I’ve earlier written about how to host an Instagram contest, now let’s move to the other side of the table – How do you win an Instagram contest?
While I don’t think there is a secret success formula to winning any Instagram contest, or any other contest, (that would be boring anyway, right?), I believe there are lots of ways to increase your winning chances. Below you can read some of my advises (that I’ve had winning experiences with myself).
The first two advises are basics, that would apply to pretty much all Instagram contests, while the last four are most relevant in contests where the picture(s) with the most likes win.
Study the rules
Knowledge is power, take some time to study the contest rules and conditions. You might find something that gives you a computational edge! What does the contest rules say about use of hashtags? Can you upload as many contributions as you like? How is the winner(s) picked? Is there some way you can influence the contest, by e.g. asking friends to like and share your picture? Are there any hints given as to what the jury might be looking for?
Keep an eye on the competition
Check out the contest hashtag and analyze the other contributions. What do you like? Is there something you can build on (not copy!) and make better? Are some motives / interpretations more frequent than others? (Maybe you should go for something else, that would stand out in the bunch?)
If you are entering a contest where the picture(s) with the most likes wins, there are lots of ways to gain more likes quickly:
Hashtags, hashtags, hashtags
The fastest way to get people to like your Instagram pictures is adding hashtags. Make sure to use tags that are popular / frequently used, while they also describe your photo ( the Tag for likes app can be useful in generating popular tags).
Make sure you know the Instagram hashtag etiquettes as well.
Promote your picture
Tell your friends and connections about the contest, and ask them to vote for your picture. Your competition will, so you should too!
Pick your best shot…
You should (obviously) pick the image you’re most satisfied with (make sure it is aligned with the contest rules too of course). Also try picking one that you think will be easy for people to like kids, candy, sunsets, and nothing too controversal (depending on the contest of course).
…and stick to it
Once you’ve found the perfect shot, upload it and don’t upload any other pictures. Why? Because it causes confusing for the people you’ve asked to like your photo, and (in my experience) people stumbling on to your Instagram profile tend to like the last picture uploaded.
What did I miss? Do you have other tricks for winning an Instagram contest?