Tutorial: How to create a Hashtag + Entry Form Contest

The “Hashtag + Entry Form” contest allows you to organize a contest where users can participate with the photos they have posted on their own Instagram profile with a specific hashtag. The users have to identify with their Instagram profile and automatically they can select the photo from their account that has the contest hashtag. They should also fill in the entry form which is completely customizable.

Note: Do you want to organize a photo or video contest on Instagram but without entry form? Then have a look at the “Mention + Hashtag” that allow users to participate directly from Instagram by posting a photo or video with the contest hashtag and a mention of the organizing brand.


What’s the user experience like?

To participate in the contest, the users should access the contest through the link that the organizer provides. On accessing the entry form, the users will be asked to fill in all the required fields. In this step the user will be able to connect his Instagram profile and select the photo with the hashtag that he has published on his Instagram profile.

You can see the user experience of participating in a Hashtag + Entry Form contest in the following video:


To create a “Hashtag + Entry Form” contest you should follow the steps we show below:


Step 1. Create the promotion

1. Access the Easypromos Control Panel and log in with your email address and password to manage and create your promotions.



2. Create a new promotion by clicking the green button.


3. You'll be presented with the products available. Choose ‘Hashtag + Entry Form’ contest to create your promotion.



4. As a next step, set up the following options:

  • Organizing brand. As a first step, you should select or create an organizing brand for your promotion. This organizing brand is independent of any social network and works as a folder within your Easypromos account, in order to help organize the promotions that you create.
  • Template version. Select which template you want to use to create your promotion: Premium or White Label.

Note: Compare here the features and functionalities included in each template.


5. After clicking on "Continue" button, you'll get access to the promotion management page, where you have all the options for configuring the promotion. Below, we outline all the most important sections.



  1. Header. Here you'll see the promotion title, the version you've chosen (Premium or White Label) and other relevant information such as the promotion ID number of the promotion. You'll also notice the Promotion status, which indicates the status of the promotion: Draft, Active or Expired, as well as if it’s about to start. Once the promotion period has ended, this field will be marked in red saying: Status: Expired. You can choose what you want to show on an expired promotion page.
  2. Link to the promotion. This is the URL that you should use for sharing on all channels. Learn more about sharing here. You'll also see the Copy link button, which instantly copies the link to make sharing easier.
  3. Activate Promotion button. When the promotion is prepared and ready to launch, click this button to activate it. You'll be taken to the activation page, where you can review billing information before paying for the promotion.
  4. Side menu. This displays all the promotion settings options.
  5. View tutorial. This tutorial guides you step by step through the creation and management of your promotion.
  6. Promotion dates and time zone allows you to set the boundaries of your promotion
    Languages indicates the default language. You can change this if you need to.
    Localization enables you to limit participation to one or several countries. (Localization is included by default). Learn more here.
  7. Next steps: Practical recommendations that steer you through the creation and management of your campaign.
Tip: The promotion ID number (starting with #) is a unique identifier for each promotion. Give this number to the Easypromos team if you have any issues. This will make it easier for us to review your settings and fix the problem.


Step 2. Configure the Hashtag + Entry Form contest

Next you should configure the hashtag of the contest that the users should add in their Instagram post:

1. Enter the ‘Editor’ of the promotion.


2. When you access the Editor, a pop-up window will open where you can quickly configure the two following settings:


  1. Contest hashtag. Write is without the #.
  2. How will you use the images? (mandatory field). In this field you need to write what you will use the images from the participants to. For example: We will only use images internally, in order to check that their content is appropriate and conforms with the requirements in our Terms and Conditions; We will publish all images from the contest in a public gallery, to be displayed on our social media and our website; We may publish winning images on our social media; We will use the images to create a collage for our own content and media.


The system will save the hashtag that you write in this first step but you can modify it later if necessary. Now you can concentrate on customizing the different pages of the contest as we explain in the following step.


Step 3. Customize the text and images for each page

Once you have configured these two points, the next step will be to configure and customize the texts and images of each screen of the promotion.



