Run A Caption Contest: A Guide

Run A Caption Contest: A Guide


Social Media (Organic)
Cost Details
$10-$500. Depending on the giveaway prize, the cost may vary.

What Is A Caption Contest?

A caption contest giveaway is when brands share an image on social media and ask their audience to come up with a description for it.

Typically, whoever creates the best caption is chosen and rewarded with a gift or prize.

Not only can this engage your audience, but the results are often so clever that they can be used for future marketing material. You could even use the best entries to create a hilarious meme for your business. The opportunities are endless.

Key Takeaways

  • Caption contests are a popular form of "giveaways" as they're fun and easy to enter.
  • A caption contest is very similar to a “comment to win” contest.
  • A caption contest takes place on social media (popular platforms being Instagram, Facebook or Twitter)

Understanding Caption Contests

Caption contests are great for engaging your audience and showcasing your brands personality.

Often times, brands will ask their followers for bonus actions for more entries into the giveaway. This can be a great way to get the desired actions you are looking for and can be in the form of:

  • Liking the photo
  • Downloading an e-book
  • Following another social account
  • Tagging friends in the comments (a great way to get more followers and engagement)
  • Signing up to an email list

It's important to note that although these caption contests can be great ways to get even more value from the giveaway, asking your followers for too much can result in little engagement.

When running a caption contest, try to only ask for a few things, such as asking your followers to comment a caption + a like on the photo. That is easy and quick enough for anyone to do.

Real World Examples: Run A Caption Contest

1. Kimpton Hotels

Kimpton recently ran a caption contest for their followers and it produced some pretty amazing engagement (and some awesome caption ideas).

The giveaway was for a plush Kimpton robe - the best caption won.


Some of our favorite comments include:

  • Business in the front, happy hour on deck (winner)
  • A moment away...
  • Out of office
  • Working from home never looked so good
  • Workcation in style

All of these captions can be used for future captions, promotions or collateral!

2. High Point Creamery

High Point Creamery ran a hilarious caption contest in exchange for five pints of ice cream.

To enter, users were required to comment a caption and follow their social account. This is a great way to guarantee engagement and also get more followers.

In addition to asking for caption comments, they also made sure all users were following their social account in order to enter the contest.


A few of our favorite captions:

  • tfw mom isn't sharing her ice cream
  • I said no sprinkles...
  • When you love ice cream but you're lactose intolerant
  • You think I got these cheeks with just ONE scoop of ice cream

How To Run A Caption Contest

  1. Your photo matters: Choose something that's either "funny" or "trendy" so users can easily think of ideas
  2. State your terms: Make sure you clearly explain how to enter the contest and what is involved. Try not to make it too complicated
  3. State the prize: Make sure it's something worthwhile so you get tons of engagement
  4. Give a deadline: When will the contest end? When will you choose a winner?
  5. Engage with the comments: Like and respond to those that are engaging with the contest


Contributors to this article:

  • Pat Walls, Founder @ Starter Story
Pat Walls,  Founder of Starter Story
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Pat Walls

I'm Pat Walls and I created Starter Story - a website dedicated to helping people start businesses. We interview entrepreneurs from around the world about how they started and grew their businesses.