After starting to do my Prize Unboxing Videos, I realised that there is one method of entry I have had a fair bit of success with (touch wood) - Instagram. A few of you delightful readers have asked me how I find these competitions, and how I ultimately win. I wrote this post originally back in August, but times change and so it's time for an update. I've been teaching my sister how to comp on Instagram, and found myself learning new tricks along the way. So here they are, old and new, my top tips for comping on Instagram!
(As this is more about Instagram tips than a tutorial on how to use Instagram, I would recommend checking out Di Coke's blog here if you are new to the app.)
1) Use the Hashtags
Unlike Twitter, you can't search for more than one term on Instagram. This makes it really hard to find competitions, as you cannot look for specific competitions. After trying the usual #win or #competition, I soon realised this would only bring up photos of super sporty people lifting weights and #winning a sporting #competition!
Time to try something else. I always, always, always enter Instagram competitions on Wednesday and Friday. Why? Because the unique hashtags #winitwednesday (or #WinWednesday) and #freebiefriday tend to only bring up competitions that us compers are interested in (not that I don't like seeing the sporty ones...). I make sure that I enter on these days as part of my comping routine.
Other hashtags to try are:
Another great thing about hashtags, is that you can see the photo's that other people have entered. Some competitions only ask you to like and comment, but others will require a photo, usually along the lines of a set theme, accompanied by a hashtag. This is where making your photo's stand out really matters. Rather than the same old posing selfie, try adding in some props like a makeup moustache (as demonstrated) to keep it light-hearted. To make sure yours isn't the same as all the other entries, click the hashtag and have a look at the other photos. This does NOT mean that you can steal an idea or photo as that is cheating. However, making sure your entry doesn't look the same as everyone else's and then coming up with an original idea for your photo is a-okay.
2) Get Your Profile Ready
First things first is to make your profile public if you are wanting to enter creative Instagram competitions. If the promoter cannot see your entry then it cannot be counted. Simple as that. Don't be shy, show your hilarious selfies to the world.
Another thing that promoter may look at is your overall profile. A bit like Twitter, if your profile picture isn't there or doesn't have you in it, it may look like a fake account, especially if all your posts are re-grams of competitions. Try to pick something funny or smiley that expresses you as a person.
Now, about those re-grams. I'm not the biggest fan of competitions that ask you to re-gram a photo (repost the photo to your own Instagram and tag the promoter with a hashtag), and tend to stick to simple like, comment or tag comps or publishing original photos. However, if you are a fan, I would suggest that, after the competition has ended and the winner has been announced, delete the re-gram. This keeps your Instagram tidy and shows promoters that you have a life outside comping (even if that isn't true. GUILTY!)
3) Snap Away
Take lots of pictures, especially when you know there is a competition around. When the Christmas Advent Competitions are in full swing, a festive photo is often required - so save these up! I have an album in my phone just for comping, and also have themed ones to make it easier to find that winning photo! Ones to look out for are Pancake Day, Mothers and Fathers Day and Summer photos.
As I said earlier, standing out from the crowd in these sorts of competitions is so important, as they are generally judged. Think of something that will get your face remembered, whether that be a silly outfit, doing something embarrassing in public or a really impressive talent! Show it off, and don't be afraid to look like a fool! You may never see those people who give you a sly glance again, and anyway, it's all worth it for a laugh and a potential win!
Similarly, when a competition asks you to comment, try and put something funny, rather than just the generic 'Looks fab, thanks'. The promoter may not look through all the comments, but if they do and yours stands out, it may well be picked.
4) Finding creative compsIt's all well and good taking the photos, but how do we find the competition to enter it into?!
Well, with Instagram it's slightly harder, because of the whole 'can only search one word thing' (a pet hate of mine). So it's back to the hashtags we go. You won't find anywhere near as many as the previous hashtag list but try these out for size:
#SelfieCompetition or #SelfieComp
#PhotoCompetition or #PhotoComp
(Mention any more you know to the comments, and I'll add them in!)
Another thing you can do, is start on Twitter, and end up on Instagram. As you can search more than one word on Twitter, try typing in 'upload Instagram win', as promoters will often advertise their competitions across various social media channels, even if you can only enter on Instagram. For example, I knew I had a good outfit photo and typed into Twitter 'upload outfit win Instagram' and came across a few competitions. More often that not, the top results will be from months ago, so try going onto 'All Tweets' to bring up recent ones - but be warned, you may need to trek through a fair few irrelevant Tweets!
5) Get a tag buddy or two...or three.
A popular method for entering Instagram comps is to tag someone. This spreads the word of the competition and gets more entrants. If you have comping buddies (if not I recommend Facebook groups like Lucky Learners or my Mission Competition group), ask them if they are willing to be tagged. This helps both of you find new competitions, as you may have different methods for seeking out those hidden gems. My Instagram is @lornab22 if any of you fancy adding and tagging.
One thing I would note when tagging, is be careful not to send the tag as a message to the people tagged, rather than a comment. To avoid this, I tend to put a wee comment first, even just one word or an emoji, to ensure it sends as a comment.
Another great thing about having comping buddies, is that you can send each other competitions you know they will like. If the competition doesn't require a tag, you can send the photo to your friend over the Instagram messanger. To do this, click the little arrow (circled below) and decide who you want to send it to. If you need practice, my Instagram name is @lornab22.
6) Use Forums
One of my main sources of competitions are sites such as Prize Finder and Money Saving Expert. Prize finder has a social media section, and there you can find Instagram competitions (marked with a (IG) next to them). To seek these out without scrolling, search on a laptop by pressing control F and then typing in 'IG'. This will highlight all the Instagram competitions. These sites are great, as someone else is doing all the hard work for you. Sometimes this can mean that they are higher entry, but you have just as good a chance of winning as the other compers.
So get snapping, filter those photos and upload! Comment below with any other Instagram tips and hashtags that you love. If you want an Instagram tagging buddy, comment below and find a friend!
Luck and Love,