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How to Run a UGC Hashtag Contest

To Celebrate the Country’s National Day, Raiffeisen Bank România Ran an Engaging UGC Hashtag Contest

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What better way to celebrate a country’s National Day than with astonishing photos revealing its beauty? Cronicari Digitali and Raiffeisen Bank România celebrated Romania’s National Day by asking people to post pictures of their country and describe why they love it. The user-generated content campaign was organised as an Instagram hashtag contest.

Let’s break down their campaign to show you how to run a successful hashtag contest that sees lots of user-generated content submissions.

1. Define a clear hashtag for your hashtag contest

One crucial factor for a successful hashtag marketing campaign is choosing a unique, memorable and unambiguous hashtag. Coming up with a hashtag requires creativity and clear campaign goals as a foundation.

If you’re new to the world of hashtags, make sure that you check out our Hashtag Campaign Guide before you start planning your hashtag contest.

The contest organised by Cronicari Digitali and Raiffeisen Bank România featured two hashtags: #CronicariDigitali (the name of one of the partners) and #ZideRomania, meaning “Day of Romania”. Both hashtags are unique, relevant to the campaign, and easy to remember for those who want to take part.

2. Create a dedicated microsite or landing page for your contest

Raiffeisen Bank România created a landing page for the user-generated content contest on their subdomain dedicated to promoting cultural projects supported by the bank.

Having all the information about your user-generated contest clearly defined on a dedicated microsite or a simple landing page will effectively communicate the rules and rewards to your audience. 

It will also help you measure the success of your campaign. You’ll want to measure the traffic to the page and then calculate the conversion rate according to the number of successful entries collected. This is relatively easy to do if you have a dedicated landing page and a hashtag aggregator to help you gather and count all the contest entries.

Landing page for the photo Hashtag Contest organised by Raiffeisen Bank România.
Source: Raiffeisen Bank Romania

3. Keep your hashtag contest simple

To keep the contest attractive for many people, don’t ask for anything too complicated. If you like, you can make it a requirement for users to follow your account. This will help you grow your follower base through the campaign.

The type of content that you ask for is up to you. You can create photo or video challenges on Instagram or ask for creative answers to a question. 

The contest organised by Cronicari Digitali and Raiffeisen Bank România asked users to:

  • Use the #ZideRomania and #CronicarDigitali hashtags on Instagram.
  • Tag @raiffeisenbankro and @cronicaridigitali
  • Post photos taken by them in Romania in 2020. Those could be photos of landscapes, traditions or cities.
  • Submit their entry by December 2nd at 23:59 GMT+2

The rewards and the procedure for notifying the winner also need to be clearly defined on the contest’s landing page. Raiffeisen’s Instagram photo contest offered three online shopping vouchers as rewards. They used a jury composed of photographers from different regions in Romania who analysed all the entries and decided on the winners.

You can use many potential rewards to boost a campaign: Vouchers, free subscriptions (if you have a SaaS business), discounts on physical products, etc. Check out this article about 101 best prize ideas for ten industries. 🤩

4. Collect all the hashtag posts on a social wall

It’s hard to keep track of all the contest entries in a campaign, especially if your hashtag contest takes off and you receive hundreds or thousands of submissions. 

The contest organised by Cronicari Digitali and Raiffeisen Bank România used a social media wall powered by Walls.io to aggregate content posted by users using the #ZideRomania and #CronicarDigitali hashtags on Instagram. There were 1001 photos posted over five days, so the social wall came in as a handy social media tool for managing the campaign.

To encourage more people to share their amazing photos, Raiffeisen Bank România embedded the social wall on the landing page to display all content in real-time and make it visible to everyone.

Instagram social media embed on the landing page for the photo Hashtag Contest organised by Raiffeisen Bank România.
Source: Raiffeisen Bank Romania

5. Announce your winners and thank all participants

At the end of the campaign, notify the winners publicly and share their content to reach a broader scope and give the creators some exposure. They’ll be grateful for their 15 minutes of fame, and it’s great content for you.

Once the contest is over, change your landing page content to feature the winners. Raiffeisen Bank România did a great job updating the landing page after the campaign was over. They thanked everyone for their contributions, announced the total number of contest entries and featured the winning photos and other wonderful photo entries.

Landing page for the photo Hashtag Contest organised by Raiffeisen Bank România featuring the winners as well as other photo submissions.
Source: Raiffeisen Bank Romania

Over to you

Create a contest that helps boost brand awareness and engages existing and potential new customers. A hashtag contest helps you do all those things, but it can also help you collect unique user-generated content you can later use in your marketing.

Whether you’re running an Instagram UGC campaign or using other networks, such as Twitter, for example, make sure to collect all the entries using a social media wall.

Create a social media wall and collect amazing UGC from your hashtag contest.

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You can later embed it on your website or display it on any screen in your store, at your bank, in your hotel, at your office — anywhere, really.