[STEP BY STEP GUIDE] How to Increase Engagement & Make Money on Instagram

Since engagement has been on the decline for the past few years (thanks Facebook for trying to get us to spend money on ads) I have had to find new techniques to increase engagement.

One of the better strategies I have found is to reach out to brands in your niche and see if they want to run a giveaway.

This seems like a basic strategy, but I have some twists and techniques that make this much more effective and can even help you turn a profit!

Step 1) Finding Brands To Work With

I would find brands that are similar in size to your page. If you have 5k followers then you can target brands with a similar following. If your new and don’t have a big following you can target new brand with small followings.

Look at your competitors to see which brands they have done advertisements, giveaways, sponsored posts, etc. with and reach out to those brands.

Also, look for #hashtags that business owners in your niche use such as #StoreOwner

Step 2) Sending DM’s to Brands

Once you found brands to reach out to you will want to follow the brand and then send them a message.

It looks good if you follow the brand as they will look at your page and see that you are following them. If you want to take it a step further you can like and comment on some of their posts.

I have a pre-written message template that I just copy from my phone’s notes and send as a message to that brand on Instagram.

I will message 5 to 10 brands a day. Do not message them all at once. Spread it out over the day otherwise you will get blocked.

You can send more DM’s, but I rather stay safe (especially with all these changes lately).

Make sure you message the brands individually. Do not message them in a group message.

Now with Instagram quick replies you can create and save messages directly in Instagram so you don’t have to copy and paste it from your phones notes.

Once you send the message tap and hold the message you want to turn into a quick reply. From the pop-up screen, choose Save Quick Reply.

My DM Template:

How’s it going? We are a big fan of your feed and wanted to see if you are interested in collaborating together.

We can do a giveaway, which results in thousands of comments and engagement as can be seen here https://www.instagram.com/p/BXXXXXXXXXr/ (Show them an example of a past giveaway you have done. Don’t worry as this is not necessary, but once you have done a giveaway you can add this to your message.)

Let us know your thoughts as all promos are cross-promoted to our Instagram, Facebook (10k), Twitter (15k), and website. Let us know if you are interested. (I like to showcase my other social channels to let them know that they will get more exposure than just on Instagram).

Please do not copy the template verbatim as you should personalize it to match the voice and tone of your brand.

Step 3) Setting Up The Giveaway

I try and use a picture for the giveaway. Videos are good, but I feel like pictures get better engagement and are easier for other users to share.

I always have a text overlay saying “ GIVEAWAY ” as I have learned most people will not look at the description. Make this text big and annoying so people know that this is not just a picture of a product, but rather that this is a giveaway for that product.

I have the brands create the image, but if your good at Photoshop or have an image editing tool you can create them yourself.

I use the same format for my giveaways where I ask users to like this picture, follow the brand @username and my @username, and tag 3 friends in the comments.

I let them know we will be selecting a winner a week from now so we have time to promote and build hype to the giveaway.

Step 4) Promoting the Giveaway

I will post the giveaway on my page on a day and time when I have the most engagement. I will use IG analytics to see when my audience is most engaged and post the giveaway at that time.

I will not post on my page for a day or so to let the giveaway be the latest post.

Now I can post on IG stories about the giveaway. I will do at least one story a day about the giveaway. Make sure to mix in good, engaging content to your IG stories. Do not just post your giveaway over and over again.

If you have more than 10k followers you can do swipe up IG stories that lead to the giveaway post.

I cross-promote my giveaways to my other social media channels for added visibility and let them know to enter they have to do so on the Instagram post.

Secret Sauce: I then comment spam my giveaway post with my competitor’s followers @usernames.

There are lots of services that sell Instagram comment tags of your competitor’s followers in your posts comments.

I like to buy a few thousand comment tags from my competitor’s followers in the comments of my giveaway post. These costs $19 per 1,000 tags

This works extremely well if the targeting is done properly as they will want to enter the giveaway and tag more of their friends in the comments

I have bought packages for up to 10,000 comment tags. This is similar to following 10,000 of your competitor’s followers as they will all receive a notification that someone tagged them in a comment.

This is likely to get them to look at the post and enter the giveaway. This means you get a new follower and they are tagging three of their friends in the comments.

This is a snowball effect and can quickly get you real hundreds if not thousands of real entries to your giveaway.

By doing this I get a nice boost in engagement and new followers to my accounts.

The more people commenting and entering the giveaway the more likely the brand and other brands will want to run giveaways in the future with you.

