Tutorial: How to create a Hashtag Contest

Hashtag contests are available in the Premium and White Label versions of Easypromos. They enable you to import all the tweets, photos and videos that contain a predefined hashtag from Twitter and Instagram. This allows you to carry out a variety of actions, such as:

  • Collecting all the participants who’ve used the hashtag, obtaining their usernames in whichever social network they’ve participated from.
  • Running one or more sweepstakes among participants.
  • Displaying the tweets and/or posts in a public gallery that you can publish as an app to your Facebook Page, webpage or blog.

 

In this article we take you through the steps you need to follow in order to: collect all the participants who’ve used the hashtag (importing tweets and Instagram posts); run a sweepstakes among participants to select a random winner; and optionally, activate and publish the gallery. 

 

Step 1. Create promotion

Step 2. Enable Twitter and/or Instagram integration

Step 3. Set up gallery (optional)

Step 4. Customize design (optional)

Step 5. Customize viral content (optional)

Step 6. Activate voting in the gallery

Step 7. Create and link to the legal bases

Step 8. Activate promotion

Step 9. Publish hashtag gallery (optional)

Step 10. Share promotion

Step 11. Manage the active promotion

Step 12. Check promotion statistics

Step 13. Final sweepstakes for giving away prize and publishing winners

 

STEP 1. Create promotion

  1. Access the Dashboard via this link: http://admin.easypromosapp.com. Log in with Facebook and open your Dashboard. From here you can create and manage your promotions.

 

 

2. Create a new promotion via the ‘Create new promotion’ button. 

 

  1. You will be shown the different products available. Choose “Hashtag Contest” to create a promotion for importing tweets and Instagram posts with your predefined hashtag.

4. Go on to step 2 and choose the platform version to use (Premium or White Label).

5. Your promotion is already created! In the background, you can see the promotion management page. A pop-up window will ask you some extra information in order to help you with pre-settings. If you are not interested, you can skip this step.

  • Language by default: Option for selecting the language by default in which you wish to display the promotion content.
  • Country. You'll be able to limit participation to one or several particular countries, and only those users who have an IP address corresponding to these countries will be able to register Find more information about country filters.

  

Basic information

  • Title: The title should describe the promotion that you’re going to create. This field is mandatory.
  • Description: This is the text that will be displayed along with the title and the image on the homepage of the promotion. It also forms part of the viral image that participants share from the hashtags gallery. If you’re not planning to make the gallery public, just write a brief description (the field is mandatory). Below you can see examples of landing pages which provide access to a gallery as well as explaining the mechanics of the contest. Since users must participate from Instagram or Twitter, they usually reach the homepage by way of the gallery; or, if you have shared it, via the main link to the promotion.

 

  • Category: Choose the sector in which your products/services belong.
  • Default language: Select the default language in which you’d like to display the promotion contents.
  • Select your Facebook Page: Choose in which Facebook Page to create the promotion (optional).

Promotion dates

  • Time zone: Time zone in which the promotion will be active.
  • Publication date: The date on which the promotion will first become visible to the public.
  • Publication end date: The date on which the promotion will no longer be visible to the public.

 

 6. Now you find yourself in the promotion management page, where you have all the options for configuring the promotion. Below we outline all the most relevant sections:

 

1. Header. You will find the title of the promotion, the version and other relevant information such as the ID number of the promotion, which unequivocally identifies each promotion. Present this number to the Easypromos technical team if you have any issues with, or doubts about, the promotion. This will make it easier for them to review your settings.

2. Link to the promotion. This is the URL that you should use in all the promotion sharing actions that you wish to carry out. More information here.

3. Copy link button. Here you'll be able to automatically copy the link to disseminate the promotion.

4. Side menu. Here you will find all the configuration options of the promotion.

5. Statistics menu. Here you'll find all the general statistics of your contest. It indicates the total users, total votes, emails sent to participants, total page views, general view of visits received, total share button clicks and number of followers gained.

6. Management of dates. Modify the promotion dates from this module.

7. Promotion status. It indicates the status of the promotion: Draft, Active or expired, as well as it is ready to start.

8. Visibility module. Here you'll find the main options to give your promotion more visibility: Publish the promotion as a Facebook tab, appear in the public list of Easypromos promotions and click button to share the promotion.

9. Localization. Select the promotion language by default. You'll also be able to link the promotion to a dictionary you have created with your own texts and translations. In addition, you'll be able to limit participation to one or several particular countries from here. By default the promotion will be visible in all countries. If you want to restrict it only to certain countries, click on ‘Edit’ and enter the names of the countries you wish to include (available in Premium and White Label).

