Instagram 101: The Knife Giveaway (GAW) Post

Giveaways are a popular marketing tool among knife makers to boost their followers on Instagram. The idea is simple: usually, you give a nice knife away for free if people like and share the giveaway. But …

Just because the idea is simple doesn’t mean it’s easy to do.

To get you started on the right path here are a few tips for the Instagram post.

#1 Be blindingly obvious

This is NOT about showing off a pretty knife. It’s about announcing a Giveaway. That means the word GIVEAWAY or GAW must appear …

  • …in the picture so it can’t be missed even during a snow storm. If you use multiple pictures, put it on the front one.
  • …in the caption ABOVE THE FOLD. Ideally highlighted with emojis or using big letters.

The biggest screwup is that people scroll through their feed and DON’T REALIZE that you’re giving a knife away!

The PRIMARY role of the picture in a giveaway is to let people know there IS a giveaway.

@kingsfordknives did this well. Is there any chance you’re gonna miss he’s announing a GAW? 😀 (Thank you for letting us use the picture, mate!)

See the post here

#2 State the rules

Some giveaways make it too hard to figure out how to participate. And then people mess up or don’t bother. Make it obvious and easy instead:

  • 3 rules AT MOST (like this post, follow me, tag 2 friends)
  • Separate the rules visually from the rest of the caption


A giveaway is (usually) not a giveaway. It’s a trade!

You give a knife, and you get followers. That’s the deal. Make that clear, with the rules.

Be specific about limits and requirements. For example:

  • only one comment allowed (or as many as you want?)
  • only US citizens / residents allowed (or everyone?)

What you don’t want is confusion or comments like this one:

So be clear about who pays shipping, and where you’re willing to ship to!

  • free shipping in the EU, everyone else pays for shipping?

Set expectations about when (and how) you’ll draw the winner!

  • Is the GAW over when you reach a certain follower count? When you have 50 participants? On a certain date?
  • Will you draw randomly from a bucket?
  • When will you announce the winner?

Finally, stick to the laws & regulations of where you live. You might be running a sweepstake or contest—find out what’s okay to do and what isn’t.

#3: Not endorsed by Instagram!

The Instagram Promotion Guidelines say you must make clear that your giveaway isn’t associated with Instagram, the company:

Promotions on Instagram must include the following:

– A complete release of Instagram by each entrant or participant.
– Acknowledgement that the promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

Instagram Promotion Guidelines (October 2020)

Many makers ignore this—but why risk a ban for something silly like this? It costs you two seconds to add a disclaimer such as this to your post:

This giveaway is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Instagram.

We’re not lawyers, so this isn’t watertight legal advice. But it’s what we’ve seen many giveaways (particularly outside of the knifemaking community do).

#4: Don’t forget the hashtags

Here are the two essentials, just copy them:

#knifegiveaway #knifegaw

Add the hashtags for your country or state:


You get the idea. We’ll have another post about hashtags soon. Oh, and while you’re at it, add your location to the post.

For a free boost, include the IndieKnives GAW Megaphone hashtag (see below):


What’s next?

If you have the post, you want to keep a few things in mind:

  • The launch: pick the right time, and be present to boost it!
  • Answer questions along the way, and be grateful to participants.
  • When it’s done, edit the caption and put a CLOSED on front.
  • Draw and announce the winner—a great opportunity to play with video-making.

Bonus: A template caption you can copy

We’ve a good idea how a giveaway caption might look like. Drop us a message if you want a template to copy. Eventually, we’ll put it here. 🙂

Bonus: More examples from the community

There are many good giveaways out there. We’re actually building a small library of examples, the good, the bad, the ugly. But we haven’t put them anywhere yet, too much to do. Shoot us a message if you want a few quick pointers!

Bonus: IndieKnives GAW Megaphone


If you haven’t heard about it, we’re happy to boost the giveaways of not super successful makers. Read more about our free IndieKnives GAW megaphone service to learn how you can participate. 🙂

Want to know how to launch the perfect giveaway? Read our blog post Instagram 101: Launch the Perfect Knife Giveaway!

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