Stop Using Giveaways to Attract Instagram Followers

We used to see it all the time on Facebook. Now the pernicious practice of using giveaways to attract followers has spread to Instagram as well.

Here’s an example, from a major New Zealand brand, posted just last month:


We’ve blurred out the brand details because we’re feeling kind and generous today. Just so you know, though, the prize was a grocery voucher — a category totally unrelated to the brand.

So why are we so against running this type of promotion?

Because — as this brand has — you end up attracting new followers who like to WIN stuff (and not even stuff related to your product category).

If that’s your core constituency (for example, if you’re a sampling company), great. Otherwise, you know nothing about these new followers except that they like to win stuff. That’s not what we call effective targeting.

In this case, the brand just handed over a $500 grocery voucher to attract a few hundred freeloaders — most of whom, presumably, will quickly unfollow the brand if it starts posting information related to its actual product category. You know, like posts that try to sell products.

So please, please, don’t try to inflate your follower numbers by giving away stuff (especially unrelated products). You’re not just wasting your time and money, you’re also diluting your fanbase.

If you want to know how you really should promote yourself on Instagram, check out our Social Media Marketing course.

Lesson Four tells you what you need to know about Instagram, including:

  • What we know about Kiwi Instagram users
  • How leading brands are winning with this image-based network
  • How to use Instagram to its full potential
  • Smart visual content strategies
  • What you should include in your Instagram profile
  • Creative ideas for using Instagram for marketing
  • The importance of hashtags (but how NOT to overuse them)
  • Using Instagram for instant feedback (for better or for worse)
  • How often you should post to Instagram (and what NOT to post)
  • The vital intelligence you can gain, just by tracking Instagram usage
  • Five tips for amazing visual content

A word to the wise …