Aug 5, 2015

Hosting an Instagram Loop Without Losing Your Mind (2/3)

If you haven't already read Part 1, I recommend doing so before reading on...


Communicating

Now that you have a collective group of individuals / brands, it's time to organize and get down to business.  Some people have recommend working right in Instagram using their direct messaging feature, but I did not choose to go this route because I found that many of my brands did not regularly check this inbox while I would receive an Email response almost immediately.
When I had all of the brands individually confirmed, I sent out a group Email with payment details, scheduled time for giveaway, sample text and the image.  As we adjusted, I sent all of the details (highlighting the adjustments) again so that nobody had to dig for information.  The overall layout looked something like this:

Date/Time:
Include your timezone so that brands from another location will post at the correct time!  Keep this in mind as you plan and schedule your post—you don't want half of your loop posted in the middle of the night just so that you can get that coveted 3-5pm window.  Also, a funny time is easier to remember.  Like, 5:05 or 7:11.
It may be helpful to schedule a post using latergram.me, though I recommend giving it a test drive if you have never used it and scheduling it shortly before your designated post time.  This app cannot post without your approval, so you still need to be available at the scheduled time.

Text:
Have sample text for your brands use that includes the rules.  Example:

Want to win ______??
I am so excited to announce that I am participating in a #loopgiveaway with a group of fabulous #wedding brands that are dedicated to making your big day special! 

Here are the rules for this Giveaway:
  • Like this photo and follow me!
  • Tap the photo to see where to go next
  • Follow and like ALL of the accounts in the loop (We'll be checking, so don't miss anyone!)
  • Once you get back here, you’ve completed the loop!
  • Giveaway ends this Sunday at midnight! Winner announced on July 28th
  • Instagram is not associated with this giveaway

Again, be sure to review Instagram's ever changing rules to make sure that you do not violate any of them!

Loop:
Organize who is tagging who in your loop.  It is helpful to have this planned out early so that the username becomes familiar to each person.  An example of a simple layout to follow is:

Username1  tags  Username2
Username2  tags  Username3
Username3  tags  Username4
Username4  tags  Username1


Billing

This is where it gets a little tricky.  If each brand is donating a product, you can pretty much skip this part, but if you are going in for a group gift card, you will need to find a way to collect all of the funds for the gift card (and images if you hire a designer).
I did use Paypal and found it to be a rather painless transition, though some of my calculations were a bit off.  Because the fees for using these programs are difficult to predict, I ended up paying more out of pocket than the other brands in addition to doing all of the extra work to organize this giveaway.
NOT a great deal for me, and I was a little bummed about this.  If/when I decide to lead a loop giveaway again, I will probably plan to have my share paid through the other brands to compensate for the extra time that I spend.

Posting Day:

You've planned and scheduled, and the day has finally arrived!  I recommend sending out one final Email about 2-3 hours before the scheduled time just to serve as a final reminder.  Include all of the final information you sent beforehand: Date/Time, Image, Text, and tagging list.  After that, you've done all that you can, and the rest is up to your brands to remember!
Once you've posted at the designated time, you can relax a little.  Hopefully everyone will have posted and your loop will be complete—if not, Email or call your missing brand to make sure that they are live as soon as they can be!


And just like that, we're done with Part 2!
Hungry for more? Check out the links below:

In Part 1, we go over different giveaway options, images and finding the right group for you.
In Part 3 (coming Friday!) reviews what you should do during the giveaway, how to pick a winner and "life" after the giveaway.

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