How to Use Instagram to Enter Giveaways: A Complete Guide

If you are curious about Instagram giveaways but aren't sure how to enter them, this is your lucky day. This article will cover everything you need to know about entering Instagram giveaways and even how to increase your chances of winning them.  


How to Sign Up for Instagram

Download the Instagram App on your mobile device. You can now sign up for an account or choose to link it to your Facebook. Once your Instagram account is made you can also use it from a computer but the usage will be limited. 

You can make multiple Instagram accounts once your account has been made. I suggest 2 accounts if you are going to be entering giveaways. One as a personal private account and one that is for entering your giveaways. To do this go to your profile page click the small down arrow and then click " Add account". You will be able to switch between the two accounts using that same small down arrow. 

You can decide on having a public profile or a private one. 

Read also : Should Your Instagram Account Be Public or Private for entering Giveaways

How to Follow Instagram Accounts

Now that your account is made it's time to follow accounts that interest you. Search your local businesses first and then people you know personally. 

To follow an account go to their Instagram profile and click on the Follow button as pictured below. 

How to Follow Accounts on Instagram

Setting Up Instagram Notifications

It's time to set up what notifications you want to get and which you would rather not see. Notifications can get bothersome especially once you start entering giveaways and gain some followers who tag you in giveaways as well. 

  • Click on the 3 dash lines top right on your profile page
  • Click on Notifications
  • Go through each option and set the settings to your liking
The Pause All setting - With giveaways comes many notifications. In this setting you can pause all notifications for a full 8 hours. You will still see all the notifications once you visit your account. It just stops your phone from giving you a notification that may interrupt what you are doing. 

See images below. 


 Uploading a Picture to Your Instagram

It's time to add some photos to your Instagram. Make sure all pictures you post are your own. Avoid posting memes Instagram doesn't like them. 

From the homepage of Instagram hit the + icon that is at the bottom center. This will pull up your options to post. You can choose a post, a story or a reel (video). 

How to post a photo on Instagram

Sponsored Giveaway Posts ( Enter the RIGHT WAY)  

Many giveaways on Instagram are going to ask for you to comment, tag and maybe even share to your story. So we will first start with commenting on Instagram giveaways. Believe it or not there is a wrong way and it does leave you out of the giveaway. 

When you come across a giveaway in your Instagram feed look under the account name to see if the post says Sponsored. If you see sponsored, DO NOT LEAVE YOUR COMMENT on that post. It will not enter you into the giveaway. This is one of the most common mistakes and the reason many people don't win prizes on Instagram. 

Sponsored Giveaway Posts

You need to visit the actual giveaway post in order to properly enter. You click on the account name and look through their feed for the giveaway post. That is where you are going to do the requested actions to enter. 

How to enter a sponsored giveaway the right way

How to Comment on a Instagram Giveaway Post

When you come across a giveaway that you want to enter click on it and then click the comment icon. This will bring you right to the spot you are going to put your comment for your entry. 

How to comment on Instagram

How to Share to Your Instagram Story

Almost all giveaways on IG ask you to share to your stories. This is super easy to do and can gain you bonus entries in to win! The small paper airplane icon beside the comment icon is your share button. 

How to Share :
Instagram Share Icon

  • Click on the share icon
  • Click Add post to your story
  • Click bottom left Your Stories

Checking for Winner Notifications on Instagram 

Now that you have learned how to enter Instagram giveaways you need to make sure you don't miss out on a winning message. 

Make sure you have your setting set to allow messages from accounts that don't follow you. The giveaways you enter are accounts that have no link to you, and their winning message to you may go into your hidden folders. 

To set your message settings follow these steps : 

  • Click on Settings
  • Click on Privacy
  • Click on Messages
  • Set each setting to your liking, allowing pages and accounts that don't follow you to message you
In Your Message Box 

  • Check your mail inbox
  • Click on Requests (Coloured blue) 

How to Save Posts for Later

A great function on Instagram is the Save feature. Life is busy and you may not have time to sit and enter a giveaway right away. You can save it for later, and also it helps you go back to see who the winner was. 

More Help With Instagram 

1. Take Pictures (Of everything)

One thing I have learned is that pictures can win you many prizes. When you go out for a family meal take a picture of your meal, take pictures of the Mars bar you had for snack, snap photos of odd things you see.

I took a picture of one of my sons in front of a gorgeous ice wall in Washago, Ont years ago. A contest popped up saying post a picture of mother nature and a loved one. That picture from a few years before won me $700 in Tim Horton's gifts card.

2. Follow the Right People

Following the right accounts on Instagram is a great way to find contests and giveaways easily. Following a ton of contest lovers is not the right way to go about it. I am not saying follow none, but be picky about the ones you follow.  You then fill your feed with their posts and not giveaway posts. Pick a hand full of friends and family to tag in your giveaway entries. If you are tagging only contesters you may win much less.  Brands and your local small businesses are the best to follow to fill your feed with giveaways. 

Mommy bloggers and large brands are always giving away prizes on their Instagram account so take advantage of this pool of prizes by following as many of your local bloggers as possible.

3. Make Your Account Prize Worthy

Make sure your account is filled out, and you have posted pictures that are genuine and bright. Add a short bio so that contest holders who check you out can see a bit about you. It doesn't hurt to add an emoji or two to your bio as well. 

Post pictures weekly even though I do suggest daily. Post everyday moments, having your favourite coffee in the morning? Snap an eye catching picture and tag it on Instagram to the brand you are drinking. Interacting with brands is great for being noticed when contests and giveaways do happen.

4. Read ALL the Instructions 

Instagram giveaways each have their own criteria they ask for in their contest or giveaway. Read each Instagram contest you enter twice. Make sure all the tags and hash tags they ask for are on your post to make your entries valid.

Make sure your photo is what they are asking for in the contest post. This is where having pictures on your phone of different products and moments can come in very helpful when entering Instagram contests.

When in doubt about the rules send them a message and ask. Don't just assume it's not open to you until you have asked. You could miss out on a great prize. 

5. How to Tag on Instagram the Right Way

Contests on Instagram always ask for you to tag their account so they can see your photo entry.

Once you have uploaded your photo and added whatever filter you have chosen to make your Instagram post stand out as a contest entry, click on "Tag People" . Start typing the name of the Instagram account that is having the contest and choose it from the drop down list that pops up. It's really that simple.

Forgetting to tag the contest account makes your entry not visible to them and you have in fact not entered.

6. How to Use Hashtags on Instagram Contests

Hashtags are a must when entering contests on Instagram. It makes your entry seen and can help contest holders pick their winners.

Write your caption for your picture and at the end of that you will put your Hashtags that the contest has asked for.

Example contest caption
So excited to enter the giveaway hosted by @blahblah to win a scarf  #Win #BlahBlahBrand

7. Learn from Winners 

You can learn a lot from others about what entries work and how to get noticed in your Instagram contest entries.

Check out winners of Instagram contests and see what they did right and how you could do something like that in the next contest you enter on Instagram. Look at the way they take their pictures, and what kind of energy their captions have. Learning from others is a great way to increase your odds of winning prizes. 

Have fun on Instagram  look around and feel it out. 

Wishing You Good Luck!