If you follow bloggers, influencers or small businesses on Instagram, chances are that you’ve seen them participate in a loop or secret giveaway. For bloggers, they can be a way to grow your following and for businesses, a way to get in front of potential customers, but is a loop or secret giveaway right for you? Here’s some information on those types of giveaways, and the good, bad, and ugly that comes with them.
First, what is a loop giveaway?
A loop giveaway is when a group of bloggers post the same photo at the same time and tag each other in the comments. They can vary between 5 and 35+ participants depending on how much the participant pays as a buy-in and the average size of the giveaway. Followers must follow each account mentioned in the caption of each photo until they’ve “looped” all the way back to the original account they follow. Depending on the organizer, the buy-in, and participants, you can garner anywhere from 100 – a few thousand followers over the giveaway period.
What is a secret giveaway?
A secret giveaway is similar to a loop giveaway but it’s done completely different. For starters, you don’t have to post a picture on your account. In fact, you don’t have to do anything, but the sponsors of the loop do. The loop organizer makes sure to have the sponsors drive traffic to their account and to follow all of the accounts they are following. The groups are usually around 15-30, depending on the host. You can get between 500 – 24,000 followers over a two day period depending on a variety of factors.
There are many reasons why someone would take part in a loop or secret giveaway on Instagram, but usually, the main reason is to grow followers on the platform and to grow them fast. Loop and secret giveaways are fast and easy ways to do so without buying fake followers in bulk. Usually, the hosts of the giveaway encourage the followers to like the last (few) picture(s) on the accounts they follow, which can boost your engagement on other posts during the giveaway period.
So, depending on your social media strategy, growing your followers can be good. Let’s be real: it’s the first thing people want to know when they measure your blog’s success (I frickin HATE that, but that’s for another post), and some brands want to see a good amount of people behind your brand. BUT, now that you have the followers, can you be so sure that they are going to stick around? Be prepared to lose about 20% or more of your new followers within a couple of days. The rest will slowly taper off, that is, unless you participate in another giveaway, get lucky and get reposted on a highly engaging account, put in a lot of work, go viral, or a combination of the previously mentioned.
Now, if they remain a follower, are they going to engage with your content, or just wait for your next giveaway? Sometimes it’s the latter and that can really affect your engagement rate, which to me and many industry experts, is the true selling point of influence to a brand. If you’re not getting the engagement that matches your following number, it can actually work against you.
Last year I participated in a handful of giveaways. One giveaway that I did two months ago was a secret giveaway. Being honest, it left me feeling odd, and not just me, but my Instagram account.
At first, I thought it was in my head, especially after a couple of my blogger friends questioned my reasons for doing a giveaway. Everyone does their own thing but the fact that my account seemed to be “dinged” for participating in one, really made me regret doing it. It took about three weeks for my account to “reset.”
A little more to chew on
- If you participate in the same loop or secret giveaway group, you’ll find that your numbers won’t grow as much because most of you share the same followers as it is, which in a way, is good, because you are retaining followers. While everyone is focused on growth, many forget to keep their loyal followers engaged. Don’t forget about them! You need them!
- There are so many perspectives on this, What works for someone else won’t necessarily work for you and vice versa, so take it all in and decide what the best option is for you and your blog. If you have any questions along the way, you can schedule a strategy session with me to talk through it all!
With all that I’ve said, here is where I’m at: I’m not sure how I feel about participating in another loop or secret giveaway. But whatever I do, it’ll be on my terms!
Here’s to growth on our own terms!
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