19 Successful Instagram and Facebook Contest Examples

Learn why engagement is crucial for your business and how hosting a giveaway or contest on Facebook or Instagram can boost engagement.

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read
Best Practices
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Social Media

In the realm of marketing, the word engagement gets tossed around a lot. You may understand it in reference to your social media profiles - likes, comments, follows, shares, clicks, etc. - since that is where a significant portion of your audience engages with your brand.But why is engagement so important?Fostering a level of engagement helps you build loyal, long-lasting customers. After all, it’s those repeat customers that make up most of your revenue. You may have heard the old business adage: about 80% of profits come from just 20% of your customers. Therefore, working to engage the audience you already have - i.e. turning them into loyal, repeat customers - is crucial to your business’ bottom line.

About 80% of profits come from just 20% of your customers

Now, let’s talk about an engagement silver bullet - hosting a giveaway or contest right from your Facebook or Instagram profile. That’s right! A simple post with the words “Giveaway alert!” or “Contest time!” can attract engagement faster than my golden retriever can sneak off with my favorite shoe (really fast).Did I mention how simple it can be to set up a giveaway? You only need a few things to get started:

  1. a goal,
  2. a prize,
  3. some rules, and
  4. a means of choosing a winner.

Before you run off to build your own, take a look at how some other businesses are doing it. I’ve rounded up 19 examples of some of the creative ways you can customize contests and giveaways to suit your unique marketing needs. Plus, be sure to check out the bonus content to take your Facebook or Instagram contest to the next level.

Facebook and Instagram Contest Examples

1. Tap into the Excitement of the Holidays

When it comes to holiday marketing, don’t put all of your eggs in the Christmas basket. Make sure you’re capitalizing on the trending power of other holidays - they can even be silly, like National Unicorn Day (April 9th). Set up a simple giveaway with a holiday-themed prize.

2. Keep Your Audience on Their Toes with Surprise Giveaways

What’s more exciting than a “just because” giveaway? It incentivizes your audience to stay in touch - otherwise, they could miss out on other surprise giveaways.

3. Build Followers with a “Follow Us” Multi-Winner GiveawayIn exchange for entry into the giveaway, hosts will often ask participants to follow their profile

In this giveaway, collaborating businesses are offering an additional chance to win for following more than one business. A winner will be chosen from each list of new followers.

4. Offer Bonus Entries for Tagged Friends

By offering a “bonus entry for each friend you tag,” more eyeballs will find their way to this giveaway, thusly increasing exposure and followers.

5. Collect User Generated Content

Offer an extra chance to win by asking for a photo or video. This simple giveaway allows participants to add a photo right in the comments.

6. Drive Traffic to a Store or Booth

This giveaway is offering tickets to a OOAK Show (One of a Kind) as well as a OOAK necklace from this business’ booth. Those who enter are interested in the wares this business has to offer, making them prime candidates to visit your store or booth and make a purchase.

7. Run a Photo Contest with a Branded Hashtag

By asking participants to post a photo with your branded hashtag, you’ll not only be collecting user-generated content to use for further marketing, you’ll boost brand awareness and help increase your business’ discoverability. In this contest, participants are asked to post a photo with the hashtag #SpringActionGiveaway that will count as a bonus entry into this contest.

8. Partner with a Complementary Business

Double your exposure by partnering with a business that complements your own. You’ll get fresh exposure from the other business’ audience and introduce your followers to new products or services. It’s a win win for everyone involved.

9. Drive Traffic to a Website

Use a contest or giveaway to drive traffic to a website, landing page, blog, or online store. Although visiting the website is not a requirement, you could offer an extra chance to win by filling out an entry form on your blog or site.

10. Allow Unlimited Entries for Tagged Friends

Instead of “tag 2 friends” why not allow participants to tag as many friends as they’d like? By offering unlimited entries for each friend tagged, your reach will increase exponentially, getting you loads of engagement and new followers.

11. Reward Loyal Customers

Give a little something back to those who are loyal fans of your business. By giving away a prize to those who have already made a purchase, pre-ordered your new product, or have tagged you in their post, select a random loyal customer as your winner.

12. Promote New Products

Launching something new? A contest or giveaway is a great way to draw attention and drive traffic to your new product. When announcing your winner, include a “consolation” discount code, so those who didn’t win can get a discount on your new goods.

13. Attract an Interested Audience with a Relevant Prize

There’s no better way to attract those interested in your business than by giving away a prize closely related to your business, like a gift certificate or tickets to your event. If they enter to win it, there’s a good chance they’ll be a potential future customer.

14. Build Hype for an Upcoming Event

If you’re planning an event that is weeks or even months away, how do you keep your audience interested and excited? Offer a giveaway of related swag or products. As a consolation offer, offer a discount code in a new post to those who didn’t win so they can purchase products for your event as well.

15. Promote New Content

If you’re an author or your business produces content, you can build a giveaway offering the latest release of what you’ve written. For those who didn’t win, release a short teaser and include a discount code to purchase the full book or guide.

16. Instill Urgency with a Short Giveaway

Offer a giveaway lasting 24 hours to boost participation. The quick turnaround also creates excitement knowing the winner will be announced the very next day.

17. Keep Your Audience Engaged with Regular Giveaways

A great way to increase your organic reach is to offer a weekly or monthly giveaway. With regular post interactions, the Instagram and Facebook algorithms will show your content to more of your audience, resulting in more engagement and brand exposure.

18. Celebrate a Milestone

Give a little something back to the audience that helped you reach your goals. Hitting any milestone, whether it be reaching a number of followers, or celebrating a business anniversary, is a great reason to kick off a contest or giveaway.

19. Skip the Comments! Drive Traffic Straight to a Landing Page or Website

If your contest is major (this example is $100k major!) you’ll want to make it worth your while. To do that, make sure you’re collecting the info that will help you grow your business - i.e. a name and email address. Include a link in your giveaway announcement (or in your Instagram profile) and drive traffic to an online entry form.

BONUS: Take Your Facebook and Instagram Contests to the Next LevelThese simple contests are great for building engagement but if you stop at asking for a like, comment, tag, or follow, you’re missing out on huge potential.Real marketing gold is in the data you collect from those who have engaged with your business. In other words, if you can drive traffic to an online entry form to collect (at minimum) a name and email address, you can use this data to build a strong email list - setting you up to convert new customers and solidify customer loyalty.

Perhaps the coolest thing about an Instagram or Facebook contest is its simplicity. With the few components listed previously - a goal, a prize, some rules, and a way to pick a winner - you can have your contest up and boosting engagement in no time. If you’d like to build an entry form to capture further data (like in the example above), that’s simple as well. Sign up for free at and choose from dozens of templates to help you get started.

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About the author

By Jessica Miller-McNatt ・6 min read

Jessica Miller-McNatt has been with ShortStack for over a decade and has served in every role from Marketing Team Lead to Customer Success. Her journey in martech continues to fuel her fascination for what drives growth. Jessica's favorite weekends are spent in the North Georgia mountains, chasing waterfalls and exploring with her family.

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