The Complete Instagram Giveaway Rules Guide (With Examples)

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.

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 it’s 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?

Making sure you use terms like "contest", "sweepstakes" or "giveaway" properly to prevent unwanted legal issues.

A 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


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


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.

Want to run an Instagram giveaway, but don't have the time or expertise to make it happen? At Wishpond, we offer a team of marketing experts who can create powerful campaigns for you. Book a demo to learn more.

Instagram Giveaway Rule #5. 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


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 #6: 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 reason, Instagram wants to avoid any blame if someone feels wronged by your giveaway.

Instagram Giveaway Example: The Beauty Spy Offical

Instagram giveaway


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 #7. 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


In this post, they stated clearly that only US residents and person 18 years or older could enter. 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 #8: 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


Fabletics did everything right from providing clear instruction, 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 to 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 #9. 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


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 cost could apply to some items so the winner would know beforehand that they may have to pay some shipping cost.


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 the Start and End Date of the Giveaway
  6. State That Instagram Is Not Associated with Your Instagram Giveaway
  7. Include participation restrictions
  8. Decide How to Announce the Winner
  9. State How the Prize Will Be Delivered

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

Ready to start running your Instagram giveaway or already run one? I would love to know about it in the comments below.

Written by Victoria Taylor

Victoria is a Marketing Generalist at Wishpond specializing in all things digital marketing and social media marketing. In love with blogging and Taco Tuesdays. Follow her on Twitter @vicknwsbest.