Instagram 101: Launching a Knife Giveaway

You probably have read about how to make a great knife GAW post for Instagram but you might have asked yourself: Okay, but how do I launch it? What can I do to boost it? Who should even do a giveaway, and when? That’s what we’ll discuss next.

For whom is this guide? We’re not writing this guide for the big shot knife makers. If makers have 10k followers and up, they can afford to just post something half-decent and it works. This guide is for knife makers between up to a few thousand followers who gotta make this count.

What we’re sharing here comes from watching many dozens of Giveaways being launched over the months and from launching our own Giveaway in cooperation with @knifematerial.at and Martin Huber. As everything, use what makes sense to you—we’re not perfect either—and ask us if you’ve questions.

Oh, and don’t forget to let us know about your GAW—the Giveaway Megaphone is ready!

But first things first. Before we discuss strategies, let’s remember why we’re doing a giveaway in the first place.

Remember Why You’re Doing a Giveaway

There are two reasons we are seeing to do a giveaway:

  • To say thanks to existing followers.
  • To boost your audience. For you, the GAW is a marketing tool.

We see a GAW as a marketing tool and think you should treat it as such.

Who Should Launch a Giveaway and When

Of course, any knife maker can do as many giveaways as they like. But it’s not always a great idea. Here are a few guidelines:

  • Not below 500 followers. Your GAW just won’t reach enough people yet to be worth it. Talking to knife makers who tried and didn’t do as well as they thought confirms this.
  • We recommend a (first) GAW around 1k. You can do it either to celebrate reaching that milestone, or for the final push.
  • Make it special. How often should you post? Every week a giveaway is definitely overdoing it. Unless you’re producing too many knives no one buys—and then you might want to think about that first. 😉 Consider doing one to celebrate something, for example reaching a follower count.

When you’ve decided why you’re going for it and that now is the time, let’s look at what you might want to offer.

What You Should Offer

What should you offer as a Giveaway?

We’ve seen a whole bunch of things being given away. What you should do depends on one simple question:

whom is this for?

Here are examples:

  • a fancy chef’s knife: appeals to homecookers and people who like making fancy presents. so if your audience is
  • burl wood blanks or knife steel: this appeals to knife makers. If you want to boost your knife maker audience go with that.
  • dragon scale bottle openers and other blacksmithing trinkets: appeals to the blacksmithing community and nerd crowd. Usually not to the fancy knife customers.

Sounds obvious? Sure! But we’ve seen giveaways wasted because no one asked the question: whom is this for?

How to Make The Perfect Giveaway Post

There are a whole bunch of things to consider when creating a Giveaway Post. And it matters: If you don’t get the details right, then those things happen:

  • people ignore your giveaway
  • they might not even notice it!
  • they don’t understand how to participate and mess that up

And all that means you don’t get what you need. Your GAW fails.

That’s why we dedicated a whole separate blog post about how to make a giveaway post for Instagram.

The Most Important Rule: You Got to be There

Yes, it’s that simple. You gotta accompany the launch, be visible and helpful.

Why it matters

Enough stuff is being tossed on IG. Magic happens when you talk to people, from human to human.

Here are things you can and should do:

  • Thank everyone for participating. Yes, as a reply to their comment. And like every single comment.
  • Answer questions. Even if you wrote the perfect post—not everyone will understand everything. They’ll ask, and you have to reply fast. First, because they’ll lose patience and move on, and second because others will have the same question.
  • Update the description. When you learn that you haven’t explained somtehing properly, update the description. Make it clear for everyone finding your giveaway in the coming hours.

The first hour after your GAW launches you should definitely be watchful.

The Second Most Important Rule: Speed Matters

This is about Instagram basics: A post that does well early gets boosted more. A post that looks like a sleeping pill gets tucked away by the algorithms very quickly. So, make sure your post is active early in the game.

Here are things you can do to boost your post:

  • Ask your fans to share. No, I don’t mean a lame “please share” in the caption or a quick story. What I mean is this: DM every single one of your fans and ask them to share the crap out of your GAW. Is that a lot of work? Heck, yeah. Does it work? Heck, yeah.
  • Comment, like, reply fast. I don’t mean milliseconds, but I don’t mean hours or days either.

The first hour after your GAW launches you should be busy promoting it—while you’re not watching out for questions, comments, etc.

What to Prepare for the Launch

So, what do you need to prep in advance?

  • The Giveaway Post (see above)
  • List of people to DM. If it’s many, make a list with links to their profile. If you’re uncomfortable sending those messages, prepare a message template, too.
  • Pick a time to launch. It should be the time your intended audience is online much. It should be the same as the time when you normally post.

Here is How IndieKnives Can Help

Need help with your GAW? Have a look how we can help you make an awesome GAW. Reach out to us on IG with questions.

We let people know about your GAW via our GAW Alert Mailing List!

We boost your Giveaway with the Giveaway Megaphone! It’s FREE!

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