Giveaways: The Pros and Cons of Launching an Instagram Giveaway

The Pros and Cons of Launching an Instagram Giveaway

Social media marketers and content creators are always looking for new ways to grow and engage their audience. One of the technics that is widely used today is running giveaways and contests on social media.

In this article, we’ll be talking about Instagram giveaways and other kinds of contests, their types, and their pros and cons.

What Are Instagram Giveaways?

Giveaways or famously known as sweepstakes on social media are one of the most known ways to gain engagement on social media. A giveaway involves running a contest wherein you offer a free gift/voucher/hamper to the winners in return for engagement or submissions. 

If you’re a regular Instagram user, you would have seen brands and influencers running giveaways and offering the coolest products like iPhones, cosmetics, outfits, or even trips. The best part about social media giveaways is that participating users have a chance of winning by doing simple tasks like commenting on an Instagram post or sharing it.

Types of Giveaways on Instagram

There are several kinds of giveaway contests like: 

  • Like to win.

  • Comment to win.

  • Tag a friend.

  • Share to your stories.

  • Loop giveaways.

Instagram loop giveaways are contests that require users to follow a large number of Instagram accounts and usually offer an expensive prize.

In most of the giveaways, the winners are selected randomly. The giveaways help accounts engage with their customers and increase brand value. Here are some pros and cons of creating giveaways and the characteristics of different types of giveaways. 

The Pros and Cons of Giveaways on Instagram

Now let’s take a closer look at both advantages and disadvantages of running giveaways on Instagram.

Pros of Giveaways:

Grow new followers

Giveaways can help you increase followers by manifolds as you would by any other method on social media. Bunkie Life conducted a 26-day contest on Instagram and gained more than 2,500 followers. This number of followers was otherwise very hard to attain but it became easy with a simple contest. 

Increase engagement

According to research by Tailwind, Instagram contests get 64 times more comments and 3.5 times more likes than regular posts. The engagement numbers are surely motivating for anyone to try a contest. 

Get user-generated content

Social media giveaways can motivate your followers to create content for your brand. This has multiple benefits as it can get your brand immediate publicity and amazing user-generated content.

Cons of Giveaways:

Short-term Followers

In many cases, the new followers took the decision to follow you only to participate in the contest. Once the contest is over, you can see a huge decline in the number of followers. This can happen when social media users are only interested in the prize with no genuine interest in your brand and content in the profile.

Low-quality/Fake/Bot Followers

The lower the entry-level of your contest, the higher the chance of attracting low-quality or fake accounts. Simple contests, such as ‘like to win,’ can get you many bot followers. If you constantly lose your followers at a high rate, there’s a chance you were followed by bot accounts. 

Frustrated Customers

Many giveaways have winners selected at random leaving many of your real customers frustrated. Your contest should clearly mention the procedure for the selection of winners to avoid frustrating your customers. 

Types of Giveaways

Understanding the pros and cons of giveaways, let’s explore different types of giveaways, their characteristics, and their pros and cons. 

Small Duration Giveaways (1 day – 1 week)

  • Ease of Setup: Easy.

  • Impact: Low.

  • Moderation: Easy.

These giveaways are created for a short duration to run small and simple contests. These are usually created during special occasions/festivals or to experiment with the right contest method. 


  • Easy to Setup: Small duration giveaways are easy to set up as they can be created overnight. These giveaways are easy to enter for customers and easy to moderate for businesses. 

  • Urgency Factor: Because of the small duration, these campaigns create urgency factors allowing many users to participate. 


  • Low Reach: Because of the small duration of the content, it might reach a limited audience. The longer the campaign runs, the higher the reach. 

  • Easy to Forget: Once the contest is over, it’s pretty much forgotten. Especially short duration contests do not stay long in the minds of users as they quickly run out.

Medium Duration Giveaways (1 week – 1 month)

  • Ease of Setup: Medium.

  • Impact: High.

  • Moderation: Medium.

Medium duration giveaways are created to create an impact in the minds of social media users and reach as many people as possible. 


High Reach and Engagement: Contests that run for more than a week have a better reach and engagement because of increased visibility. As more people engage with the post, the contest has a better chance of conversions in terms of sales and growth in the number of followers. 


Hard to monitor campaign: As the duration of the campaign increases, tracking submissions and comments becomes hard to manage. Especially if you want to reply to each comment and interact with your participants, it can be exhausting. 

Longer Duration Giveaways (More than 1 month)

  • Ease of Setup: Medium

  • Impact: High

  • Moderation: Difficult


  • Extensive Reach: Campaigns that run longer than a month have the best reach. Such contests can be also promoted with the help of ads and other marketing methods for maximum impact. 

  • Increased Sales: Conversions are easier to measure for campaigns that run for this long. You can notice the difference in sales and how the contest works as a boost. 


  • Requires planning and constant management: For such campaigns, everything needs to be planned for proper execution. Participants may get impatient and demand results. With high reach, you may also need a team to manage all the entries. 

  • Difficult to keep it relevant: If the campaign keeps going on, it may lose its charm. The regular followers may consider it a drag and not interact with it. It’s important to end the content when it stops getting engagement. 

Final Words

We’ve covered all the aspects of Instagram giveaways so you can take an informed decision. It’s important to note both the pros and cons before you begin your contest. What you should keep in mind is that far not every giveaway will allow you to gain a relevant audience due to the difficulty of its creation and management. If you are ready to mitigate the cons while making the most of the pros, you are ready to launch your social media giveaways.

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Harshita Agrawal is the Founder of eSocMedia. She is a social media and influencer marketing specialist who spends most of her time behind the screen. She's also an avid reader and a travel enthusiast.
March 2, 2020
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Harshita Agrawal is the Founder of eSocMedia. She is a social media and influencer marketing specialist who spends most of her time behind the screen. She's also an avid reader and a travel enthusiast.
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