How Two Businesses Use Instagram and Facebook Comment Contests to Increase Engagement

Discover how WED2B and Fast Park use Facebook and Instagram comment contests to boost engagement and grow their following.

By Jane Vance ・5 min read
Best Practices
Campaign & Contest Ideas
Customer Stories
Social Media

You see them every day when you log into Facebook or Instagram. Everyone from international powerhouse companies to Instagram influencers post them. What are they? Why, comment to enter contests, of course!

Comment contests provide a quick and easy way for your followers to engage with your brand. With a comment contest, it only takes folks a few seconds to reply to your post. However, the impact of engaging with a post can last much longer, because interacting with a brand increases customers’ top-of-mind awareness when they are shopping. Beyond engagement, comment contests are a good incentive for customers to follow your business on social media, which helps grow your followers.

In this post, we’ll explore how two ShortStack customers, WED2B and Fast Park, use Facebook and Instagram comment contests to increase engagement with their fans and grow their following.

Free Wedding Dress Giveaways with Instagram Comment Contests

WED2B is a bridal retailer based in the UK that specializes in selling affordable wedding dresses for £699 (about $890 USD) off the rack. They also offer premium wedding dresses, bridesmaid dresses and other bridal accessories. Right now, they have a following of about 131K on Instagram.

Wed2Be Instagram

Contest Basics

WED2B runs a regular Free Wedding Dress giveaway on Instagram and Facebook. They post the details of their contest on their Instagram profile. WED2B provides a comment prompt, such as “Tell us about your first date with the one you love.” To enter, people must comment on the post with their reply to the prompt.

Campaign Elements

There isn’t much WED2B needs to do to run this campaign. Since Instagram requires images to post, the only elements necessary are an image and the post caption that includes their comment prompt and their terms and conditions. To help promote the contest, WED2B uses hashtags that are relevant to brides-to-be. Hashtags allow people who aren’t already followers of an Instagram profile, but who are interested in the topics relevant to that profile, to discover the profile and become followers themselves.

With comment contests, no email addresses are captured, so you need to use Instagram to contact the winner, either through a direct message or by @mentioning the winner. WED2B chooses to @mention the winner in a new post one week later. The second post re-engages the original participants from the entry post by giving them an incentive to visit the WED2B Instagram profile again, and gives new fans a chance to find out about the contest.

The Results

WED2B has been using ShortStack to host comment contests on Instagram. They have seen 23,066 entrants to the Instagram portion of their contest. They average about 2,300 entries from Instagram per week.

Comments aren’t the only type of engagement WED2B benefits from with their Free Wedding Dress giveaway. They also receive a lot of likes. For example, the entry post for their June 24th post received over 500 likes!

Trivia Thursday Contests with Facebook Comment Contests

Fast Park is an airport parking provider that offers travelers an alternative parking solution to traditional airport parking. They have 17 parking facilities across 14 markets across the United States. They currently have about 32K Likes on Facebook.

Fast Park Facebook

Contest Basics

Fast Park has hosted Trivia Thursdays on Facebook for years. Every Thursday, they post a travel-related trivia question. Trivia questions include both the question (e.g. In what country should you skip the saltshaker when sitting down for a meal in order to avoid insulting your host?) and a set of possible answers (e.g. A. Egypt, B. Ecuador, C. Morocco, D. Chile). To enter, folks simply post their answer as a reply.

According to representatives at Fast Park, their goal with the Trivia Thursday contest is “to increase page engagement, impressions and follower counts by at least 10 percent year over year and achieve 100-150 engagements per post.”

Campaign Elements

Fast Park’s contest only takes a minute to set up. All they need to do is determine a trivia question and provide some answer options. From there, they post the question to their Facebook Page. Beyond the question, the post includes the time the entry period ends (3:30 Eastern time) and a link to the official contest rules.

Like WED2B, Fast Park chooses to @mention the winner in the original post. With this method of announcing a winner, Fast Park not only lets the winner know they’ve won, but they also draw the attention of the other participants back to the post by announcing the answer to the trivia question.

The Results

Trivia Thursday has been a fixture of Fast Park’s Facebook Page for years. About 3,182 comments have been made as responses to Trivia Thursday posts. Fast Park averages about 145 comment entries every Thursday.

Fast Park representatives said, “Our ability to sustain long-term growth and engagement continues to surprise us. Our weekly Trivia Thursday campaign continues to grow with recent posts exceeding 200 entries and all posts exceeding 150 Facebook engagements.”

Another result of this weekly contest? Awareness. The consistency with which Fast Park posts their Trivia Thursdays keeps the service itself top-of-mind. People who expect to be driving to and parking at an airport Fast Park serves might see a post before hitting the road. Even if they enter, but don’t win the trivia contest, they will likely remember the savings they see when parking at Fast Park over other airport parking options.

“We achieve exemplary numbers on organic posts that rival the results of paid Facebook campaigns, which is shocking to see in a social media environment where most brands must pay to play. We are proud to produce content that people not only want to see, but also want to engage with,” Fast Park representatives shared.

Crucial ShortStack element: Facebook and Instagram Post Comment Importer

Most comment contests promise that a random winner will be selected. ShortStack’s post comment importer tool helps our customers meet this promise. With our tool, ShortStack customers can pull in all of the comments on a post on their Instagram profile or a status update on their Facebook Page. These comments are added to a ShortStack list as entries. From there, a random winner can be selected with our random entry generator.

Comment contents promote fan engagement and top-of-mind awareness

Social media awards marketers who pursue post engagement with greater visibility. Top posts for engagement are more likely to be shown in the Facebook Newsfeed, while Instagram displays top posts for a topic when searching by hashtag. WED2B’s Instagram contest and Fast Park’s Facebook contest engage their target markets of brides-to-be and travelers, respectively. This type of engagement keeps your brand top-of-mind when your customers make their next purchase.

About the author

By Jane Vance ・5 min read

Jane has over a decade of martech experience, with an emphasis in content marketing, UX, and customer success. Her combined skillset and years of hands-on experience make her a valuable player in the industry. In her free time, Jane loves quiet family dinners at home and a good book.

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