Hosting a social media giveaway on Instagram is a great way to boost engagement and sales for your brand. There have been a lot of brands out there that have gained a massive following and community of buyers just by hosting giveaways.

In this guide, I’ll show you exactly how you can put together a successful Instagram giveaway with examples from real brands. So follow along and get ready to run your own successful Instagram promotion.

Displaying Your Instagram Giveaway Rules

Before we dive into the Instagram giveaway rules you need to include, it’s important to understand what to do with these rules. You’ll need to display the rules clearly for contest entrants to see.

Start by displaying the basic and most important rules in your Instagram giveaway post caption. This is a good place to start, but you might need to get more in-depth into the finer details. This is when you can move your Instagram giveaway rules to the comments section.

The other strategy is to display your Instagram giveaway rules on a giveaway lading page. Link out to this landing page from your Instagram bio, and mention it in your giveaway post. This is the best way to clearly display your giveaway rules without having a long list of rules take over your giveaway post.

Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide

Ready to run your Instagram giveaway? Here are 10 important elements to include in your giveaway rules.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #1: Use the Correct Terms

Step #1 of setting up your Instagram campaign is to ensure that you abide by the official Instagram contest rules.

Instagram advises all its users to run contests or giveaways legally so ensure to read up on your federal state, or their laws that might apply to your area. In addition, if you do have a giveaway or contest you have to officially include the rules and terms of eligibility.

So first things first, using the right term on Instagram is very important because it’s one way to avoid miscommunication with contestants.

What do I mean?

Make sure you use terms like “contest”, “sweepstakes” or “giveaway” properly to prevent unwanted legal issues.

An Instagram sweepstake or giveaway is a campaign that a person enters to win based purely by chance. People don’t have to purchase or pay to enter, and generally, a winner is picked at random.

While a contest is a campaign where the winner is determined by voting or other judging criteria. For example, uploading a video and the video with the most likes win.

Depending on which word you use determines how you’ll choose the winner of your campaign.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #2: Choose a Campaign Goal

What’s the reason behind your giveaway?

In order for you to get the most out of your Instagram giveaway, you need to know what end result you want, and what metrics you’ll use to measure the success of your campaign.

Are you hosting a giveaway you can choose to:

Hydroflask gained over 200,000 followers on Instagram when they started to use giveaways as a way to gain followers and brand awareness. They still continue to use giveaways as their strategy to grow their brand to this day.

Instagram giveaway

Pro Tip: Don’t host or use the word lottery in your contest or giveaway. Private lotteries are actually illegal under State law, so avoid labeling your campaign a lottery or you may risk legal action.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #3: Include the Brand Hosting the Campaign

Instagram regulations require you to include your company name or brands hosting a giveaway on Instagram. By law, people need to be informed about who or what is hosting the giveaway.

Instagram Giveaway Example: Shea Moisture Instagram Giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Shea Moisture partnered with Melissa Butler at LipBar, to give followers the chance to win some amazing free products. They made sure to give a brief introduction of the LipBar founder and tagged them in the caption so their followers were aware of who the giveaway was from and which brands were sponsoring it.

Pro Tip: Keep in mind that you shouldn’t tag any individual or brand that isn’t a part of the giveaway. You should always stay away from asking users to tag themselves in a photo they aren’t in. Followers can mention people in comments but should refrain from tagging them in the actual giveaway picture itself.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #4: Write Clear Guidelines on How to Enter

If you want to have a successful giveaway you need to give your followers clear and precise instructions. If participants have to take multiple steps to enter, be sure to make the instructions as simple as possible.

You want to make sure your instructions are foolproof.

Instagram Giveaway Example: FabFitFun

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Fabfitfun made sure to give its followers three simple steps to enter its beauty product giveaway. They even went the extra mile to provide detailed instructions in the caption.

Notice how they give clear instructions on which Instagram post to Like, how many friends to tag, and what and where to comment.

Doing all of this may seem a bit tedious but it increases engagement and reduces the likelihood of user errors which might cause trouble down the road.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #5: Include Prize Details

It’s important that you make it very clear what you’re giving away in your Instagram contest. As part o your Instagram giveaway rules, participants will need to know exactly what the contest involves, and what it will look like if they win. The more specific you are, the better.