 

STEP 2. Enable Twitter and/or Instagram integration

The platform comes preconfigured with a number of features that will depend on the type of application you’ve chosen. Even so, there are always a number of options you should check.

In “Integrations” you can activate Twitter and Instagram integration. Integration with each of these networks functions separately, so you can decide which platform to import content from: Twitter only; Instagram only; or both. In addition, you can set up a different hashtag for each platform. This means that even though the application will gather content from both hashtags into a single database, you’ll be able to see which social network the content comes from.

Read our tips on how to define your contest hashtag.

 

Access the “Integrations” section:

 

Here you’ll find all the platforms you can integrate the application with.

 

 

A) Twitter integration

All users with an active Twitter account and public profile can participate.

Clicking on the “Twitter” section will give you access to the Settings Panel. Next, click “Enable” to activate integration and view the options.

 

Activate the options you require for your contest/sweepstakes:

1. Hashtag/s. Add the hashtag that you’ll use and communicate so that Twitter users can submit their photos, videos and comments. You’ll be able to insert a maximum of 3 hashtags. In case of inserting more than 1 hashtag, the system will import any tweet that contains at least 1 of the 3 hashtags. That is: users will be able to use any of the 3 hashtags but they’ll need to use at least one of them.

Use several hashtags to: consider all possible variations of a word or even spelling mistakes and typos made by users when typing the hashtag. Some examples are: #ContestDesign and #ContestDesing or #GrammyContest and #GrammmyContest.

Don’t use several hashtags to: require users to use two hashtags to enter. In order to do so use the keywords instead as we explain you below.

Important: Don’t include the # symbol and make sure you don’t leave any blank spaces.

 

2. Keywords. The user will be required to include at least one of the keywords in order for the tweet to import. Keywords allow to set up an additional filter to the hashtag. Leave the field empty if you don’t require an additional filter.

Important: If you set up several keywords, these are excluding. Users will only need to use one of them.

You can insert any word as a keyword, and this includes a @mention to the brand or #hashtags. This will allow you to create contests where users should post a tweet with a mandatory #hashtag and a mandatory @mention to the brand, or a first mandatory #hashtag (set up in the ‘Hashtag’ field), and a second mandatory #hashtag (set up in the ‘Keywords’ field).

Check out some practical examples to see what is possible and what is not.

We also present you with some practical ideas of how to combine #hashtags with keywords.

From the promotion management page you’ll be able to easily filter participants according to the keywords used. Learn here how to do it.

 

3. Type of content to import. Choose the type of tweet you wish to import:

a) All types: the application will read and import all tweets, irrespective of whether they have photos and videos attached.

b) Images only: the application will only read and import tweets that contain images.

c) Videos only: the application will only read and import tweets that contain videos.

d) Images + videos: the application will read and import all tweets that contain images and videos.

 

Learn how to correctly set up the app according to the type of content you want to import.

4. Excluded users. Fill in this field with Twitter users whose content you don’t want to import. For example, it’s a good idea to add the name of the Twitter user who is organizing the contest. If there are any users making inappropriate use of the hashtag you can limit their participation by including them in this field.

5. Only one entry per user. Check this option if you wish to allow a single participation per Twitter user.

6. Exclude retweets. Check this option if you don’t want retweeted images to be published in the contest’s photo gallery. This means that even if a tweet has been retweeted various times by friends of a participant,only the tweet originally tweeted by the participant will be published. This will prevent the user from taking part in the contest with more than one photo.

7. Enable reply message. Check this option if you would like to create an automatic response message to be sent to Twitter users that take part in the contest. You should:

a) Connect your Twitter account. This will be the account from which the auto-response text will be sent.

b) Write the message after “@username” fixed element: the tool will substitute it for the participating user, to activate the answer.

 

B) Instagram Integration

All users with an active Instagram account can participate by posting the photo or video from their public profile.

Clicking on “Instagram” will give you access to the Settings Panel. Next, click “Connect” to activate integration and view the options.

If it is the first time that you connect this Instagram account through Easypromos, it will request you to accept the following permissions to access at your Instagram information:

 

Once the permissions are accepted, the platform will contact to your Instagram account:

The settings to Instagram integration will appear. Activate the options you’re interested in for your contest/sweepstakes:

1. Hashtag/s. Add the hashtag that you’ll use and communicate so that Twitter users can submit their photos, videos and comments. You’ll be able to insert a maximum of 3 hashtags. In case of inserting more than 1 hashtag, the system will import any tweet that contains at least 1 of the 3 hashtags. That is: users will be able to use any of the 3 hashtags but they’ll need to use at least one of them.

