Social media engagement is crucial to online marketing success. If you’re using Instagram to grow a following who will fall in love with your products, it’s imperative that you dedicate time and effort into building relationships and excitement around your brand. People need to feel connected and invested in businesses in order to take real action.

You can buy Instagram followers to get you started on the road toward cultivating an audience, but you’ll need to work hard to demonstrate innovation in your marketing techniques if you hope to meet your goals. One way to gain awareness and traction online is to hold giveaways. Take a look below to discover how to get more Instagram likes with contests. There’s probably more involved than you realized.

1. Know Instagram’s Rules

First and foremost, it’s important that you understand Instagram’s promotion guidelines regarding running contests. They’re fairly straightforward, but they do matter in order to avoid penalties, such as being banned from the platform. Basically, you’re responsible for making sure to comply with state, local, and federal laws surrounding giveaways.

You also need to include a specific disclaimer with each and every contest you hold on Instagram. It reads, “Per Instagram rules; this promotion is in no ways sponsored, administered, or associated with Instagram, Inc. By entering, entrants confirm they are 13+ years of age, release Instagram of responsibility, and agree to Instagram’s terms of use.”

Be careful with tagging. You can’t tag users in your post who aren’t affiliated with your contest. Users can only tag themselves in posts in which they are visible, but they can add their tag in the comments. You must also post official rules for your contest. This can be a link to a disclaimer on your website.

2. Determine Your Goals

Next, you should decide the ultimate goal you hope to attain by having a contest. In this case, we’re looking at gaining more likes as a form of engagement. Other engagement like comments, tags, or DMs can also be included in this overall goal. Other goals might be to encourage more user-generated comments, add more followers, or Increase your email list.

Contests are great for encouraging engagement. In general, they require your followers to take action, no matter what the rules. Specifically, you can require a like to be given in order to receive an entry. The more engagement your post gets, the better it will perform in Instagram’s algorithm, and the more people will see it.

3. Plan It Out

A poorly executed contest does you no good. Now that you know your primary goal, you can begin to organize and strategize in order to bring your contest to life. The first part of this process is to choose your prize. It needs to be something of perceived value to your followers, or else they won’t bother entering.

It also must be relevant to your business, preferably one of your own products. A random prize chosen simply for the sake of attracting entries won’t gain you continued engagement. Asking for a like or comment is relatively easy, so the prize you offer doesn’t have to be too expensive.

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4. Decide on Specifics

Once you have a general plan in order, it’s now time to determine the specifics of your contest. These include the methods of entry, length of the contest, and other conditions. You should also assign a customized hashtag to your giveaway so that it’s easy to follow and track.

Requiring a like per entry is pretty straightforward. This is a good type of contest for your first foray. Place a limit on how many people can win your prize, and add any other specifics that apply to your particular item.

Make it clear what the stakes are. Also, are there age or residency requirements? These are all important considerations with any Instagram contest. Assign a start and end date to your giveaway. Make all of the details as clear as possible to avoid misunderstanding, as such issues could lead to bad PR for your brand. That’s definitely not something you want.

Choose a fun, easy to recognize hashtag for your campaign. Doing so makes promotion easier and allows users to spread the word, as well as to find you. Custom hashtags help to cement your brand and to make tracking analytics a breeze. Your hashtag must be related to your brand and the theme of your giveaway. Take time to craft something special and memorable. Don’t forget to lay out the procedure for identifying, notifying, and publicizing a winner.

5. Launch Your Contest

Now comes the fun part. It’s time to launch your Instagram contest. You should have an attention-grabbing graphic that visually communicates the intent of your giveaway. Be sure to add text that spells everything out and makes it easy to recognize your post as a contest. Include the required disclaimers in your caption.

Post your announcement regularly and keep track of your analytics to determine which times receive the most interaction. Adjust your posting schedule accordingly.

Every contest result is different. Your first try may not get the results you hope for, but it’s always a learning experience. Evaluate your results and then plan for your next giveaway. Follow these suggestions, and you’re likely to get more Instagram likes and increase engagement.