Hi guys,

Today I’d like to write about a highly discussed topic: Instagram Giveaways! (also called loop giveaways). They give away iPhones, Huda Beauty or Kylie make up, a Chanel bag, iPads and even cameras – all this for one person! Apparently.

I’m sure you have come across these “International giveaway” posts already a few times and maybe even participated – me included.

Why? Because participating is easy. “Follow all accounts in the loop until you reach back here, like this post and tag three friends”, is what these posts tell you. Thats all. Simple.

Most of these giveaways are posted on big accounts or trending accounts so they reach an insane amount of people who participate.

For instance, I saw one of these posts on one of my favourite bloggers’ feed and her likes went crazy! Before, she had around 1000k+ likes per post and the giveaway post had 12k!! Imagine the increase.. Sounds good at first. For both sides. But the fine print looks a bit different.

But if you look closer, there’s a catch. Have you ever seen someone winning? Me neither.. Unless it was an authentic giveaway by e.g. a hotel chain for a two day hotel or spa stay where they announce the winner publicly and tag him or her in the post.

So it is not guaranteed that – after investing your time in following all these accounts (usually there are 30 or more!) – there’s an actual winner or an authentic winner who is not pre-picked by the admins of the giveaway.

How do these giveaways work?

I’ve played the investigator for you guys (I LOVE doing research, honestly! Call me the hobby FBI girl, ha!) and asked several “organisers” to include me in their next loop. I asked what the conditions are and they sent me a standard copy paste message and invited me to their invite only WhatsApp group. Another CATCH, as I now have (if I wanted to use them) all the phone numbers of the participants, even of big bloggers, and they have mine.

The message looked like this:

I left out the part with their Name and PayPal address for data protection (ironic, as THEY put you in the WhatsApp group and openly show your phone number), but hey, I’m nice.

The picture above shows that, before you get any followers, you have to make an investment and hand over the ‘dolla dolla bill y’all’. And to be honest, the investment isn’t insignificant. 180$ isn’t quite a bargain, especially not for 2,5k followers that you MAY gain and then lose after the giveaway is over.

If you have read my recent post about Instagram Automation you know that for the same amount of money you get two months of full service for your account and real followers who stay (which is not guaranteed for the giveaway) and interact with your other content.

Also, the amount of money the organisers make out of this whole party is crazy! I understand that they have to make money and also pay the sponsor, as they call it, but if 30 people or more pay the buy-in and the prize is 2000$, there’s a lot of left for them both. I should change my profession haha.

So, let’s conclude:

As a participant

– You invest a lot of work and precious time in following all the accounts

– You are one of maybe thousands of people who participate so your chance of winning is quite low

– There’s no guarantee that there’s an actual winner

– If you don’t like the accounts you had to follow to participate you have to unfollow them again

As a ‘sponsor’

– The investment is quite high compared to the amount of followers you’ll get

– The followers are highly likely to not be authentic, meaning they will probably unfollow you after the giveaway is over

– The followers you’ll get most likely only want free stuff and would not be beneficial for your account or buy anything you promote on your feed

Companies who work with bloggers track the activity of accounts and see any peak or unusual increase of followers and will maybe put you on their black list (source HERE!)

Just to clarify: I’m not against these loops or people who do these buy ins, I just believe that some people want as many followers as quickly as possible and don’t think about the consequences. Especially when big accounts with 200k+ share these giveaways I think they don’t need to do that as they were on a good way already and lose their credibility as I now know that they bought themselves in to get followers.

I hope this blog post helped you to better understand the mechanics of Instagram loops and giveaways and made you more aware of what’s going on behind the scenes.

I’d love to hear about your experiences with giveaways/loops! Have you ever won anything? What’s you opinion on big accounts participating in loops?

Tell me your opinions in the comments or on my IG @the_profashional.

xx Sasa