Today’s post is little different than what you’re used to here, but I really wanted to share my honest thoughts and experience with doing a large Instagram giveaway. These giveaways have become somewhat of a controversial topic in the blogger sphere and I understand why. You can grow your IG following in such a short period of time by doing them, but I also think there are some pros to doing these giveaways, or else I wouldn’t have done one.
A couple weeks ago I participated in my first, huge Instagram giveaway for a prize pack worth $900 (with a cash option). One of the main reasons I wanted to participate in this giveaway was because I LOVE giving back to my followers/readers (yes, you!). I contributed $34 to the giveaway and in doing so, offered my followers a chance to win $900! Without joining a huge giveaway like this I wouldn’t have been able to offer you guys a chance to win more than $30.
Apart from offering the chance to win a really substantial prize, giveaways are a great way to gain more exposure on Instagram. It’s no secret that organic growth on Instagram is basically impossible these days with the latest algorithm. By doing a giveaway anyone who enters the giveaway is required to follow you and my hope at least, is that at least some of those people enjoy my content and become loyal, engaged followers.
Now let me take a second to recognize that there are a lot of people with the opinion that doing huge IG giveaways is just another form of buying followers. Honestly, I see where they’re coming from and I think for some bloggers they are just doing it to gain a lot of followers in a short amount of time, but I don’t think that’s me. I’m not one of those bloggers who buys into a giveaway every week. I do these giveaways sparingly as a genuine way to say “thank you” to my followers, and yes, to gain more exposure, but not with the sole intention of wanting to just jump up a thousand followers. In full disclosure, I gained 1,500+ followers during this last giveaway. Since the giveaway ended I’ve lost about 200-300 of those followers and that’s fine! I only want people who are interested in my content to stick around. That’s what matters to me. To be completely transparent, if I could choose between gaining 100 loyal, engaged followers or 1,000 non-engaged followers, I would obviously go with the first choice!
Something I 100% do NOT agree with are ghost spots. If you don’t know what ghost spots are, then let me fill you in. Ghost spots are when you pay extra (ex. I paid $34 to get into this giveaway, but a ghost spot would have to pay $45 or more) to not have to advertise the giveaway on their Instagram feed. You’re still an account that anyone entering the giveaway would have to follow, but you don’t have to post on your feed that you’re doing the giveaway. This to me seems a lot like buying followers. Actually, I would consider this the same thing as buying followers. By not telling your loyal followers you’re participating in a giveaway then you’re not giving them the chance to enter in it. That doesn’t really seem nice. Brands also might be misled and think you’re gaining all of your followers 100% organically because they don’t see that you are participating in the giveaways. I will say, I know a few accounts with now over 10,000 followers who have grown to over 10k in less than a year. And of those accounts, most, if not all of them did so by consistently doing ghost spots in giveaways.
Backtracking for just a minute though to the giveaway that I participated in. I paid less than $50 and gained over 1,000 new followers. In the past I’ve inquired about Louis Vuitton Neverfull giveaways only to find out that they have a buy in of over $250. Crazy! If you’re interested in doing a giveaway, I would suggest you don’t shell out that much money to be part of one. In that case, I think the person running the giveaway is just getting away with taking a ton of your money. And again, I would never put in $250 to be part of a giveaway because at that point, I would just do a giveaway on my own to give $250 to one of my followers. And then you have to ask yourself, what are these bloggers intentions who are putting $250 forward to be part of a giveaway? If they really just want to give back to their followers then why wouldn’t they just do their own $250 giveaway, right?
Anywayyyy I hope I didn’t bore you too much with this blog post. Above all, I pride myself on being honest and transparent with you guys. Now that I know a lot about Instagram giveaways I figured it was the perfect time to share my experience and opinions with you all! Please feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!