Competitions are fun to enter and even more exciting when you win. But sometimes, it can feel like you're not winning anything. We all know that feeling when you've entered loads of competitions and no luck.
So, to increase your chances in any competition, whether it is an Instagram giveaway, Facebook competition or a prize draw on bingo sites, the following points will help.
Enter lots of competitions
We know this sounds obvious, but you'll be surprised how many people don't enter a lot of competitions. Every day there are companies out there asking for your entries, and it is truly worth taking advantage of.
These are genuine giveaways, and the chances of winning are higher than not entering at all. Remember, Instagram is all about products, so you are likely to win items rather than cash or services.
Follow Independent Businesses
Following independent businesses is a great way to find new places or companies that suit your interests, likes or needs.
Scroll through their page and look at the competitions they have sponsored. It's a great way to increase your chances of winning because you can then enter all the competitions in the categories that catch your eye.
Enter giveaways from those with smaller follower numbers
Some companies like to reward their loyal customers by hosting small prize draws, leading to big winnings, but these tend to have smaller followings than popular businesses and celebrities. If you do this, look around at some hashtags and find one hosted by independent companies.
Do what is asked
When entering competitions, you are often asked to do something: follow them, like one of their posts or even comment on an image.
According to Martin Lewis of the moneysavingexpert.com, you may think this isn't necessary, but take the time to do these things because they will know your face and who is interested in entering their competition.
Make your name stand out
When you enter a competition (Instagram in particular), think about how you will stand out from the other entrants. A great tip is to use the company's name that is hosting it in your comment or email. You can then play on that by saying how much their product caught your eye, and so you entered.
Play on words
Look at each of these points as challenges rather than what you have to do - don't be afraid to show yourself off! Use funny, witty or even embarrassing captions to catch people's attention and make them want to reward you with a win.
And remember why they're running the competitions in the first place - they're banks, banks of awesome prizes just waiting for a winner.
Use hashtags to find the prizes
You can quickly locate the competitions by searching for hashtags that are current or popular. And then, if you see something you like, don't shy away from it. Jump on in, find out what they want you to do and complete the entry requirements.
Look for the following hashtags #giveaway, #GIVEAWAY or #competition and even #freestuff.
Other types of competitions require different skills. Facebook is much like Instagram, except there are prizes that give away services and products but no cash.
Some websites will find competitions for you, such as competition-finder.com, where you can sign up for the latest alerts. There is a specific box to tick for cash prizes.
Although the prizes listed as 'cash' are often not actual money but money to spend at different outlets.
Competitions that accept your submissions
There are competitions where you can submit a product or even an idea to win a cash prize. These tend to require more than just clicking on a button and filling out some questions.
They usually involve writing, researching, and taking part in surveys, so if this is something you want to do, then get your thinking cap on.
Set reminders about upcoming competitions
If you sign up for newsletters or follow Facebook pages, there is a good chance of being reminded of new competitions. Or, if you have set up email alerts for specific hashtags again, these are worthwhile.
And remember why they're running it in the first place - they want to give something back because you're their loyal customers and fans. Another great tip is to find some comping friends (compers are people who enter competitions regularly).
Find comping friends
There are many Facebook pages dedicated to competitions, so if you follow these and even share the posts, you could be in with a chance of getting some comping friends.
If you have found someone who has been successful, ask them for advice as it may help, you will find a network of like-minded people who could alert you to some great competitions.
Ask those who've won for more tips
When you find someone who's had success and given great feedback, don't be afraid to message them about their methods and how they got into this winning streak.
Research the competition before entering
Do your research into any competition that looks interesting; read all of the terms and conditions (T&Cs) carefully. Don't enter something without fully understanding what you're letting yourself in for - it will save time later on if you do this.
T&Cs can be considered dull, but if you take the time to read them, it will help, especially if you're entering to win a car or something like that.
If you find that something, in particular, doesn't suit your needs, then don't enter, simple as that. There are no hard feelings, and at least there will be someone else who does qualify to win.
Enter radio competitions
You can find lots of radio competitions that advertise on social media pages and even on well-renowned websites. If you're keen to win some good prizes then where better to go than the radio? But what are these people asking for?...
What is different about the radio
Most of these competitions will ask you to do something specific, whether watching a short video or listening to their station.
The tasks are usually easy enough if you have internet access but might pose problems for those without laptops at home - which is why reading the terms and conditions is essential.
Try some effort competitions
These are competitions that require a lot of effort to win, and therefore fewer people enter.
They usually need an essay or a video, and this is perfect for those who want to win something that takes a bit of effort, but the odds of winning are a lot higher, and often the prize is better too.
Regularly check for win updates
Often those who are new to competitions miss their wins because they don't claim the prize.
Not checking their emails or junk box regularly enough is a widespread reason people don't realise they have won.
So if you want a chance of winning a prize, then make sure you're checking your inbox every day and enter as many competitions as you can. Good luck, compers!