A) Welcome

  • Change the default title for one that highlights the strong points of your promotion. It’s a good idea to make this descriptive text as attractive as possible.
  • Configure the text for the page and upload an image to make it more dynamic. Check here the Design Guide to see the optimal dimensions for the images of the contest.
  • Change the default text in the description to something personal to your brand. Explain the contest mechanism so that participants are clear about what steps they should follow to take part. You can also customize the ‘Enter’ and ‘View entries’ buttons.


B) Entry form.

In this section, you can set up the Registration Form which users must complete to participate in the contest.

  • Customize the text and header image of this page in the “Options” tab. You can also leave them on default settings, if you prefer.
  • Add the fields that you want to participants to complete. You can ask for their email address, telephone number, birth date, gender, city, and country. You can add additional text fields, dropdown menus, and checkboxes. Here we explain all the fields that you can set up.
  • The Media field will be configured with the settings you entered in the “Quick setup” pop-up window but you can apply any change in the hashtag or the type of media that should be imported if necessary.


  • If you want, you can also add the “Comments” field that allows the app to also import the caption of the photo on Instagram. This way, when the photo is selected, the “Comments” field will be pre-filled with the text of the post, and the user can edit it if necessary.


C) Thank you.

Customize the registration form with a final image and thank you text. The options that you can configure in the "thank you" page are:

  • Use the final image to give a more personalized aspect to the giveaway. Remind participants what the prize is and encourage them to share the promotion on social media.
  • Thank you message. You can thank participants and tell them when the winner will be announced.
  • Show the "My Networks" window. In case you have configured the section "My Networks" (Editor> General> My networks), if you activate this option, social networks will be presented on the page of many thanks.
  • Text and link of the final button. Fill in the two fields to enable this second button and take the participants to click on an external website.


D) Gallery.

Set up a public gallery where all the participants' photos will be displayed. In this section, you should focus on the following tabs:


1. Contents: You can upload a header image to give the gallery a more corporate touch. You can also add an introduction message.

2. Layout: By default, pictures are presented in a vertical gallery, one below the other, but you can activate the tiled gallery layout, which displays more than one picture on the same line, making a more visually attractive collage.

3. Votes: Access this tab if you want to allow users to vote on entries.

By default, the Hashtag + Entry Form contest comes with the voting system enabled. You can set up what type of voting system you wish to use. You can also disable the voting system from here. Check here how the voting system works and all the configuration options.

This section allows many other possibilities:


E) Promotion Menu. Additionally you have the following additional features to customize the pages of the promotion:


  • Customize the name of each section and the icon that identifies it within the promotion menu. For example, you can change the default name of the "Welcome" page to "Start".
  • Add new sections in the promotion menu to present additional content. This new section can be set up in two different ways:
    • New page, for example, to present and explain the prizes of the promotion.
    • External link, to drive traffic to your website or microsite.



Step 4. Customize the design layout

In the Design menu, you can completely customize the look and feel of your promotion to adapt it to your brand or product with the the following options:

  • Colors: Change the colors of texts and action elements (for example, buttons) in the promotion.
  • Typographies: Select the font used for texts and action elements.
  • Container: Completely customize the container by setting the style, opacity, height or position.
  • Background: Customize the background with your own image or colors. The background will be the same for all pages of the promotion.
  • Other: Set the style of the promotion buttons (outlined or solid), as well as the color of the button text. Also from here you can customize the background color of the pop-up windows of the promotion (for example: window that opens the terms and conditions, My Networks window, etc.)
  • Advanced (White Label promotions only): Use your own CSS styles to completely customize the template.


Discover all the possibilities offered by the "Design" module.


Step 5. Insert legal texts

In this section you can upload legal texts to display them in the promotion. Specifically you can upload the terms and conditions to explain all aspects of the promotion, contest or sweepstakes. Additionally you can also upload your privacy policy to explain how and for what purpose you will treat the data of the users that register in the promotion. It's also possible to upload your own Cookies policy.

To insert terms and conditions, go to the Editor > General > Legal content, where you will find the following sections:

  • Terms and conditions
  • Privacy Policy
  • Cookies Policy 



Note: Check here how to set up the consent of the legal texts of the promotion.


