Are you looking for new ideas of how to engage your community on social media beyond just Facebook?
Would you like to gain more user generated content that you can use in your business?
If so, then you need to learn how to run an Instagram competition on Facebook. Yes, you heard me right, an Instagram competition on Facebook!
Why Should I Run An Instagram Competition On Facebook?
Instagram, an image-sharing mobile app owned by Facebook, is currently the fastest growing social media network globally. With it’s filters, borders and effects, Instagram is transforming the everyday pictures we take with our mobile phones and making them more interesting for sharing with our friends.
People are drawn to images. Therefore, creating or sourcing engaging visual content relevant to your business should be key to your social media strategy. An Instagram competition, if run effectively, can assist you in source images, whilst having the added benefit of generating more awareness of your business and building your community at the same time.
Competitions on Instagram are still relatively new territory for businesses, so they can generate a fun and unique experience, reactivating those members of your community that have grown stale of your current engagement strategies. Whilst you can run a competition on Instagram using Hashtags, Instagram alone does not provide you with a mechanism to get entrants to opt-in to your the terms and conditions of your competition, nor does it allow you to capture email addresses as a lead generation tool. However, Running an Instagram competition on Facebook does!
Running a cross-platform competition like this is a great strategy for businesses who already have an established Facebook community and would like to build a community on Instagram also.
How To Run An Instagram Competition On Facebook
If you wish to run an Instagram competition on Facebook, then you need to put some time into the preparation and set up of your competition. Here are some simple tips for ensuring your Instagram competition is awesome:
Plan Your Instagram Competition
If you don’t know where you are going, how will you know if you have got there? Make a plan!
First up, set goals so you can measure your success against these at the end of the competition period.
Set up your monitoring and analytics tools in advance of launching your competition. Instagram doesn’t have built in analytic features, so you’ll need to rely on your Facebook Insights, the competition app itself and other relevant tools, such as Google Alerts, Google Analytics, Twitter Insights or Bit.ly metrics (depending upon which tools you are using in conjunction with the implementation and promotion of the competition).
Identify your target audience and determine what prize would be most appropriate to that audience. Keep it targeted and the bigger the better! But of course, you need to consider your budget, weighing up the cost of the prize and any other associated expenses (including your time) against the potential return on investment. You may wish to approach another business to sponsor the prize to keep your costs down. This is also a good strategy if you don’t have anything of significant value to offer.
Setting Up An Instagram Competition
Chose the competition type. Will you accept images, videos or either? Check what your app is capable of when determining this.
Which 3rd party app development tool will you use as your mechanism for managing the competition? Preferably one that is mobile friendly and has a template for an Instagram competition. This will make it much easier for you first time around. Shortstack offers both of these functions. Shortstack (in one of the paid upgrade options) also allows you to embed the competition on your website.
Establish the mechanism for entry. Will entrants need to use your Hashtag, tag your Instagram account or a combination of both? Do you want them to tag your sponsors account also? What details are you going to capture as part of the entry process. First name and email should be a minimum, but you may require additional fields, such as location or DOB so you can send them a birthday special to you closest restaurant for example after the competition has ended. Don’t ask for too much information, as they will just present additional barriers to entry.
Decide on your entry approval process. Do you want to auto-approve or manually approve entrants?
Choose a theme for your contest that your audience is likely to want to engage with. It could be something like “share evidence of the most bizarre place you have used X”, “share a picture that encapsulates how X makes your feel”, “share a picture that demonstrates your love for X” or “create a promotional video for X”. These examples will assist you in obtaining user-generated content for your business and will have your community amplifying messages about your business at the same time.
Create a unique competition Hashtag. Choose a Hashtag that is not in general use.
Set competition rules and guidelines. These are best hosted within your competition app or on your website, with the URL included as part of all promotion of the competition and within the Facebook App itself. Within your competition rules and guidelines, include:
- Competition description: A basic overview of the competition
- Eligibility: Provide any restrictions on entry, such as geography, association with your business, age, etc. Note, you must be a minimum of 13 years to have an Instagram account, so you should take this into consideration also when developing your eligibility requirements.
- Timeframe: Set a start and end date and time, including timezone. Make sure that you allow sufficient time for promotion and for the viral effect of Instagram competitions to start to take off once entries start to come in. Consider also if you will allow people to Hashtag or tag old photos as a mechanism for entry. Specify that the “posted” date (not the “tagged” or “Hashtagged” date) must be within the timeframe of the competition if you want to eliminate people going back through their old photos and entering that way. You may wish to do this as tagging old photos does not create stories in the newsfeed of their followers and therefore decreases the potential viral nature of your competition.
- Entry mechanism: Make it clear how people can enter the competition. What Hashtag will they need to use and/or what Instagram account(s) will they need to tag? Can they enter via the Instagram competition app only or are you allowing entry via email also?
- Selection Criteria: Will the winner be awarded based on a random selection, some sort of voting or judging mechanism or something else? Make this clear.
- Prohibited Content: Give guidelines around what content is appropriate and what will be ineligible. Note, unfortunately this won’t prevent offensive posts by trolls, but it will provide you with a back up should you not approve an entry or untag your business from a submitted Instagram post. Unfortunately you cannot remove someone else’s image from a Hashtag feed if you feel it is outside the guidelines of your competition.
- Republishing rights: Ensure you spell out exactly how you intend to use the images and/or videos in future, particularly if one of your goals is to create a database of user-generated content for use in future marketing resources for your business. Get their permission!
Promoting Your Instagram Competition
Create copy and images to be used in promotion. This includes a title for your competition, the theme, details of the prize, your business name and where they can go to read the competition guidelines and rules (provide the direct URL). Make sure that all images promoting the competition are visually appealing, including a call-to-action encouraging people to enter the competition, with a direct (mobile friendly link) for entry.
Promote your competition like Crazy! Use as many communication channels as possible. Use Instagram – of course! Cross-promote the competition on your other social media properties (e.g. Facebook. Twitter, etc). Send out an email marketing campaign specifically about the competition. Promote it on your website through banners and by writing a blog about the competition. Offer to write a guest blog post on other websites that have a similar audience to the one you are trying to attract, with a call-to-action to get people to join. See if you can generate some PR for the campaign. Invest in advertising via Facebook, Twitter, Google Ads or even traditional print media should you have the budget.
Regularly share stories including the Hashtag URL. This will allow people to follow along with live entries as they’re added.
Monitor Your Instagram Competition & Announcing A Winner
Monitor the progress of your competition using the monitoring mechanisms selected when planning your competition.
Adjust your competition promotional campaign based on what is working and what isn’t.
Select and notify your winner of how they can claim their prize.
Advise your community of who won, re-gramming the winning entry to your Instagram account and sharing the news via all of your communication methods that you used to promote the competition (e.g. your website, email, Facebook, Twitter, etc). Acknowledge and thank your sponsors (if you had any) as part of this. Consider emailing an incentive to all entrants as a strategy for converting competition entrants into customers, such as a discount on purchase.
Learn from your experience. What worked and what didn’t? What would you change next time?
Start again! Assuming your competition provided you with a positive return on investment, then keep the momentum going and run another one, refining it based on what you learnt from the previous experience.
An Example Of An Instagram Competition On Facebook
Record Store Day Australia is currently running an Instagram competition on Facebook. You can see more about the competition and a stream of the current entrants by visiting Instagram and following the #RSDAusComp hashtag.
Click here to see (and enter if you like) the competition which is live until 28 April 2014.
Have you run a competition on Instagram? How did it go? Share your experience in the comments below. Feel free to add in any additional tips on how to run an Instagram competition using Hashtags – the awesome way!