by: Kelly Kepner
Instagram is one of the most popular social media tools these days, and the hottest way to gain followers and likes as well as increase your brand awareness on this platform, is to host or participate in a Loop Giveaway! In Part 1 of this article I’m going to tell you how to host a loop giveaway, and also share some feedback I’ve received from other brands to ensure the process is as smooth as possible. In Part 2, I'll show you examples of how to announce the giveaway and what to do after it's over. Don’t worry, mistakes might happen, but if you follow these guidelines you might be able to prevent any major disasters.
So before we get into the nitty gritty on how to host the giveaway, let’s chat about what the heck a Loop Giveaway is in the first place!
A Loop Giveaway is a contest on Instagram and incorporates anywhere from 5-30 (or more!) brands that are interested in hosting a contest. If you participate in one, your brand will be required to give away a piece of product (or a gift card) in exchange for followers on Instagram. The organizer will put together a graphic that everyone will post at the same time and you will tag a fellow (predetermined) brand participating in the loop in your photo. So, if I come across this photo, I’ll like it, follow that new person, and continue on in the loop until I get back to your page. Once I’ve liked all the brands in the loop, I’ve entered to win the contest and I’ll have that many options to win prizes.
Loop Giveaways are extremely helpful for emerging brands because it allows you to piggyback on other established brands to increase followers. Before you participate in one, research the other brands to make sure the are appropriate and complimentary to your brand. The goal is to maintain these followers long term, not have them unfollow you right after the giveaway has ended, so make sure the other brands are cohesive to your style. Of course you will lose some followers but don’t get bummed out. The goal is to increase awareness and that’s what the loop will do! Keep in mind, after the contest is over you may want to offer 20% off or free shipping or something to thank (and entice!) your new followers to do some shopping! You have all these attentive new people so make the most of it!
Now I’ll get into how to host a giveaway. Note, if you have the opportunity to participate in one PRIOR to hosting it, I would definitely suggest doing it. Hosting the loop giveaway is a LOT of work, requires lots of back and forth with many different brands and can be a little overwhelming. But hopefully these tips help!
FIND BRANDS TO PARTICIPATE IN THE LOOP GIVEAWAY
First, I think it’s a good idea to consider a theme for the event. This could be anything from small businesses, all female owned businesses, Mother’s Day or Mom Giveaways, Eco Friendly items, Foodie Favorites and so on. You want to incorporate companies that complement your brand, not compete with them. Involve brands that reflect similar ideals that you see in your customer. You want to try to maintain these followers long term and not have them all unfollow you after the giveaway has ended. Search #loopgiveaway on Instagram and see what other brands have done in the past and also check out their graphics and text too. Once you have a theme in mind, you can either reach out to brands directly via Direct Messenger or many brands leave contact information on their profile or website page. Or, you can post something general like this one here asking brands to participate. I think 5-10 brands is great for your first time hosting. I’ve seen up to 20 and 30 brands which has its advantages and disadvantages. Remember, each person has to like ALL brands involved to be entered so that’s a lot of work for a consumer (and a ton of work for the host!).
CONFIRM THE BRANDS THAT ARE PARTICIPATING
Once you have the brands selected, you’ll need to confirm with each brand what they will be giving away and that they are definitely interested in participating. While a group email is a good way to organize this, I would also suggest a DM on Instagram. That way, all of the brands participating will have the option to easily follow the other brands participating and also you don’t have to deal with getting everyone’s email addresses too. You’ll need each brand to send you the price and image of what they are giving away or their company logo.
CREATE BEAUTIFUL IMAGE(S) FOR THE POST
Every brand participating in the Loop Giveaway needs to post the EXACT same image and the same wording. That way it is easy for people to find it, follow along, and complete the loop. You can use Photoshop, Pic Stitch or a collage maker app, (Pic Monkey is a great tool). You can do one graphic to tease the giveaway like this one here and then something like this for your actual giveaway. Make sure to DM or email this graphic to everyone participating in the giveaway so they have it readily available to post.
ORGANIZE THE LOOP GIVEAWAY TRAIN AND EMAIL OR DM ALL PARTICIPANTS
A couple of days before the post is going to go live, you’ll need to contact all of the brands with the step-by-step details. This should include the date and time the giveaway will start and end (keep in mind not everyone is in the same time zone as you so be precise!), as well as the date and time all of the brands will post the image. It’s important that everyone posts at the EXACT same time otherwise you will have a break in the loop. This is very frustrating for people entering the contest and may result in MANY people leaving comments about the broken loop on your profile. A BIG hassle so make sure EVERYONE is on board to post at the exact same time. There are programs like Latergram that allow you to schedule posts in advance too.
Also in the email, you’ll need to include who each person will tag in their post to create the loop. I’ve included an example below for reference.
Brand 1 tags Brand 2
Brand 2 tags Brand 3
Brand 3 tags Brand 4
Brand 4 tags Brand 5
Brand 5 tags Brand 1
Each person should tag their buddy brand in the post and in the actual image. Again, you want to make this as easy as possible for people entering the giveaway. As is, they have to follow lots of brands to even be entered so try to eliminate any confusion for the consumer!
INCLUDE CONTEST DETAILS
Include any other details in the post: What are you giving away, what is the value, does the winner need to pay for shipping, is it only valid to US residents? It’s also a good idea to include sample text for each brand to post along with their image. You can draft this in notes or an email and copy and paste into Instagram so you don’t have to type ALL of this information out at the time of posting.
Read on to learn more about hosting a Loop Giveaway including how to announce the giveaway, choosing a winner, and more.