Why Instagram Should Be Part of Your Promotions Strategy

by Julie Foley Second Street

Instagram is very popular with younger demographics.

73% of Instagram users are between the ages of 15 and 35. This is a desirable audience that is complementary to your core audience, and research from Iconosquare reveals that 48% of Instagramers are professionals, and 46% have higher education degrees. Plus, the Instagram audience is predominantly female, with women making up 64% of users.


This audience is highly engaged.

According to Pew Research Center, almost half (49%) of Instagram users are on the platform daily, with 32% checking in several times a day. Another quarter of Instagram users (24%) check the platform weekly. This level of engagement with a social networking site is second only to Facebook:


Brands are not seen as an intrusion.

Unlike Facebook, where most people connect primarily with people they know in real life, Instagram is a network of communities organized by interest, and it is not necessary to know somebody in real life in order to follow them and Like their photos. This means that brands are not seen as an intrusion, but rather as adding to the conversation and community on the network.

Now that you see how valuable of a platform Instagram can be, how can you add it to your promotions mix? The answer is simple: hashtag photo sweepstakes.

Sweepstakes are already one of the most popular contest types, and Instagram offers a new, even more dynamic, way for people to enter to win. People enter an Instagram sweepstakes by posting a relevant photo along with a specific hashtag.


Since Instagram is a mobile-first platform, running Instagram sweepstakes can be a great way to expand your existing mobile initiatives.

Plus, Instagram sweepstakes are not only easy for you to set up and for your audience to enter, but they are also inherently viral. With a traditional sweepstakes, people have to take an extra step in order to share their participation in a contest with their social media followers, but with an Instagram sweepstakes, every single entry will appear in the photo stream of every entrant’s followers, allowing you to greatly expand your reach and engagement. This means that if 100 people enter your contest and each person has 200 Instagram followers, your promotion could be exposed to as many as 20,000 people! Since the median number of Instagram followers per user is 194, this scenario is entirely possible.

When San Diego CityBeat used Instagram to run a sweepstakes promoting San Diego Burger Week, they received more than 228 approved entries.


While the average person entered the sweepstakes twice, one person was so engaged that they entered 20 times!

The opportunity for Instagram sweepstakes will only continue to grow.

There were over 64 million Instagram users in 2014, and there are projected to be well over 111 million by 2019.


Advertisers are starting to notice the trend. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start adding Instagram hashtag photo sweepstakes to your promotions calendar.

Get your copy of The Sweepstakes Playbook.