Are Giveaways a Good Thing? // The Biz of Blogging

In previous posts in my Biz of Blogging series, I have discussed many different ways you can grow your Instagram account. I have mentioned posting more frequently, knowing your audience, participating in share groups, engaging your audience and participating in giveaways. Today I am going to share my thoughts on the pros and cons of participating in giveaways to build your Instagram following.

Giveaways with Brands can be a very good thing when it comes to growing your Instagram account. (What I say “giveaways with brands” I am referring when you partner with a brand and give away one of their products.) They are good because they can increase your exposure and grow your audience. By participating in a giveaway with brands, you can gain exposure to their Instagram followers who didn’t know you but would like to follow you. The biggest problem with the algorithm on Instagram is getting your account seen by others. This type of giveaways can help to solve this problem.

But here is where sometimes giveaways don’t work. Giveaways that are run by an individual and require people to follow 40 – 50ish accounts encourage people to follow your account. But are these new followers following you because they like your account or because they just want to win a giveaway? There is no way you can know. You have to realize there is likely going to be some fallout. You have to wonder if your new followers are going to continue to follow you and engage with your account. Or are they going to unfollow you or ignore you? As long as you understand this then you should understand that these are not the followers want. Engagement is such an important thing (especially with brands if you want to collaborate) and these types of giveaways will hurt your engagement. 

I do think there is another thing you need to think about. Gaining followers is one goal, but what about keeping the ones you have? How are your followers going to react to seeing giveaways on your account all of the time? They may lose interest in your account. They also might unfollow you. I follow accounts because I like what they have to say. I read their posts every day because of the inspiration, creativity, and humor they share on their feed. I don’t get any of those things from a giveaway.

The key is that you should only participate in giveaways for the right reason. If you are excited about a product and you think your followers would love to win the item, then participating in a giveaway with a brand might be a good idea. If the item appeals to your audience then the new followers are more likely to want to continue to follow you. But don’t participate in giveaways too often.  Instead, make sure you are always striving to share inspiration, beauty, creativity, humor and whatever makes you happy. If you never lose sight of that, then an occasional giveaway on your feed should be fine.

In case you are wondering, I am speaking from experience. I use to participate in giveaways. They helped my account grow and I felt that the giveaway items were something my followers might like. But, after a while, I decided to stop doing them. I love how my Instagram account has developed and grown since. And I love engaging with my followers. (I still try to answer every comment as it’s my favorite thing to do!) 

I have an Instagram account because I want to create, share, and inspire. I try to remind myself of this every day. And I am so thankful you are here with me on this journey.

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  1. As a follower, I am in agreement with your philosophy of giving. There are times when I loved the product, but I had to “like” the products FB, IG, or whatever account, in order to be considered the gift. I almost feel guilty that I have no interest in being their follower, but I love the blogger and the product they’re gifting. But I also found you through a “party” from another blogger I follow and so glad I did. You’re right up my alley. As for a sensitive note, and this is gentle criticism mind you. You had said that you answer all the comments and you enjoy doing so. I have left several comments on different blogs you have written. I was hoping I would get an answer back on at least one….maybe you were busy?

  2. I truly believe you are right about this. I typically unfollowed the accounts the day after the giveaway ended. I can remember a few I chose not to unfollow but not the numbers the people who offered the giveaways might have expected. I rarely participate anymore in giveaways. I have unfollowed those who do them all the time. I have never followed someone for that reason but, instead, because I felt inspired by their posts or life. I know sponsorships are vital to those doing this as their livelihoods, but too much and it is like watching a very long commercial. It is a very delicate balance.

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