Should You Run an Instagram Loop Giveaway?

Love them or hate them, Instagram loop giveaways have become increasingly popular for businesses on Instagram recently. But do they actually work? And what exactly is an Instagram loop giveaway, anyway?

In the following post, we explain what Instagram loop giveaways are, how they work, and share proven strategies you can use to make your Instagram giveaway successful.

Instagram loop giveaway

What is an Instagram Loop Giveaway?

Everyone knows what an Instagram giveaway is, but the term “loop giveaway” might be new to you. An Instagram loop giveaway is simply an Instagram giveaway with a few extra steps. They usually consist of several accounts (anywhere from 5 to 30) teaming up to buy a prize, and then creating a “loop” of steps that contestants have to follow in order to enter the giveaway.

For instance, while a normal Instagram giveaway may ask contestants to tag at least one friend in the comments to enter, with an Instagram loop giveaway you may have to follow up to 30 different accounts!

Why all the extra steps? Well, the thinking goes that by participating in a loop giveaway, you can get a ton of new followers. Because entrants are usually required to follow every account in the loop in order to enter, if the giveaway goes viral, you could theoretically come away with hundreds (or even thousands) of new followers.

How to Run Your Own Instagram Loop Giveaway

Because Instagram loop giveaways have so many moving parts, running one can be pretty complicated. Depending on the number of accounts taking part in the giveaway, you may need to come up with a system of communication to keep everyone on the same page.

Step 1: Find accounts to participate in the Instagram loop giveaway

The first step is to build a team of Instagram accounts to participate in the loop giveaway. While the size of a “loop” can vary, it usually consists of at least 5 accounts. At most? Well, we’ve seen some loops as big as 30!

Something to keep in mind is the “theme” of your giveaway. While you may not want to partner with accounts that directly compete with your business, it’s a good idea to partner with accounts that have a similar audience as you. After all, the goal of your loop giveaway should be to get more followers — but not any kind of follower. You want to attract followers who are actually interested in your account and won’t click “Unfollow” the moment giveaway is over.

Step 2: Establish the giveaway rules and prize

Once you’ve confirmed the accounts taking part in the loop giveaway, you need to come up with the contest rules. It’s common to ask contestants to follow each of the accounts in the “loop,” but you can also ask them like or comment on each of the posts as well.

instagram loop giveaway

You also need to decide on a prize for the loop giveaway. Keep in mind that since Instagram loop giveaways require contestants to complete a bunch of steps, it’s important for the prize to be valuable. While stickers and t-shirts are great prizes for regular giveaways, you need to offer something a little more pricey in a loop giveaway.

Once you’ve decided on a prize, you can create the photo for the giveaway.  

Step 3: Organize the time, date, and “order” of the Instagram loop giveaway

In order for the loop giveaway to run properly, each participant needs to post the same photo at the same time, and include a tag linking to the next account in the loop. So it’s really important to figure out the loop order beforehand! For example:

  • Account 1 tags Account 2
  • Account 2 tags Account 3
  • Account 3 tags Account 4
  • Account 4 tags Account 5
  • Account 5 tags Account 1

instagram loop giveaway

Keep in mind that not everyone in the loop will be in the same time zone, so you have to be specific about when you ask each participant to post!

One of the best way to keep everyone on the same page is to use a free tool like Later that lets you upload and schedule your Instagram posts in advance!

Are Instagram Loop Giveaways As Effective as Normal Instagram Giveaways?

It’s pretty clear that Instagram loop giveaways are a lot more complicated than normal Instagram giveaways. Not only do you have to coordinate the Instagram giveaway with upwards of 30 different accounts, but you also have to agree on the prize, the photo, the posting time, and so much more. So, are they worth all the effort?

The fact is that on top of being complicated to run and manage, Instagram loop giveaways can also fall short in other areas as well: namely the ability to generate a ton of new followers for the accounts that participate.

instagram loop giveaway

According to social media specialist Corey Kindberg: “Loop giveaways seem to be extremely beneficial in building a following quickly. But if you’re a business and your main objective is the little followers number at the top of your profile, then you’re already failing,” he says. “What are these new followers doing for your business? Are they translating to conversions? Probably not. They’re there just to enter a giveaway.”

This is a common complaint. While Instagram loop giveaways can be really good for getting new followers, it’s better to think in terms of quality over quantity. As Kindberg says, the new followers you get from a loop giveaway in all likelihood only followed you to enter the contest, not because they believe in your business.

There’s also the problem of looking spammy. Asking your followers to go through 5-30 steps in order to maybe win a prize definitely isn’t the best way to build trust with your community. And depending on the size of the loop giveaway, it’s likely also a big waste of time and therefore a great way to build bad blood with your followers.

instagram loop giveaway

So what’s the verdict? While some accounts have seen a lot of success with Instagram loop giveaways, in most cases it’s much more effective (and much easier!) to run a regular Instagram contest.

For example, in a recent blog post, we created a foolproof Instagram contest formula to help you get more quality followers on Instagram. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Partner with a brand or influencer with a similar target market and audience
  2. Choose a prize that gets your community excited
  3. If you’re partnering with an influencer, have them host the contest on their account (if you’re partnering with a brand, you can determine the best account to host the contest)
  4. Create clear rules: to enter, follow @youraccount and @yourpartner and tag X # of friends in a comment
  5. Run your contest for a short period of time: no more than 5 days, ideally 2-3 day

At the end of the day, it’s about attracting followers who will stick around long after the giveaway is over. And that’s where Instagram loop giveaways tend to fall flat, says Kindberg. “If you’re running a regular Instagram giveaway and teaming up with someone that aligns with your brand then those people are more than likely to translate to a conversion (whatever that goal is for you) than someone who is trying to win an Instamax and a new Kylie Lip Kit.”

Wise words. 

Later is the #1 Instagram marketing platform for business. Sign up for free to schedule Instagram posts, organize UGC, plan your feed, and more!

Written By

Benjamin Chacon

Benjamin is a Content Writer at Later and recent transplant from Toronto. You can follow his day-to-day exploits on Instagram @benjaminchacs.