Use several hashtags to: consider all possible variations of a word or even spelling mistakes and typos made by users when typing the hashtag. Some examples are: #ContestDesign and #ContestDesing or #GrammyContest and #GrammmyContest.

Don’t use several hashtags to: require users to use two hashtags to enter. In order to do so use the keywords instead as we explain you below.

Important: Don’t include the # symbol and make sure you don’t leave any blank spaces.

 

2. Keywords. The user will be required to include at least one of the keywords in order for the tweet to import. Keywords allow to set up an additional filter to the hashtag. Leave the field empty if you don’t require an additional filter.

Important: If you set up several keywords, these are excluding. Users will only need to use one of them.

You can insert any word as a keyword, and this includes a @mention to the brand or #hashtags. This will allow you to create contests where users should post a tweet with a mandatory #hashtag and a mandatory @mention to the brand, or a first mandatory #hashtag (set up in the ‘Hashtag’ field), and a second mandatory #hashtag (set up in the ‘Keywords’ field).

Check out some practical examples to see what is possible and what is not.

We also present you with some practical ideas of how to combine #hashtags with keywords.

From the promotion management page you’ll be able to easily filter participants according to the keywords used. Learn here how to do it.

 

3. Type of content to import. Choose the type of tweet you wish to import:

a) All types: the application will read and import both photos and videos from Instagram.

b) Only photos: the application will only read and import photos from Instagram.

c) Only videos: the application will only read and import videos from Instagram.

Learn how to correctly set up the app according to the type of content you want to import. 

 

4. Excluded users. Fill in this field with Instagram users whose content you don’t want to import. For example, it’s a good idea to add the name of the Instagram user who is organizing the contest. If there are any users making inappropriate use of the hashtag you can limit their participation by including them in this field.

5. Only one entry per user. Check this option if you wish to allow a single participation per Instagram user. 

Warning! It is not possible to enable an automatic reply message for Instagram participants, but you can contact them with a comment on their posts from Easypromos platform. Learn more about Instagram’s policy to write comments and how you can contact the participants commenting their posts.

 

Important note: Even that the user tags an old picture/viceo with the hashtag of the contest, Instagram will not publish it as one of the latest pictures/videos that have used this specific hashtag, as they specify in their technical documentation. Therefore, as a recommendation we suggest you to encourage  participants to create and publish new pictures/videos instead of reusing old ones.

 

If you’re not interested in presenting the texts, photos or videos in a public gallery go directly to Step 7.

 

STEP 3. Set up the gallery (optional)

If you’re interested in displaying the imported content in a gallery and sharing it, follow these steps:

 

1. Enter the promotion “Editor”.

2. Set up the promotion’s landing page. Participants visiting the gallery will gain access to the homepage by clicking on “Home”. The main promotion link will also lead here.

 

A) Landing page

- Change the provisional title for one that allows identify the strong points of your promotion. It’s a good idea to make this descriptive text as attractive as possible to users.

- Configure the texts for the page and upload an 810px wide x 450px high image to give it more dynamism.

- In the description, change the provisional text to personalize and explain your own contest mechanism so that participants are clear about what steps they should follow to take part in the contest. You can also customize the ‘Enter’ and ‘View entries’ buttons.

 

B) Entry form page. Add the fields that you wish your participants to complete. You can also customize the text and screen header image. In the Premium and White Label versions you can fill in the form with all the additional fields, dropdown menus and check boxes that you need. Find all the information about how to set up the entry form.

 

Note: The customization of the registration form with additional text fields is not included by default in promotions created with the Basic version. It can be included as an extension for $15USD.

 

C) Thank you page. Customize it with a final image and a thank you text. You can also create an extra button with an external link.

  • Text to encourage users to share. On the left side of the first share button there is a text that you can customize. Use this to encourage your participants to share the contest.
  • Thank you message. You can also use it to thank participants and tell them when the winner will be announced.
  • Use the final image to give a more personalized aspect to the sweepstake, reminding participants what the prize is and encouraging them to share the sweepstake.

 

Note: download the Easypromos Design Guide and you will have measurements for all the images you need to complete the promotion.

 

 

 

Set up the “Entries list page"; this is the public gallery where all the participations will be displayed.

 

Note: If you want to create a hashtag gallery with automatic display, use the Full Screen Tool.

 

4. Set up the “My Networks” module. Take advantage of the fact that people will be visiting the gallery by setting up this module to present your online channels. This will give gallery visitors a chance to follow you elsewhere online. Find out how to set up this option.

You can also activate the promotion footer and customize its texts. The promotion footer is a banner displayed at the bottom of each of the screens that make up the promotion. When this footer is clicked on, it opens the “My Networks” module. Find more information here.

