Ah, the infamous loop giveaways. I hear so many things about them: how good they are, how bad they are, they’re too long, too confusing, too hard to put together. Everybody has their own opinion of them. Want my advice? Stop doing loop giveaways altogether.
I see loop giveaways for MacBooks, home decor and coffee mugs all of which sometimes have nothing to do with the boutiques and shops hosting the Instagram loop giveaway. That makes no sense to me! Don’t you want your audience to have your products?
I also see loop giveaways that are just too long. To be honest, any more than five boutiques or shops and many people lose interest, forget where they started and just give up. That defeats the purpose of your loop giveaway, doesn’t it?
I know you want to grow your Instagram account. You want more followers and more engagement. It makes your shop look good. But if you are just gaining irrelevant followers because you joined in on a large and random loop giveaway, then it really doesn’t do you any justice in the end.
Loop giveaways are a type of collaboration, but they are not so the most successful kind of collaborations. While collaborations should be included in your Instagram strategy, there are many other types you can host besides loop giveaways. Collaborations are not only important to grow your number of Instagram followers and boost your engagement, but collaborating with others encourages a professional relationship — someone, whether another business owner or a customer, who can refer you to others.
If you continuously only participate in one kind of collaboration, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Step away from the loop giveaways and out of your comfort zone. Try these three collaboration ideas instead.
1. Joint giveaways that do NOT involve loops
Earlier, I mentioned that I see loop giveaways giving away MacBooks and items that have no relevance to the boutiques and shops hosting the giveaway. Here’s an idea instead: come together with a few other shops that have a similar ideal customer as you. Let’s take new mothers, for instance. If a few shops all sell products for new mothers, they can each include a product from their shop to be part of the prize.
Instead of hosting a loop giveaway to gain followers (which may end up unfollowing you after the contest ends), host the giveaway on a program that allows e-mail captures such as Gleam or KingSumo. Then, use Instagram to promote the giveaway. Your Instagram posts should appeal to the audience who would want to win your giveaway and would benefit from winning it.
2. Blogger or brand influencer collaboration
These are my favorite collaborations to have! I’ve collaborated with several bloggers as well as business owners in my niche. For product based business, it’s great to collaborate with a blogger or brand influencer who can provide lifestyle images and post about your boutique and shop and products on their Instagram account (and any other relevant social media accounts or their blog).
Overall, it’s important to collaborate with the right kind of blogger. Meaning if you are a boho-chic boutique, then a city-style blogger may not be the right fit for you. While yes, you want these bloggers to post about your products to gain more followers of your own as well as sales, it’s also important to develop a solid relationship with them.
There are countless ways to collaborate with a blogger or brand influencer. It’s a matter of working with the right one, professionally and personally.
3. Instagram photo contest for a giveaway
Instagram photo contests are so much fun and a great way to get your audience involved and interacting with your business (bonus points to help boost your account’s engagement). What you should do first is decide if you want your audience to share a particular picture of your own or if you want your audience to snap their own pictures of your products and use your brand’s hashtag. (Hint: Make a disclaimer on your website that you have permission to repost images posted with your brand’s hashtag.)
Then, post about the contest and share the rules — how will the winner be decided, how long will the photo contest will run, when will the winner be chosen and what will they win? Make sure the prize is a good one!
Continuously post on Instagram during the duration of the contest to encourage people to keep sharing posts of your products. If your photo contest includes your customers sharing their own pictures using your brand’s hashtags, start sharing those pictures. Your customers will be so excited that you featured their picture on your boutique or shop’s account.