in which one aspect prompts students and alumni to tag their Instagram photos with the hashtag #TempleMade for the chance to be featured at a university event.

3.       Utilize Other Social Media Sites: To help extend your contest’s reach why not feature the Instagram content on your brand’s Pinterest board. Or better yet link the photos to you brand’s Facebook account, make a YouTube slideshow or even tweet the best ones!

4.       Make It Easy: Eliminate entry barriers. Not every campaign needs to be focused on the specific product the brand is trying to sell. Red Bull held successful weekly contest this past summer. Each Monday Red Bull came up with a chose a new theme for participants to use as a hashtag in their photos. The accounts with the most submitted photos had a better chance at winning each week. The company required users to photograph its products, but rather asked for the photos to be tagged with that week’s theme and @Redbull.
What brand do you follow that hosted a successful contest? How did they do it? Let us know! 

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