Today, I’m going to give you my honest opinion on Instagram loop giveaways AND provide you with information on where to join a loop aimed at your target audience. After all I kinda know a thing or two after having a loop/marketing company for 5+ years before moving to SociallEm.
Are bloggers who join Instagram loop giveaways cheating the system?
There are two ways to look at this question. The first approach is from Instagram’s perspective. Are you cheating Instagram in any way by joining a loop giveaway? Second, how does the blogging/biz community perceive loop giveaways? Will your peers think you’re cheating to get ahead?
First, let’s cover whether participating in a loop giveaway skirts any Instagram rules. In Instagram’s terms and conditions, there is a page dedicated to promotion guidelines, which in no way states participating in loop giveaways breaks any rules. If the company who is hosting the giveaway has all the right permits, your good to go!
But what about bloggers and peers? Ask 100 bloggers if doing Instagram loop giveaways is cheating, and the response will be split 50/50. Some people feel like joining loop giveaways is an unfair way to gain followers. This camp argues that loop giveaways inauthentically bloat bloggers’ Instagram numbers, giving them an unfair edge when it comes to collaboration opportunities. The other camp, the camp I fall in, believes loop giveaways should be viewed as a marketing tool. However, we are all entitled to our opinions #freeworld and if you can afford to pay $300-$1000+ on a giveaway to further boost your business or blogging page, then that’s entirely up to you. Businesses when hiring a blogger/influencer to collaborate with, just need to know what to look for to determine if their 100k following is worthwhile.
Will I gain fake followers if I join an Instagram loop giveaway?
Yes, you’ll probably gain some fake followers if you join an Instagram loop. However, if you’re in an Instagram loop giveaway with other like-minded bloggers and accounts, the odds that you’ll gain a ton of fake followers is slim. Always, always, always ask your giveaway host to see a list of other participants or sponsors before agreeing to join. Any host that has YOUR best interest in mind will let you see a list of other participants/sponsors.
Once you have the list, go through and check out the accounts with a critical eye. Look to join giveaways with accounts in your niche that have a good reputation and engagement.
I want to note that most followers you gain in a loop giveaway are 90% real. Giveaway hosts and participants can’t control if someone creates multiple accounts to enter a loop giveaway. It does happen. However, when your host knows what he/she is doing and vets all the accounts in the group, you don’t have to worry about having a ton of spam accounts follow you.
Are Instagram loop giveaways legit?
Some are, some are not. There are people out there looking to take advantage of you by inviting you to join an Instagram loop giveaway that does not exist. This is another reason you should always ask to see a list of other participants before joining a loop giveaway. If you don’t know the giveaway host and aren’t familiar with anyone else in the group, you probably want to stay away. Don’t send money to anyone you’re not 110% sure is on the up and up. Ask to see previous winners, previous results, testimonials etc. Every good loop host should be able to tell you their incredible sponsor line up that are involved in the loop. If they can’t, DO NOT DO IT! Sponsors will make or break the giveaway.
Pros and cons of Instagram loop giveaways:
- Visibility. Visibility on Instagram is difficult to come by. When done correctly, Instagram loop giveaways serve to get your Instagram content in front of your target audience. Is the point of advertising not to expand reach and visibility? It’s the same concept with Instagram loop giveaways. They’re a way to get your content in front of more eyes.
- Growth. Growing an Instagram account organically is close to impossible these days. The most obvious way Instagram loop giveaways may benefit your account is by increasing followers. Results vary from giveaway to giveaway, but growth is growth.
- Rewarding followers. Instagram loop giveaways are a way to reward your audience for loyally following along.
- Engagement. Depending on how bonus entries are structured, loops also provide increased engagement on your Instagram feed.
- Follower drop off. You will see a follower decrease in the days following the end of a loop giveaway, typically around 20-30% of what you just gained. Do your research and join a giveaway that is in your niche, so the drop rate is lower.
- Perception in the blogging community. Not everyone is on board with loop giveaways, and people can be pretty vocal about their distaste for them. However, I can’t tell you how many posts I’ve read from bloggers denouncing loop giveaways on their blogs only to see them participating in one the next day. Basically, the jury’s still out. If you DO NOT AGREE with it, then scroll along. A business will hire a particular blogger for multiple reasons, not because of their following. Let them do as they please with their account, as you do yours.
- Feed clutter. Doing too many loop giveaways can create clutter on your feed and be annoying to followers. Be smart when choosing which loop giveaways are right for you, and always make sure the other accounts in the group are in your niche. This will make the loop giveaway work more seamlessly with your regular content.
- Bad photography. Some giveaway hosts have great photography while others use imagery that leaves a lot to be desired. If you’re working with a host who does NOT have an eye for photography, you may be required to post a really ugly, off-brand photo to your feed. Make sure you see a sample photo before agreeing to join an Instagram loop giveaway or do a secret position which requires no posting.
My overall opinion, you do you boo!
Businesses if you are looking to collaborate with a blogger but are unsure of their following, well actually you should always check this. Ask for a media kit! Ask for their current insights. There is no point in doing loop giveaways and gaining 100k following if your engagement does not match or if your following.
I believe they are super effective maybe 2-3 times a year, around new releases, slow periods etc. Any more than that and your follower’s vs engagement just looks ridiculous. Plus, you should be nurturing your new followers as they come in. Not just gaining a tonne on top of one another.
Smaller giveaways with products involved are far more effective in terms of authentic followers for businesses. They clearly want to win the products that fit within your niche so, therefore could actually become a customer at the end. While the results of the giveaway may be less, they are more authentic.
The best type of loop giveaways is those that join, blogger friends, businesses in the same industry, to give away a prize because they all fit within the same niche.
My biggest piece of advice – DO NOT JOIN INTERNATIONAL LOOPS, unless you are wanting to expand your business to the international waters. I mean seriously, yes 60k new followers sounds amazing.. but what the hell does that get you? They don’t engage because they do not have children and you do, or they came from Kim Kardashians following and are 60+ looking for as* shots.
Do your research people, do not just join a giveaway for numbers, look at the prize, look at the sponsors and most importantly look at the host!
AND always ask for media kits, insights and look at engagement when trying to find an account to collaborate with. Some will be cheeky and send you their highest ever insights, NO! Ask for the last 7 days.
Have you ever joined an Instagram loop giveaway? What are your thoughts? Love ’em or leave ’em? Let me know on my post on the gram.