TOP 3 Instagram Giveaway Rules You Should NEVER Ignore

When you take a closer look at the legal implications of Instagram giveaway rules, there is a ton of information to digest. Plus, individuals without legal education may have trouble understanding exactly how to follow these rules, and what they even mean 🤷‍♀️!

However, if you’re looking to host a promotion of any kind on your page, it’s extremely important to familiarize yourself with the Instagram giveaway rules. In fact, you may want to consult a social media attorney to learn more about legally hosting an Instagram sweepstakes.


That said, for any DIY influencer looking for a simple guide to the Instagram giveaway rules, here are the top three rules you should NEVER ⛔ ignore:

  1. Write out your terms and conditions

The official rules of your sweepstakes must be immediately visible or easily accessible to your giveaway entrants. 

For example, you may choose to include the rules in the description 📝 of an Instagram post. On the other hand, if you want to keep your description looking clean, you could direct followers to the comment section or another site altogether for the rules, especially for a promoted giveaway. 

However, even more important than where you post your rules is what you write ✍️ in them!

For example, Instagram giveaway rules state that the terms of your sweepstakes must include eligibility requirements. 

In fact, you may notice that most social media promotions are limited to individuals 18 years and older ⬆️. This requirement reduces COPPA-related legal requirements and restrictions.

Likewise, your giveaway rules should include the eligible geographic locations of the winners. Be sure to research each state’s guidelines and rules for prizes of all monetary 💸 values. 

Unfortunately, the geographical location of your giveaway may impact the taxes and potential bonds you must pay upon awarding the winner.

  1. Be transparent with your audience

Instagram giveaway rules clearly state that the description of your sweepstakes must mention that the social media platform itself in no way ❌ sponsors or supports your promotion. 

Instead, however, you must be transparent with your followers about who is sponsoring the post, even if it’s just you!

For example, if you’ve agreed to host a giveaway on your page for a brand you love, you must mention the brand’s sponsorship in your description or rules. Additionally, it’s always a good idea to tag #️⃣ the brand in your image or description so your followers have an easy way to access their information.

Furthermore, being transparent with your entrants also means providing them with all the necessary information for entering the sweepstakes. 

For instance, if entry depends on following your page and using a specific hashtag in a post, be sure to provide that information in large text or clearly in your description. Don’t keep the requirements a secret 🙊 – let your followers know how to enter!

Finally, make sure your list of prizes and entry timeline is accurate. Legally, you cannot change either of these things barring an extreme change of circumstances (say, a pandemic).

  1. Do not 🙅‍♂️ encourage inaccurate tagging

This Instagram giveaway rule can be a little tricky, because you may want to ask your followers to tag your account or brand in one of their images as a means of entry.

However, your sweepstakes should never ask people to tag themselves in images in which they do not appear. This example of inaccurate tagging is specifically stated in the Instagram giveaway rules, so it’s potentially the most important to note.

That being said, in order to avoid breaking any of Instagram’s general rules, which include inaccurate tagging, encourage your followers to tag people in comment 💬 sections or descriptions instead. 

For example, you may invite giveaway entrants to tag five people in one of your brand’s posts to help increase viewership and potential followers. 

On the other hand, you may ask people to tag your Instagram in the description of one of their posts. Perhaps the post features something related to your brand, described with a one-of-a-kind hashtag.

However, if you are looking to get a direct tag from images to your account, be sure to ask entrants to pose 🤳 with a product or photo from your business and tag that. This way, nothing is inaccurately tagged in the image.

With all of these Instagram giveaway rules in mind, it can be overwhelming to consider the legal implications of hosting a sweepstakes on social media. 

Therefore, if you’re feeling at all uncomfortable with the legal requirements of Instagram giveaways, do not hesitate to consult a social media attorney 💼. Social media attorneys are specifically educated about social media law and are here to help you avoid legal issues online. 

Additionally, a social media lawyer can provide you with examples of Instagram giveaway terms and conditions to use in your promotion, so you don’t have to go it alone. 

That being said, any influencer who creates a social media giveaway should be sure to follow these top three Instagram giveaway rules to stay out of legal trouble with the platform.