Marketing with an Instagram Contest

A fun way to engage your younger customer is through Instagram.  If you don’t already have a studio Instagram, get one today!  Instagram is easy to use and a great way to engage your tween and even teenage students.  If you are not familiar with the application, you can download the Instagram app though your mobile device’s app store.  It is not really meant to be accessed through your computer.  You take photos with your phone’s camera and post them directly from your phone to your page through the app.  Keeping your page current is literally just a few clicks away.


Instagram is defined on Google as “a fun and quirky way to share your life with friends through a series of pictures.”  You can use your studio Instagram to post pictures of your classes, studio announcements, advertise for registration or to post student achievements.  Your dancers and parents will love to follow all your studio pictures.


One fun activity I have done is an Instagram Daily Photo Contest.  Right before a new month I posted a list of pictures the kids needed to post, one picture per day, almost like a scavenger hunt. With each picture they had to tag the dance studio @eastcountypac and use our hashtag #ECPAC.  At the end of the month who ever completed all the pictures was entered into a drawing for a gift.  You can choose anything, for example, a free private lesson or a gift certificate for your retail store.  Make sure the give-away item is geared towards the dancer, not the parent. Since the dancer is your target audience make your give-away item fun for them; kids are not generally excited about a free registration fee or tuition.


Why is an Instagram contest a good idea?


All of the pictures required for the contest need to be studio related.  I asked for pictures of our logo, studio sign or a selfie in an ECPAC tee shirt just to name a few.  These studio images were spread to all of the kids’ friends and followers.   When formulating your brand you should want to position yourself as “the place to be” and kids drive trends.  What better way to build up your brand recognition, within a demographic that can be hard to reach otherwise?   Business Insider has reported 80% of upper income teen girls use Instagram.  Let them do the selling for you!  Parents generally want to make their children happy and will sign them up for activities their friends are in.  Why not leverage your school as the dance studio everyone is talking about and wants to be a part of?


Did I mention Instagram is free?  Yes free!  Encouraging your dancers to participate in an Instagram contest is expanding what all dance studios rely on for growth; word of mouth advertising and referrals.  This word of mouth advertising just happens to be virtual.


Besides being an out-of-the-box marketing tool an Instagram contest builds up studio spirit within your current student base.  Kids love to share their passion and this contest gives them a reason to brag about their second home. They also love free swag, so bring on the love!  Your students love on your studio and spread the word of how awesome your school and you award them with gifts.  That is a win- win situation!


Here are just a few ideas for you to use for your own Instagram Contest.

  • Selfie in a studio tee shirt
  • Selfie in the dance room
  • Your best dance trick
  • Picture of the studio sign
  • Costume Selfie
  • Your dance shoes
  • Trophy
  • Picture of you on stage
  • Inside your dance bag
  • Your dance besties
  • Your dance idol
  • Throwback dance pic
  • Your pointed toes
  • Tap shoes
  • Favorite dance quote
  • Your dance taxi
  • Studio Logo
  • Studio bulletin board
  • Studio shoutout


Most importantly, have fun with this.  Since it is free you have nothing to lose so don’t stress too much about the logistics.   Promote it to your dancers, talk it up a lot and get them excited to join the fun.  Mention it in your newsletter, website, put up signs in the studio, cross promote the contest on your personal and studio Facebook pages too!  You will most likely get some parents to participate too; that’s a plus!

So go get your own studio Instagram page started, have a great time developing the contest, remember to have the dancers tag your page and create a hash tag for your school and watch your studio recognition grow in your community!


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