What are the benefits of a Hashtag Contest?
Running a Hashtag Contest is a great way to collect user-generated content, increase engagement for your brand and encourage word-of-mouth marketing. User-generated content can help spread the word about your brand to others with similar interests.
Note: This feature is only available to people who are on our Agency Plan (1 feed) and Brand Plan (unlimited feeds).
What is a Hashtag Contest?
A Hashtag Contest asks a participant to post a photo or video to Instagram or Twitter, tag it using a designated hashtag, and (on Instagram) tag your Instagram account name. This enters them into a contest. All entries using that hashtag can be viewed in one feed. The feed can be displayed on your website using a ShortStack campaign.
Visitors can vote or share the submitted images/videos. This type of contest allows you to take advantage of high-engagement platforms like Instagram and Twitter.
How does a Hashtag Contest work with ShortStack?
Participants start by uploading a picture or video, tagging your profile and adding the specified hashtag to their caption. ShortStack stores their username, submitted image/video, and image caption. To receive an extra chance to win, entrants can also submit their contact information through a form. Adding a form allows you to collect additional data — email address and name — into your ShortStack database.
Contest admins can moderate images and videos in the feed to ensure that the feed doesn’t contain offensive or off-brand content.
Running Instagram Hashtag Contests via ShortStack
Here's what you need to do before setting up your contest:
- Upgrade to the Agency Plan (or higher).
- Create a Facebook Page that can be connected to your Instagram Business Account for your hashtag contest. Learn more on setting up a Facebook Page by reading our Facebook Page Primer.
- Create an Instagram Business Account, if you have not already done so. Instructions for creating an account can be found in our blog post, How to Set Up an Instagram Business Profile.
- Connect your Instagram Business Account to your Facebook Page.
The updated entry collection process requires you to:
- Choose the Facebook Page associated with the Instagram Business Account.
- Indicate the hashtag(s) posts must include in order to enter the contest.
- Choose the timeframe during which entries will be collected.
To get people to enter your contest, you'll want to let them know that they have to both tag your account and include the contest hashtag, like so:
In the past, you could simply tell folks to include your contest hashtag(s) in their posts to enter. Now, entrants will need to include the hashtag(s) and also @mention the Instagram Business Account you indicated when setting up the ShortStack feed. Their entries should look similar to this:
As you can see, one of the best things about this updated process is that people who view the entry post will also see your business being tagged in the entry. The @mention in hashtag contest entries increases brand awareness.