How to Host Your Next (or First) Instagram Giveaway

Running a giveaway or promotion for your business can bring you more traffic and a whole new audience to your brand. We know it can be really overwhelming to organize, promote, and follow through with a giveaway, but this is your chance to be able to offer up something you know your audience will love. 

There are a few different types of giveaways that we’ve participated in or helped to facilitate on Instagram, and there are definitely pros and cons to each. Today we’ll break down each type of promo and give you tips on how you can get to hosting your own!


Running a giveaway or promotion for your business can bring a whole new audience and traffic to your brand. We know it can be really overwhelming to organize, promote and follow through with a giveaway, but this is your chance to be able to offer up something you know your audience will love | Think Creative Collective

First, let’s break down the three main types of Instagram giveaways: loop promo, self promo, and group promo. Each of these promos require a lot of pre-planning, attention to detail, and organization.    

Self Promo

This type of giveaway works well if you either have a product or service to give away from your own business, or if you are highlighting another business by giving something of theirs away. This type of promo only involves one business (yours or someone else's). If you’re choosing to give away something that your business creates, it’s usually to bring attention to your shop, that particular item, or as a thank you to your audience. 


  • Easy to organize and set up;
  • Great way to get your feet wet;
  • Helps you highlight other shops, and
  • Nice way to bring enthusiasm and attention to your brand.


  • Hard to reach a ton of new people (unless you make it required to share as a rule to enter), and
  • Might come off as inauthentic if the product you share isn’t in line with your brand.

Group Promo

This type of giveaway is usually set up when you gather up items from your own business and other multiple shops. We’ve hosted group promos when we’re in a launch phase so that we can highlight shops we love. You could gather up items from a few shops and style them together as “a week of giveaways” to draw attention to your launch or business. 


  • Let’s you tag and highlight multiple shops or businesses, and
  • Brings more attention if you’re in launch mode.


  • Have to get items shipped to you from businesses;
  • You’ll have more items to organize and mail out to winners;
  • It kind of overtakes your feed during the giveaway period; and
  • Harder to keep track of who sent and won certain items.

Loop Promo

(Hint: this is the most intricate type of giveaway, but it could lead to the best results.) 

A loop promo involves multiple Instagram accounts all giving away the same item(s), posting the same image(s) and posting at the same time. The key to this is at the same time. When posted all at once you create a “loop” where you instruct your followers to go through and “follow” all the accounts inside the loop. Your image is tagged with the person your followers are supposed to go and follow, and once they go there they will see the next person tagged and so on until they get back to you (which closes the loop).


  • Usually leads to a large flux of new followers;
  • You probably get to offer something more expensive since you’re combining multiple people in the giveaway; and
  • You get to work closely with the other people in the loop.


  • Takes a lot longer to organize (how much to spend, what to buy, who’s involved, et cetera);
  • There will always be someone who makes a gap in the loop because of timing; and
  • Might come off as spammy if you do these too often or include too many people in the loop.

No matter what type of giveaway you end up deciding to try first, the foundations of running a successful giveaway are generally the same. If you follow these eight basic steps, you’ll have a clear control over your giveaway and can potentially reach a lot of new people. 

  1. Decide what kind of promo;
  2. Reach out to potential partners (optional);
  3. Create a graphic or styled image of items;
  4. Create a script to be consistent;
  5. Decide on length of giveaway;
  6. Agree on posting time (if group or loop);
  7. Share, share, share, and
  8. Follow through.

It’s important to remember that you’ll learn what works for you and your audience as you experiment. Not all of these types of giveaways will work for every brand. If you feel like what you offer is authentic and can benefit your audience, then find a unique way to encourage sharing and growth for your account in exchange for the freebie. We recommend that you start small (with a self promo) and test the waters before diving into a loop promo. Also, use caution when you get into a loop promo and be sure that you feel comfortable with the people you’re in it with and with the set budget (we recommend starting with something for less than $25 at first). 

We think it’s key to have your giveaways few and far between so your audience can come to your feed for inspiration or education instead of constant promos. We’d love to hear what’s worked for you in the past for giveaways or ideas you have for future ones!

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