Step 5) Announcing the Winner

I like to go live on Instagram an hour before announcing the winner.

I will have my phone going live recording another phone or computer screen. On this other phone or computer screen will be the original giveaway post.

When going live I leave a comment saying something like “Last chance to enter the giveaway on my page. Enter now to win. Good luck!”.

Pin this comment in your IG live by holding the comment you just posted and a popup will appear saying pin this comment.

Then leave your phone live recording the giveaway post and come back and you will see new entries on your post.

Now you can announce the winner. Make sure they are following you and the brand. You can announce the winner on your page, IG stories, or in the description of the original giveaway. I like to post on the first line of the original giveaway post the winner.

Seep 6) Rinse and Repeat

I try to have at least one giveaway a week by reaching out hundreds of brands until I have a list of brands interested in doing giveaways.

I favorite the messages of brands that are interested in running a giveaway and will let them know a month before that I have room for them if they want to schedule a slot for this month.

This keeps my users happy as I am constantly giving them free product related to my niche and they are tagging their friends in my comments to get my engagement back up.

Step 7) Making Money

You can ask the brands to pay you for the giveaway. If your page has over 10k followers then you should be able to get compensation for helping the brand tap into your audience.

You can ask for free product or samples. They will likely give you free product, but to get money you will have to prove to them it is worthwhile. This is why you show them examples of other giveaways you ran and how much engagement they received.

I usually get $50 - $100 per giveaway on my page with 100k followers.

Step 8) Build a Brand

I always tell people you need to have a large BRAND presence online, not just on Instagram. Be on Instagram along with other social media platforms and your own website.

If you don’t have a website you can get a free WordPress, Weebly, or Tumblr blog and use IFTTT.com to auto-post your content from Instagram to your website.

I hope this helps some of you out :slight_smile:


Dang! Nice work. Can’t wait to try some.

1 Like

This is a great idea! It does seem most people will not read the text.
Excellent share with all your research!


Where do I find the services that sell Instagram comment tags?


Thanks, I hope this was useful and not too overwhelming.

1 Like

Great detail. I’m gonna give it a thorough read a second time. Thanks for sharing.

1 Like

Thanks a lot for sharing this man !
Where can you buy those tag packages ?

1 Like

Thanks for the guide! very well written.
I cannot agree more we do almost the same with only one difference or two.
We don’t reach to any brand/page, we buy the giveaways(products, services, etc) and the #5 we do it in general with IGTV almost like you, sometimes showing just a post others more like a YouTube style as we noticed more engagement when in IGTV the people see you.

1 Like

You can try this --> https://www.buysellshoutouts.com/buy-instagram-mentions-a


Also, who is tagging the competitor’s followers ?
Seems pretty intrusive, and if the accounts tagging are clearly fake ones (no profile picture, no images etc…) you loose you credibility immediatly with all the people tagged !

It took some trial and error on the giveaways to realize that I must make it say GIVEAWAY somewhere on the image or video in big annoying text.

Without this, I would get half the engagement as I would with this text overlay.

1 Like



There are many providers selling Instagram comment tags. I usually buy from https://getplusfollowers.com/services/buy-instagram-comment-mentions/

They deliver reliable results all the time, especially with all the changes happening lately to Instagram, but again there are hundreds of other sites out there offering similar services.

Let me know if I can be of more help.

1 Like

@T_Jac Random accounts will be tagging your competitor’s followers in the comments so it may look strange.

That is why it is best to find a service provider that will create “ghost” accounts that look real with profile pictures, bio descriptions, videos and pictures in their feed, etc.

You get what you pay for as you can find cheap companies offering comment tags or you can find more expensive ones that give you more control and guarantee that the comments will stick and not get deleted.

I have not had any issues of people complaining as they are interested in a my product or service and are being entered in a giveaway to win this.

Only a few people comment who are you, but even then I still see them entering the giveaway, following my page and tagging 3 friends in my comments.

1 Like

My pleasure I hope you got some useful ideas from this.

Thank you for this guide dude !

1 Like

I have a question What if I had just out of shadowbann . Then do you think this mentions in comments will hurt my account ?

1 Like

Thanks! Might use this in a future campaign and see how it works out

1 Like

Giveaway is very works for me. Thank you so much!

1 Like

Comment mentions will not affect a shadowban. Instagram will look at people commenting as a positive signal. They are tagging users who are likely to engage back with your account so it looks natural.

Interesting method of getting sponsored giveaways! :slight_smile:

Might be good for accounts I have in very rare niches. :smiley:

1 Like