Disclaimer: Due to the nature of this post, I will not be releasing the name of the host who put the giveaway together. All of my thoughts and opinions are my own based on the experience and have no bearing on the host. This is simply meant to be an “in general” informative post to anyone considering being apart of a group giveaway.**
After a lot of curiosity and recognition of the controversy revolving around them, I decided to enter into a group giveaway on Instagram. Dun dun DUNNNNNN!
If you have no idea what I’m talking about (which is totally okay!) let me give you some background.
What is a Group Giveaway?
While you may have seen a group of anywhere from 5-10 bloggers do a giveaway on Instagram together, the group giveaways I’m referring to involve anywhere from 30-50 people.
To be apart of the giveaway, you pay a buy in amount and you pool together with a large group of people to giveaway a big prize item such as a camera, designer bag, computer, $1000+ gift card or cash amount, etc.
In order to enter to win the prize, people must follow everyone involved in the giveaway, like the photo, and leave a comment. Sometimes the rules are different regarding how to get extra entries, but the main objective is to increase exposure and grow your account.
Is it like a Loop Giveaway?
Yes and no! Loop giveaways resembled a giant circle (hence the term “loop”) where you would have to follow everyone involved by going from one profile to another. The next person you were supposed to follow was in the comments (A.K.A “Follow @kahleanicolee and then go to @galgetaway next” which you would repeat until you got back to the original account you saw the giveaway on).
The giveaway that I tested was different in the sense that one Instagram account is made for the giveaway. This one account follows everyone involved in the giveaway and them prompts people to simply go through and follow all those accounts in order to enter to win.
More people are likelier to enter this way since it’s WAY quicker and easier than the loop method, hence it’s growing popularity.
Details of the Giveaway I Entered
Item for Giveaway: Gucci Marmont Bag
Buy in Rate: $140 sent via PayPal Friends and Family (*insert crying emoji here* haha)
**Sidenote: With this host, if you referred a friend with more than 100k followers and they signed up then you would get $15 off your buy-in rate. I didn’t do this though just because I don’t have many friends in that follower range.
**Sidenote #2: People with 100k+ followers only paid $100-$115 to buy in. A.K.A: the more followers you had = the less you had to pay to be involved
Number of influencers involved: 45
Length of Giveaway: April 16th at 9pm EST – April 19th at 9pm EST (4 days)
Accounts Involved: “U.S. fashion, beauty, and lifestyle bloggers (majority of accounts had over 100-300k followers)”
Expected Follower Gains: 1.5-3k according to the host
Bonus Entry Rules: Liking the past 3 pics on each account, tagging friends, and following everyone on Like to Know It
Other notes: Giveaway was boosted on the hosts account in order to increase exposure, we received 6 photos to choose from for the post, and there was a “high profile” girl involved with over 500k (someone from the Bachelor)
Actual Giveaway Caption:
“GUCCI GIFT! I’ve teamed up with some of my favorite fashion bloggers to give one lucky winner a Gucci bag (or equal cash value) as a thank you to YOU for following us!
Entering takes LESS THAN 30 SECONDS
For a chance to win head over to @guccibloggerbag and follow all the accounts they are following (aka some amazing bloggers I know you’ll love following)
BONUS: Get an additional entry by following all of us on the @liketoknow.it app … Want a better chance to win? Get an extra entry for each friend you tag in the comments or “LIKE” the last three photos on each girl’s Instagram account!
How it Works
So after I sent in my payment, a couple days following I was added into an Instagram DM group with 15 other girls. In there we received the caption and pictures for posting. On the day of the giveaway, we all posted at 9pm and then said “posted” in the DM Group once we completed it.
From there, we promoted in our stories and stayed tuned into the DM group to know when we had to do a follow up post.
I took a screenshot of my following 12 minutes before the giveaway started and I had 10,684 followers (see below screenshot)
Within the first hour I had grown by several hundred followers. It was nuts! I took a screenshot the next day (April 17th) and I was at 11,336. So over about 25 hours I had gained 652 followers.
I didn’t take a screenshot the 18th or 19th (totally forgot, my bad!) but both of those days the followers stopped coming in so quickly. Over the two days I gained about 488 followers, so roughly 244 on the 18th and 19th. Which is still a lot, but not in comparison to the first 24 hours.
Below is a screenshot of my following on the morning after the giveaway had ended. I was at 11,824 followers. This was before the winner had been announced.
I waited until the day after the winner was announced (she claimed the the prize on the night of the 22nd) before my next screenshot. I wanted to see how many followers I would lose once they realized they hadn’t won.
On April 23rd, 3 days after the giveaway ended and 1 day after the winner was announced, I was at 11,685 followers which is shown in the following screenshot. Therefore, I had lost 139 followers in the timeframe.
Follower Results – To Date
May 6th: As I have been writing this post, I just went into my account and took another screenshot of my followers. I am currently at 11,615. Meaning between April 23rd and May 6th, I have lost 70 followers.
As you can see below my follower count, over this last week I have essentially gained “0” followers. Which doesn’t mean no one new has followed me in that timeframe, but rather I am balancing out the lost followers with the new followers. So for example, I may lose 5 followers, but then I gain 5 new ones which is why it’s showing I have a +0 gain.