Note: these options are disabled by default.

 

STEP 4. Customize design (optional)

Adjust the colors of the buttons and different sections of the promotion in order to reflect the look & feel of your brand, product or campaign. You can also choose from a variety of typographies, upload a background image and enter customized CSS styles (White Label).

 

STEP 5. Customize viral content (optional)

If your contest also offers users the chance to visit the gallery and share or vote for participations, it’s very important to set up this section so that you can generate a high level of virality. The viral content is the message displayed when the participant shares the promotion with friends, inviting them to vote or participate.

 

  1. A) Options
  • What would you like participants to be able to share? By default, the “Share” buttons in the participations gallery share the “Recruiting content”, which invites users to participate, taking them to the home page. If you’d like the share button to share the specific participation – in a voting contest, for example – change this option to “Participation Content.”
  • Viral image. This is the image that accompanies the shared text. To ensure an optimal size for the social networks we suggest measurements of 1200px by 630px. This same image will be shared across Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. If no image is uploaded for this section then the main promotion image will be shared instead.
  1. B) Generic content. This is the viral text that will be published across the social networks when the participant shares the promotion, using either the share button on the home page or the one on the header of the public gallery. Find out how to set this up.
  2. C) Participation. This is the content that will be shared by default across the social networks from the participations gallery. Find out how to set this up.

 

STEP 6. Activate voting in the gallery

If you’d like to dynamize your gallery by allowing users to vote for participations, you’ll need to adjust the “Votes” settings.

Set up this section to define how do you want to configure the voting system of your contest, or access here to uncheck this option.

Consult how does the voting system work and all its settings.

 

STEP 7. Create and link to the legal bases

In “Editor” you can also find the section for presenting the legal bases of the contest. Even if you are not planning to make the hashtags gallery public, you should fill in the corresponding section of the “Editor” to obtain a URL of the legal bases. You can then cut and paste this URL and share it via Instagram and Twitter, ensuring that everyone has access to your legal bases.

These legal bases will also be displayed on the promotion’s homepage and via links in the gallery.

 

STEP 8. Activate promotion

Once you’ve set up all aspects of the promotion you can pay for and activate it from the Promotion Management Page. The application will then immediately start to register and import all hashtags published after the “Registration start date.”

 

STEP 9. Publish hashtag gallery (optional)

The next step, if you choose to take it, is to publish the hashtag gallery. You can do this in the following ways:

 

1. Embed the gallery in a webpage

Using the Easypromos Widgets feature you can embed the hashtag gallery directly into your webpage, microsite or blog. The Widget provides a variety of customization options. For example, you can set up the width and height of the gallery in order to adapt it perfectly to the space available on your website.

View this example of a gallery displaying photos, texts and videos tagged with the hashtag #lovetravel.

 

2. Display the gallery as a Facebook application

By default, the gallery is published in a tab that you can install in your Facebook Page. This will enable you to provide visibility to your hashtags gallery in Facebook.

 

3. Share the direct link to the gallery

You can use the direct link to the hashtag gallery to share it via your usual communication channels – Facebook, Twitter, newsletters, etc. The direct link to the gallery can be obtained from the “Links to the promotion” section as we explain here.

 

STEP 10. Share promotion

It’s a good idea to share your promotion via a range of channels.

Since users will be participating from Twitter and/or Instagram, you should mainly spread word about the promotion through these channels. It’s especially important to include the hashtag so that users can use it to enter their posts and tweets in the sweepstakes. Remember that users must have a public profile or their participation will not be imported.

You can also use the main promotion link if you want users to be able to access the homepage and/or the hashtag gallery.

 

STEP 11. Manage the active promotion

While the promotion is active you can monitor and manage participations from the Promotion Management Page by clicking on the “View Entries” section.

From here you can:

Note: Instagram and Twitter photos and videos are not hosted in Easypromos, therefore they are not included in the ZIP file that you can download. Only images and videos uploaded directly from the registration form can be downloaded.

 

STEP 12. Check promotion statistics

Access the “Statistics” section to view the evolution of participants and their interaction with the application. Keep in mind that users who participate in the promotion via hashtag do not visit or register for the promotion first, so we won’t have any data on them.

This information will be available even after the promotion has finished. Learn more about the information you have access to in this section.

 

STEP 13. Final sweepstakes for giving away prizes and publishing winners

Once the registration period has finalized you can use the “Winners” tool to carry out the random sweepstakes and select one or more winners – as well as alternates. This is an optional tool with no extra cost. It can be set up once the registration period has ended.

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