Category Archives: Instagram

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 …

The Power and Influence of Instagram

We’ve been spending a lot of time lately analysing Instagram — we have assembled a database of some 61,000 New Zealand Instagram users as we develop Instagram monitoring software (about which, more in due course) — and we just came across a stunning example of the power of the medium.

This post — shared by Instagram itself to its 226 million followers — has racked up 209,412 likes in less than an hour.


The photographer, New Zealand’s sophiejanephoto, must be thrilled with the exposure.

That sort of serendipity — being featured by the medium’s biggest influencer — is not something that you can plan for, of course. But, like every success on Instagram, you can prepare for unexpected discovery by doing a number of things right.

Exactly what sorts of things? To answer that question properly, may we direct you to our two newest Social Media Marketing courses:

Lesson Four of each course tells you what you need to know to succeed on Instagram.

BTW, we mentioned that Instagram monitoring software that we are developing. If your organisation monitors Social Media, we would love to ask you a couple of questions about what you currently monitor — and what you wish you could monitor. Please just drop us an e-mail and we will email you back with those questions.