For example, if the prize for your Instagram giveaway is a toaster, make it clear what color toaster you will be giving away (or that the winner may receive a toaster in any color). If you display a green toaster on your Instagram post and send a white toaster to your prize winner, they might be disappointed.

If your Instagram giveaway rules were not clear on this point, the winner might very likely complain about their prize.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #6: Include the Start and End Date of the Giveaway

When you’re hosting a giveaway or contest you have to let people know the dates the campaign will be running on Instagram. Participants need to know how many days they have to enter and when the giveaway ends.

The last thing you want is someone entering to win your giveaway that ended weeks ago!

Instagram Giveaway Example: Remedy Organics instagram rules

Instagram giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Remedy Organic made sure to let their followers know that only US residents could enter this contest, along with the time and date that the giveaway would end. The only thing I would add would be the timezone. Remedy Organic may be located in New York but followers located in other states of the US may be under a very different timezone.

Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide Tip #7: State That Instagram Is Not Associated with Your Instagram Giveaway

Another promotion guideline by Instagram states that companies or brands must acknowledge that your Instagram contest or giveaway is not sponsored, endorsed, or associated with Instagram in any way. For obvious legal reasons, Instagram wants to avoid any blame if someone feels wronged by your giveaway.

Instagram Giveaway Example: The Beauty Spy Offical

Instagram giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Not only does The Beauty Spy Officially place a disclaimer that Instagram was in no way associated or sponsored their giveaway, but they made sure to let their followers know that HSN (A brand included in their giveaway) was also not a sponsor of the giveaway. Keeping your followers informed sheds light on who or which brand is really behind the giveaway and allows them to be informed about who to reach out to should they need assistance.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #8: Include Participation Restrictions

Placing age or location restrictions on your giveaways allows your followers to know which followers are eligible to enter.

This is relevant if your local business is only able to ship your prize to specific locations or if there are age restrictions on your products.

Placing restrictions on your Instagram giveaway campaign (such as in the caption or the official Instagram contest rules) doesn’t just help you legally but it also helps to make it easier to filter out entrants from locations or demographics you don’t serve.

Instagram Giveaway Example: Zakkiya Miller Health Giveaway

Instagram giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

In this post, they stated clearly that only US residents and people 18 years or older could enter. As an added bonus she also told them exactly when the winner will be announced, down to the specific time zone note. Which brings us to our next point.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #9: Decide How to Announce the Winner

Take time to share the details about how and when the Instagram winner(s) will be announced and how/when the winner should claim their prize. When you outline how the winner will be chosen it helps participants to know what to expect if they should or didn’t win.

Instagram Giveaway Example: Fabletics

Instagram giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Fabletics did everything right from providing clear instructions, including the brands in the giveaway, and letting their followers know the exact time (and timezone) the winner would be announced. If you have added terms and conditions for your giveaway you’d like your follower to know about you can create a landing page with Wishpond and place the link in your bio.

Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide Tip #10: State How the Prize Will Be Delivered

If you plan to ship or giveaway products you have to tell your followers details about how the prize will be delivered, including whether or not the winner will be responsible for shipping cost or pick-up.

Instagram Giveaway Example: The French Folk

Instagram giveaway

Instagram Giveaway Rules Example:

Scrolling through this Giveaway post The French Folk had everything in place, from guidelines to enter, clear start and end dates, and exact instructions and how the winner would be chosen.

They also placed a simple disclaimer that shipping costs could apply to some items so the winner would know beforehand that they may have to pay some shipping costs.


Here’s an overview of your Complete Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide to help you follow Instagram promotion guidelines:

  1. Use the Correct Terms
  2. Choose a Goal for Your Instagram Giveaway
  3. Include the Brand Hosting the Campaign
  4. Write Clear Guidelines on How to Enter
  5. Include Prize Details
  6. Include the Start and End Date of the Giveaway
  7. State That Instagram Is Not Associated with Your Instagram Giveaway
  8. Include participation restrictions
  9. Decide How to Announce the Winner
  10. State How the Prize Will Be Delivered

Hopefully, this list along with their examples has helped to give you a better understanding of the range of Instagram contest rules, and how to use them.

Ready to start running your Instagram giveaway or have questions about how to run an Instagram contest? Let me know in the comments below.

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