Step 6. Configure My Networks and the promotion footer

The 'My Networks' module enables you to totally customize the page which users see before finalizing registration. This means you can show an option to click ‘Like’ on your Facebook Page. My Networks can be customized for Facebook pages, as well as Twitter, Instagram and Youtube accounts. Learn how to do this here.

To customize the My Networks module, go to Editor > General > My Networks:


You can also customize the text in the Footer, or deactivate it if you don't want to use it. The Footer is a banner presented at the bottom of each page of the promotion.

To enable the promotion footer, go to Editor > General > Footer where you'll see the following options:

  • "Created by" field which will allow you to customize the name of the brand or company organizing the promotion.
  • Decide what elements you want to show in the promotion foot.



Step 7. Customize viral content

This section is very important if you want your photo contest to go viral. The viral content is the message that will be shown when a participant shares the promotion with friends, or invites them to take part.

To customize the viral content, go to Editor > General > Share:



You should complete the following sections:


A) Generic content.

Set up the generic contents of the promotion here:

  • Viral image: This is the image that will accompany the shared text. To optimize for social networks, we recommend image dimensions of 1200px by 630px. The same image will be shared on Facebook, Pinterest and Google+. If you don’t upload a specific image for this section, the image from the welcome page will be displayed when a participant shares the promotion.
  • Generic content: This is the viral text that will be shared across social networks when participants use the share button on the main page, the registration form or the gallery header. Learn how to configure this content here.

B) Participation.

This viral message will be shared by default when participants use the share buttons on the "thank you" page.


Step 8. Check advanced settings

Before you activate your Hasthag + Entry Form contest, first check the following sections:

1. Editor > Pages> Entry Form > Options: here you can control the following options:


For an Hashtag + Entry Form contest, we recommend the following settings:

  • Max. users: Decide if you want to limit the promotion to a maximum number of participants. By default, there is no limit on participation.
  • Maximum entries per user: You can decide how many times a user can take part. For example, if you would like to allow participants to submit more than one picture.
  • Enable premoderation: You can moderate entries before they appear in the public gallery.
  • Notification of new entrant: Enable this option if you want to receive an email whenever a new participant registers.
  • Disable autofocus in first form field. By default, the “Name” field in the entry form has the autofocus activated so that the participants can begin to write without having to click on the field first when the page loads. This option allows to disable this effect to avoid that the autofocus scrolls down the page, which is useful in promotions that have a big header image.
  • Anti-fraud options: With the aim of helping administrators organize top-quality contests, the Easypromos platform contains a range of techniques and tools to minimize bad practices. Consult the options available and choose your settings.


2. Editor > Pages > Gallery > Options. You will find the following options:

  • Entries per page. This option allows to set up the number of pictures displayed per page within the Gallery.
  • Order entries. This option allows to set up how you want the pictures to be ordered on the Gallery:
      • Most recent first.
      • Randomly.
      • Most voted first.
  • Anonymous participation. Activate this if you don’t want users' names and profiles displayed in the gallery.


Step 9. Set entry restrictions

The application allows you to restrict access and control which users can participate. Specifically, the platform offers you 2 forms of restriction:

  • Restriction by country: You can limit the promotion to a specific country or several countries. In this way, only users who connect from the selected country or countries will see the promotion. Learn how to enable country restriction.


  • Restriction by age: Limit the promotion to users whose date of birth is higher than the one indicated by the administrator. This establishes a minimum age for participation. Learn how to enable age restriction.



Step 10. Communicate with participants via the email platform

If you need to communicate with participants during and after the promotion, you can use the integrated Easypromos email platform to create, customize and send emails. Communicating with participants from the beginning is a great way to increase your promotion's viral reach!

This tool is extremely useful because it permits you to configure automatic emails. You may wish to contact participants with one of the following objectives:

    1. To thank participants for registering, and inform them when the contest will be held and when the result will be made known.
    2. Remind participants how many votes they need to be a finalist.
    3. Send an email to the contest winners.
    4. Send an email to all participants, confirming that the promotion has ended and thanking them for their participation.

