Why are there so many giveaways in Instagram?

June 26, 2017

Yes, I'm one of those people. But, of course, I still join legitimate giveaways, though. And, after joining hundreds of giveaways on Instagram, I finally won one from Zalora in partnership with Ponds.

But to answer the question, here are some insights that are helpful for both brands and those who want to join a giveaway on Instagram. 

New Algorithm-Driven Feed of Instagram

The new feed algorithm of Instagram is similar to Facebook; it's complicated. It doesn't necessarily show how it literally works and how they choose posts to show on your feed. And that's what makes it brilliantly complicated. 

However, there are a lot of factors that gives users, especially brands and influencers, hints on how they can bypass Instagram's complexity. And this is what we'll talk about. 

Factors Influencing Instagram Feed

  • Engagement 

Simply put it, posts with higher engagements are ranked on top of the feed. Engagement here doesn't only mean likes as your posts should also have comments, views, shares. And for Instagram stories, views and replies also matter.

However, popular posts don't always get their way into your feed because relevance is still a key factor.

  • Relevance

Your interest still plays an important role on what you see on your feed, including your relationship to the user. Therefore, posts which are more relevant to your account, regardless of popularity, will still be ranked higher on your feed.

Instagram consider relevant posts as posts and accounts that you're currently interested in and had interacted with. Posts you commented on and liked, hashtags you've searched and used, and other similar factors can be used to identify relevant posts to show up on your feed. 

Therefore, if you often use a hashtag (e.g. travel) then travel posts will be ranked higher on your Instagram feed. 

  • Relationship

Nope, I'm not talking about being single or in a complicated relationship here (and yes, this is lame lol!).

Your relationship to an account will be considered when ranking posts. As Instagram puts it: "no matter how many accounts you follow, you should see your best friend’s latest post.

Instagram determines your relationship to a user by using the following:
  • People you've exchanged messages
  • Users you often tag on your posts or other's posts 
  • Accounts you search for
  • People you know IRL 

There are other factors that Buffer Social cited, but these are the most crucial factors that Instagram use on its new feed algorithm. 

So, to answer the question, Instagram giveaways is one of the ways to bypass its current algorithm. Let's digest the basics of an Instagram giveaway instructions:

  • "Follow me on Instagram" increases engagement and level of relationship.
  • "Like this photo" increases user engagement.
  • "Tag five friends in the comment section" increases engagement, relevance, and opens new relationships with other users. 
  • "Like and comment on previous posts" also increases engagement and relevance. 

How to disable Instagram's new algorithm-driven feed and go back to chronological order?

Instagram, unlike Facebook, doesn't provide an option to change your feed back to chronological order. The best thing to do is to create a meaningful community among your followers and engage with them so that you can see each other's posts.

Are giveaways effective in gaining followers?

I honestly don't know. 

However, here are some of the basic questions you can use if you want to grow your audience:

Target Audience 

Always consider your community in mind. Look at the people who follow your account and use this to find the right prize for your giveaway. Create your follower's profile. 

Identify the Prize

Once you've identified your audience, you can now easily determine what they would love to receive as a price. 

Giveaway Mechanics

Always be specific on the mechanics. Don't just say "engage with me." Create simple steps for your audience to follow. 
And because I often engage with Zalora, I stumbled on one of their giveaways and joined the fun. Read on about what I learned about this giveaway here. 

BTW, what do you think of Instagram's feed? 

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  1. Great post about Instagram, I learned a lot about their new algorithm!

  2. It's super frustrating that Instagram has gone out of chronological order! But I do like that I'm seeing my friends posts firsts. I also hate all the ads! There's literally one every 3-4 posts now :(

  3. I have just recently noticed a TON of giveaways in my feed! It is really annoying. While I think it's fun sometimes, the reason I like Instagram is not because I get free stuff it's because it's a pretty representation of life. Ha ha.

  4. I know so many bloggers who genuinely hate those loop giveaways! I've done it couple of times and it really does work. I think that the Instagram is so competitive now that if you find a way to get more followers without buying them, then do it!

  5. I had no idea there is so much to Instagram! I certainly haven't learned all there is to know and need to bookmark this and come back to it to "get" it all!


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