A Savvy Marketer’s Guide To Running Successful Hashtag Competitions

By Dana Kilroy

A Savvy Marketer's Guide To Running Successful Hashtag Competitions

If you’re looking for effective ways to build a bigger following on social media, look no further than the humble hashtag competition.

Since hashtags became a big deal in the social media world, they’ve become a quick way to explode your brand’s reach and amass user-generated content for savvy marketing.

But before we go into how to run a successful hashtag competition, let’s talk about why they’re so popular at the moment.

To be honest, it’s pretty straightforward: they’re cheap and easy to run, they tend to gain a lot of traction quickly, and they’re easier to manage than many other kinds of promotions. What’s more, they’re relatively quick to prepare for something that yields so many benefits. Hashtag competitions can help you build brand awareness, increase engagement with your audience, and ultimately increase sales.

One thing to be aware of though – user-generated hashtag competitions are different to ‘tag a friend’, ‘like’, or ‘comment to win’ competitions. You know why?

Because they use hashtags. D’uh. A UGC hashtag competition is basically a giveaway where a brand asks its followers to post a piece of content on a social network, accompanied by a specific hashtag, for a chance to win a prize. That content might take the form of a photo, video, review, or even some text, like a recipe.

Either way, each time someone posts anything containing the unique hashtag, they’re entered to win a prize. The winner is generally chosen either at random (technically making the contest a ‘sweepstakes’). Alternatively, they can be determined by criteria the brand decides upon such as popularity/views or by letting a panel of independent judges choose the winner.

Clear on all that? Great! Let’s get down into the nitty-gritty of running hashtag competitions.

The best platforms for hashtag competitions

While hashtags can be used across Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and more, they are most popular on Twitter and Instagram, so you’d be best off focusing your efforts on these platforms.

Twitter is where hashtags really took off: when it first launched, the company’s founders used hashtags as ways to organize conversations and make certain topics easy to find. To run a hashtag competition on Twitter today, you’d ask people to use your hashtags in their post in order to be entered to win whatever prize you’re giving away, being aware that Twitter has a restricted character count so your hashtag shouldn’t be too long.

Twitter hashtag competition

To run a hashtag contest on Instagram, on the other hand, you’d simply create a brand hashtag of any length and ask participants to use your hashtag in whatever caption accompanies their image or video.

In this example, the Empire State Building is giving away $5000 to someone who has taken a photo touching the building.

The best practises for hashtag competitions

While hashtag competitions are relatively easy to set up, you’re more likely to meet your hashtag goals if you identify what you want to accomplish and use the Go to the full article.

Source:: Jeff Bullas Blog

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