Learn how to create an email with the platform.

Important! The email platform has the ‘smart tags’ feature at its disposal. This enables you to configure customized emails. Use the ‘smart tag’ {{user_voteme_url}} and it will be substituted for the participation URL of each participant.


Step 11. Publish the winners page (optional)

Before publishing the promotion, or while it's already running, you can choose to show the prizes available. Once winners have been chosen, the same page will display their names. You can decide whether to publish the winners page at the beginning of the promotion, or to wait for the winners. To customize and publish the winners page, go to Editor > Pages > Winners.

Check out the Prize Management tutorial to learn more about your options.


Step 12. Carry out a real test of the promotion

Before launching a promotion, it's important to make sure that the promotion shows and works correctly. To do so, all promotions includes the tool "Test Mode" which allows the administrator to carry out real tests of the promotion. This means that they can participate in the promotion just like the participants will do once the promotion is activated, and test that the promotion works as expected. That way, they can make changes to the promotion if necessary before launching.

Check out this tutorial where we explain how to test your promotion before activating it.


Step 13. Activate the promotion

Once you have configured all aspects of the promotion, you can activate it from the management page of the promotion. This is also where you make payments. Find out more here. Sweepstake_Activate_Promotion.jpg


Step 14. Publish the promotion

Although your promotion is now active, you still need to take the final step: publishing it.

When you created your contest, a microsite with a unique URL was generated to display the promotion. This URL is the main link to the promotion. By default, this main link leads to the welcome page in the microsite, but you can change this setting.

You can publish the promotion on a Facebook Page or embed it in your blog or website. Publishing the promotion in these ways is not exclusive - the microsite will still be generated. You can control where you wish to publish the promotion via “Buzz”. You can learn more about this step here.


Step 15. Share the promotion

It’s important to share the promotion on as many different channels as you can. Always use the main link to the promotion, as it’s the only one compatible with all types of devices.

You can share the promotion via the following methods:

  • With the direct URL to the promotion.
  • With the ‘share’ button on Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
  • Use Facebook Ads to give more visibility to the promotion. One of the most effective ways to improve the visibility of the promotion is through the Facebook advertising service, which will allow you to create an advertisement to promote the contest and generate traffic to the promotion. To do this, you must access the Facebook advertisers page and create an advertisement to promote the contest.
  • Making your promotion a Featured promotion. This lists your campaign in Easypromos highlighted promotions. Featuring a promotion incurs an additional cost, calculated per day of the campaign. If you’d like to Feature your campaign, consult this tutorial.

We recommend reading these articles for more ideas:


Step 16. Manage the active promotion

While the promotion is active, you can monitor and manage entries from the management page by clicking on "Participants" in the left-hand menu. You can also access the list of entries via the “Statistics” section:



From the "Participants" section, you'll be able to view information collected from all participants and export it to Excel.

Note: Information about participants will remain available even when the promotion has finished.


Step 17. Manage prizes and publication of winners

When the participation period of the promotion ends, you can use the prize management system to create and configure prizes. You can choose to assign prizes randomly or manually.

  • Randomly: You can run one or more sweepstakes among participants, or among a segment of participants, and obtain a certificate of validity with the results.
  • Manually: You can assign one or more prizes manually to your chosen winners. This is useful in voting contests and skills tests. We also recommend this option if your winners are selected by a jury, notary public, or the organizing brand.

Learn how to create prizes and select winners in the Prize management tutorial.

You can begin the selection process from the “Winners” menu:



Step 18. Finishing up the promotion

The end of a promotion is controlled by the dates set up in the promotion Editor. When the "End of publication date" is passed, the promotion changes from active status to expired status. By default, the promotion is unpublished and is no longer visible. If users click the promotion URL, a screen with the message "promotion expired" will be displayed.

As administrator of the contest, you can edit the content of this "promotion expired" screen, or even republish the promotion so that it is visible again. For example, you might want to display the winners of the promotion, or keep the contest gallery visible.

We explain your options for expired promotions here.

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