Tutorial: How to run a sweepstakes from Instagram comments

The Instagram Sweepstakes app enables you to import all the comments on an Instagram post and run a sweepstakes among all users who commented. You'll then be able to publish the winners on a customized page and display a Certificate of Validity to give transparency to your sweepstakes.


What you need to know before you start:

  • Following the recent changes applied to the Instagram API on April 4, 2018, the "Instagram comments sweepstakes" application is only available for business Instagram accounts, it is not available for personal profiles.

NoteIn this article you'll be able to read the notification sent by Instagram and you'll also be able to see in detail the changes that affect our platform.  


Below we describe the process for carrying out an Instagram sweepstakes:


Summary of the Instagram Sweepstakes Tutorial

In this tutorial, you'll find a step-by-step guide to setting up and launching your sweepstakes:


Step 1. Create and publish the post on Instagram

The first step is to publish the sweepstakes post on Instagram as you would with any other post.


Step 2. Access the Control Panel

Access the Easypromos Control Panel from this link. If you're not an Easypromos user, create an account and sign in to the control panel to create and manage your promotions.


This is your control panel:


A) Your account information is located in the upper bar of the window. Use your account ID (preceded by the # symbol) to identify yourself when requesting help from the Support Center.

B) This is the area where your promotions will be listed according to status: active, draft and finalized.


Step 3. Import the Instagram post

The next important step is to select the Instagram post that you've just published. 

To do this, follow these steps:

1. Click "Create New Promotion" to start setting up the sweepstakes.


2. Select "Instagram Sweepstakes".


3. Next select "Comments" to start setting up your sweepstakes:  


4. You will be presented with the sweepstakes setup screen. As a first step, click the "Connect with Facebook" button:


Note: Business profiles use the new Facebook API for Instagram to import all the comments on the posts. It's necessary to accept the Facebook permissions that authorize Easypromos to read the posts and comments on an Instagram profile. More information.


5. After logging in, select the Instagram account where you have published your Instagram sweepstakes post:


6. Your next step should be to select the post you've just published on Instagram – the one you want to use to run your sweepstakes:select_post.jpg


Note: The "Instagram Sweepstakes" application is available for any Instagram post, photo or video. It's not available for Instagram Stories yet.
Note 2: Multiple sweepstakes on the same post can only be carried out with Instagram business profiles and with an active Easypromos subscription.


Step 4. Import comments

For the process of importing comments our platform uses the official Facebook API which allows to obtain all the comments on the post. This way, when you select the Instagram post, the platform will obtain all the comments of the post and will import them as participants of the sweepstakes.

If you don’t want to finish the sweepstakes yet, you can keep the sweepstakes in your control panel and when the participation period ends, you’ll only need to log in again, edit the same sweepstakes and follow step 5 of this tutorial.

Once you have imported the comments on a post, you can add new posts to the sweepstakes with a maximum of 10 posts, to carry out a sweepstakes between the comments of all the posts. This option is only available for Instagram business profiles.


Have you promoted the post with advertising?

When we promote an Instagram post, the Facebook Ads manager duplicates that post (as if it were a 'dark post') and uses it to spread it to the audience that we define at the ad. That is, two independent posts will actually be available: the post published on the Instagram profile and the duplicated post created for advertising.

This way, if we want to get all the comments of an Instagram sweepstakes and part of the comments have been generated through a promoted post, we'll need to add the duplicated post that Facebook generated when we promoted the post so we can get all the comments.   

To do so, once you have imported the organic post published on your Instagram profile, you can use the option "Add promoted post" to find the duplicated post and add all the comments generated through advertising.


Note: The possibility of adding the comments of a promoted post is enabled for customers who have an active Basic subscription that has a price $29 per month. 



Step 5. Review the list of finalists and apply exclusions

You're on the open sweepstakes page. Beneath the title you'll find the number of participants and options for viewing the data. In this section, you'll also find various tools for filtering and excluding users from entering the sweepstakes. These tools enable you to establish the following dynamics:


These tools enable you to establish the following dynamics:

  • Requiring users to include up to five mentions in a comment in order to enter the sweepstakes.
  • Filtering the finalists according to the hashtags they use in their comments.

Discover all the options for filtering and excluding users available in your Instagram sweepstakes.


Step 6. Define the number of winners and alternates

Next, indicate how many winners and alternate winners you need. We recommend always requesting alternate winners as it makes awarding the prizes easier and more efficient. Why?15.jpg


Click "Continue" and you'll be taken to the Test Page. Here you'll be able to carry out a test to see how the sweepstakes will work and how the winners will be displayed.


Step 7. Carry out a test and run the sweepstakes

Before you run the random sweepstakes, you have the possibility of carrying out a number of tests to see how the tool works.

Note: The possibility to make a test is not available for the first free sweepstakes.

When you are ready to make the sweepstakes, the system will allow you to finalize it to obtain the winners and alternates. In case you don’t have an active Basic subscription, the system will allow you to purchase it at this moment:


Once you have the Basic subscription active and you are ready to finalize the sweepstakes, click the "Ready! Pick the winners” button and winners will be picked randomly. Once the sweepstakes has been made, it can’t be repeated.16.jpg

Step 8. Prepare the announcement of winners

Congratulations! The sweepstakes has been carried out and the results will be displayed. You can now think about announcing the winners and awarding the prizes.


A. "Winners and Alternates" section:

Here you'll see the list of winners and alternates. From here you can manage the prize winners, and change them if needed.


B. "Claim your prize" section:

Do you want the winners to be able to confirm their details and claim their prize? You can set up and activate this section to aid in the prize-awarding process. This way, the user who visits the Winners Page will be able to claim the prize from there, verifying their details and confirming that they're interested in receiving the prize.


C. "Publication of winners" Section:

When you run the sweepstakes, the tool will generate two important URLs that you should be aware of:

  • Certificate of Validity URL. The Certificate of Validity confirms that the sweepstakes has been run once only and completely at random. This certificate identifies the sweepstakes and it can't be modified. Share the URL with winners so that participants can see that your sweepstakes was run fairly and transparently.
  • Winners Page URL. This is a microsite where the names of the winners and the alternate winners are displayed. This way, communicating the results will be easier. You'll be able to customize this page to adapt it to your brand and needs.

Click on the pencil icon to edit the Winners Page and customize it to fit your needs:


Step 9. Contact the winners

When the Winners Page is ready, share it on social media. You can use the "Share" button or copy and share the URL of the Winners Page directly.


Tip: If you'd like to announce the winners on Instagram, we recommend the two following actions:

  1. Publish the link to the Winners Page in the Bio of the organizing brand's Instagram account.
  2. Publish a post or a story where announce the result of the sweepstakes and that it can be seen in the Bio.
  3. Use your social media channels to share the link to the Winners Page. 

Keep in mind the fact that links in the comments or description of the photos in Instagram are not active and can't be clicked on. 


Step 10. Manage winners and alternates

From the 'Winners and alternates' section you can:

  • See whether winners have claimed their prize, and review the details they've provided.
  • Manage the prizewinners and change them if necessary.
  • Download all the information provided by prizewinners in a file.
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