Instagram and TikTok contest and sweepstakes: how long should they last?

Instagram and TikTok contest or sweepstakes

Let’s discover together the ideal duration of an Instagram and TikTok contest to get the best results

It seems obvious to say this but Instagram and TikTok contest or sweepstakes should always have a short duration to be effective.

The factors that you must take into account to evaluate the duration of your promotion are:

  • the platform in question (Instagram or TikTok?)
  • the mechanism of participation (comment or post?)

The mix of these factors will guide you in choosing the ideal duration of your promotion.

Instagram Contests

On Instagram it is possible to organise contests using posts and reels and Stories.

The content type determines the duration of your promotion.


“Comment Contest” mechanisms

The “Comment Contest” prize-draw and prize-competition require that the user, in order to participate, must comment on the post or reel published on the promoter’s page.

There are no fixed rules on how long they should last but we have found that the maximum return is achieved in the first few days. For this reason, we recommend a maximum duration of a week or two, not more.

If you want to organise an initiative in the long term, the ideal is to plan for several waves of participation: by publishing further posts you can get continuous peaks of attention by optimising the resources and budget of your promotion.

“Mention&Hashtag” mechanisms

To participate in a prize-draw and prize-competition with this mechanism, the user must:

  1. Post a photo, video or reel on their own feed
  2. Include in the copy or the post the hashtags and the mentions dedicated to it

In this case too, the duration of the contest should be quite short. But, since users are required to make a greater effort since they have to create and publish their own video, photo or reel, the ideal is to give it more time than a CommentContest

For this reason, we recommend a maximum duration of a week up to a month.

To keep the level of engagement high over a longer period, again in this case you should expect several waves of participation.

For each wave you could ask users to post on a different topic, for example.


There are two types of prize-draw and prize-competition involving Stories:

  1. Post a@story: the user must publish a story on their profile to participate.
  2. Reply to a story: the user must respond to the story published by the promoter with a keyword to take part in the promotion.

In both cases, given the very nature of Stories, which have a maximum duration of 24 hours, your draw or competition contest should never last more than a week!

In the case of “Respond to a story”, the promotion can last even just a just a few hours.

TikTok Contests

Organising a TikTok contest allows you to increase the visibility of your brand and increase the number of interactions with contents.
TikTok’s algorithm is different from that of other platforms: the primary goal is to retain users for as long as possible.
To achieve this, you need to show the right people the right content with a lot of interactions. As a matter of fact, engagement is essential!

TikTok contests and sweepstakes

These are the two types of prize-draw and prize-competition you can organise on TikTok:

Post a TikTok

To participate the user must post a video according to the instructions of the regulations

In this too, given the commitment required of users who must create video content to participate, it is recommended that the contest has a minimum duration of one week.

Comment on the TikTok

The user must comment on the dedicated content of the contest posted by the promoter indicating the hashtag of the promotion. 

In our experience, the ideal way to get the maximum return is for your contest to last a maximum of 10 days, 2 weeks as a maximum, but no longer.

If necessary, you can propose the initiative a second time, but allow a few months to pass.

Ready to host an Instagram contest or a TikTok contest? Contact us and let’s design your new promotional initiative together!