As time goes on, I will break away from the effects of the giveaway and the “+0” will go back into a positive or negative number. As of now though, I am still in that weird middle ground where the giveaway is over, but people that followed me because of it, are still unfollowing me.
While they can still unfollow me anytime down the road, the bulk of the unfollows due to not winning will dissipate in the next few weeks or so (according to other bloggers who have done this kind of giveaway before).
At this moment in time, the total amount of people that have unfollowed me is 209.
Update: June 3rd, 2018
Engagement Results – To Date
(This is in regards to likes and comments)
Before doing the giveaway, I was getting anywhere from (depending on the picture) 350-500+ likes and 30-40 comments. On ones that my audience really liked, I would get a minimum of 500/600+ likes and 40-50 comments. On these pictures though, the higher numbers were due to some help from sponsoring them because I was A/B Testing that growth method as well (a post for a different day haha).
So organically, let’s say I was earning an average of 450 likes and 35 comments a photo.
To date, organically (per the last three posts), I have been earning 636 likes per post and 52 comments per post.
(To calculate the average I added together the likes and comments of my last three posts and then divided by three)
Overall, my likes have increased by 41.33% and my comments by 48.57%
(Calculations: 636-450/450, 52-35/35)
Giveaway Thoughts (Good and Bad)
– I have concrete answers for you: I hated being that person that constantly shot the idea of group giveaways down even though I had never tried one. I wanted to have a better, more hands-on, understanding of how they were run and the results of actually participating in one.
Since doing it, I can now offer actual advice from a place of experience, not opinion.
– I made a new Insta-friend: From the giveaway I actually got connected with one girl based in Nashville that is SO sweet. Her and I have talked several times via DM and even plan to meet up when I’m in Tennessee later this year!
– More girls were introduced to Gal Getaway: Since the giveaway I have had several girls reach out saying they found me through the giveaway and are looking forward to future events. They have also followed the Gal Getaway account in the meantime.
– I’ve gained several genuine followers: Other girls have reached out saying they found me through the giveaway and are happy they did. Reasons included them loving my content, my captions, my stories, etc. Several had even found my post about Ry and my relationship with my ex and mentioned how it really resonated with them.
– A girl won a great prize: Many people can’t afford a big ticket item like a new computer, camera, Gucci bag (or can justify spending the money on these things). So, getting a big group of girls together helps bring the cost down and allow you to offer a great prize to your audience, without you carrying all the financial burden alone.
– It’s expensive: While I’m sure there are more affordable options out there, this particular one (and the other one’s this host offers) are at least $100.
– It can make you look bad: For those that maybe didn’t see my stories beforehand about me entering the giveaway to test it our for my audience, may have been confused about my intentions. They may have seen the post and been like, “Wow, Kahlea only cares about getting followers.” Or, “Wow, Kahlea is doing the same thing everyone else is doing.” Or, “wow, doesn’t she always talk about organic growth? Why is she doing this?” All questions that are completely valid and I understand.
I wanted to take the risk though because I know SO many of you have had the same questions about the giveaways as I have. The risk was worth the hope that it could help at least one of you out.
Overall, the risk is something to be considered though when determining to enter or not. These giveaways do not have the best of reputation in the blogger/influencer community, so it’s just something to keep in mind!
(Not that you should base decisions on other people, but rather food for thought in regards to a reputation you may hold).
– The results vary: While I didn’t have any crazy negative results engagement wise (as of now haha), this is going to differ from account to account. Some may lose more followers, some may lose less. Other may see higher or lower increases in their engagement. Maybe some would see decreases.
My thing is that you just never know until you try, but read my advice down below before you do.
– It’s hard to tell the reason I’m being unfollowed: Did someone unfollow me from the giveaway? Was it because a caption rubbed them the wrong way? Maybe they just don’t like my content anymore? Who knows!! And that’s the issue. Post giveaway, it’s hard to gauge why people unfollow. So the biggest thing (if you enter one) is to not get caught up in the amount of people who unfollow you unless you want to mess with your head haha!
My Overall Advice
Try it for yourself.
While this may not be the advice everyone was expecting to hear (or wanted to), I’m a firm believer in testing things out and not just taking everyone else’s word for it.
When I share business or blogging advice, I’m coming from a place of MY personal experience, not yours. Your audience is WAY different than mine, so it would be foolish of me to say “absolutely don’t try it or absolutely yes do it.” I want you to take my words with a grain of salt. Let me thoughts and opinions be another part of your research on trying to determine what is best for YOUR audience.
What I can offer though, are three things that I wish I would have known beforehand and a couple alternatives to the group giveaway.
Three Things I Wish I Knew Before the Giveaway
- How many girls were involved
While I could have (and should have) asked beforehand, I honestly didn’t think of it. Knowing prior that it was 45 in the giveaway may have made me reconsider.
2. All the accounts that would be involved
This is another thing I may have gotten an answer to had I asked beforehand, but when the giveaway went live there were several “ghost” accounts. In better words, accounts that had tonnnnnnsss of followers (I’m talking 50k+) but got about the same engagement I do.
With this being the case,
So if you’re considering a group giveaway, perhaps try this instead:
– Partner together with a group of 10-15 girls (ones that you actually follow and really adore), pool your money, and then put it towards a really awesome gift for your followers. This will come across as more genuine to your audience since they know you personally follow those girls and want to give back. Not just try to get a bunch of new followers.