hashtag contest

How To Run A Successful UGC Hashtag Contest

9 minute read

As a business owner, you keep looking for opportunities to grow your brand and reach more people. You follow so many social media trends and rely on marketers to help you expand. 

Social media might seem like a spider’s web (no pun intended), but once you get to learn a few basics, you can surely ace the game.

If you have come so far, you must be aware of user generated content; the aggregated content created by your customers using your branded hashtag or handle that you use for various marketing purposes. 

One such marketing purpose is to run a UGC hashtag contest. Keep reading to know more.

What Is A UGC Hashtag Contest?

Giveaways have always been a common strategy to increase brand awareness and the number of followers. A UGC contest is also a giveaway. The add-on is that businesses ask their followers to post on social media using their branded or any other specific hashtag.

In exchange, they offer the winning contestant a prize in the form of a giveaway. The user’s content can be a photo or a video. Each time someone posts anything using the branded hashtag, the UGC tool collects the post, and the user becomes a contestant to win the giveaway prize. 

hashtag contest

A winner is chosen randomly, or by criteria decided by the brand, like the number of votes or likes their post had, or whether they followed the guidelines correctly.

It also opens an opportunity for a collab. Two or more brands often collab to run hashtag contests to introduce their audience to each other. You can put this as a rule that the contestant must be following both brands; you can gain more followers that way.

How To Run A Successful UGC Hashtag Contest?

#1 Create Branded And Memorable Hashtag

With so many hashtags on social media, it is important to have a background check before even starting the hashtag contest. You must make sure your hashtag is unique so that you’re not violating any trademarks. Our suggestion would be to create a branded hashtag to bring uniqueness.

how to run a hashtag contest

Another thing to keep in mind is to make the hashtag memorable and easy to remember. It should be eye-catching for the customers so that when they use it, they don’t make any spelling errors. UGC platforms only collect content with the correct hashtag.

#2 Clear Guidelines Before The Contest

The biggest reason behind any failed contest, and not just a user-generated content contest, has to be the unclear contest guidelines. Brands run contests without explaining the rules to the followers, which often leaves them confused and lost.

Always make sure that you share the contest guidelines before it begins. The contestants will know what they are getting into and can prepare priorly. When your followers see that just by following some easy steps, they can win the contest and some amazing prizes, it encourages them to participate. Hence, more participants.

#3 Choose A Prize Worth The Efforts

You have chosen a unique hashtag and set up the guidelines for the contest. Now, what about the prize? Why should your followers do as you say? Because they have an eye upon the prize, and the prize must be good enough for them to show dedication towards the entire contest.

Choose a prize that is unique and trending. It can also be one of your products, or if you are a business that only provides services, you can give away discount coupons or collab with another brand that sells products. But it should be something that even you would want to win. Otherwise, there would not be any sense of organizing the whole contest.

#4 Promote The UGC Contest

Even after following all the steps we mentioned above, you might not be sure whether you will get the ROI as expected. To be assured, it is crucial to promote the UGC hashtag prior.

You can try marketing campaigns like influencer marketing or social media marketing to promote the hashtag contest and ensure that it reaches more people. One such way is choosing the influencers who have an audience similar to your target audience.

#5 Choose The Perfect UGC platform 

Taggbox is the perfect UGC platform, and it is user-friendly. You just need to log in or signup (14-days free trial available), and choose your social media platform among the 20+ platforms offered by Taggbox.

Mention your branded hashtag, and voila! All the posts of the participants will be available for you. You can always filter out irrelevant or repeated posts. With Taggbox, you can also embed those aggregated posts on your website, display them on a social wall, or use them in future marketing campaigns.

Run A Successful UGC Hashtag Contest with Taggbox Suite

Use-Case: Viral Hashtag Contest By Southwest Airlines

A UGC contest started by Southwest Airlines. They invited users to share their moments when they wanted to get away, using the hashtags #WannaGetAway and #Contest along with it. 

The contest was for Instagram and Twitter users, and they had to follow the airline’s page and post videos or photos by keeping in mind the brand’s promotion.

hashtag contest examples

Along with a UGC platform, they aggregated all the posts with their contest hashtags, and they also hosted a gallery on the Southwest Airlines campaign microsite. 

The results were great for the Airlines as the increased use of hashtags created a buzz around the social space. Southwest Airlines got data acquisition as well as increased brand loyalty.

What led to such success was the relatability around the hashtag. Everyone has those moments in their lives when they wanted to get away from daily chaos. 

The simple procedure of entering the contest was another benefitting factor; users could win a free trip by posting their thoughts using two hashtags: #WannaGetAway & #Contest.

Benefits Of A UGC Hashtag Contest For Your Brand

#1 Increase Visibility On Social Space

When you organize a hashtag contest with a memorable or relatable hashtag and a prize worth fighting for, more people will participate.

hashtag contest ideas

More people will tweet or post about your brand, which will eventually increase your visibility on social space and create brand awareness. It will become an attraction factor for your potential customers.

#2 Improve Brand Loyalty

Hashtag contests or any other kind of campaigns are a way for brands to see how loyal their customers are. And in a way, customers take hashtag contests and giveaways as rewards for their loyalty.

Hashtag Contests with attractive prizes make your customers like you more and encourages them to participate. Even if they are not winners, you can always encourage them by giving an insight into future campaigns or contests. You can showcase positive ecommerce UGC to highlight customer satisfaction. This would improve your brand loyalty.

#3 Fun Way To Create Conversations

Like the use-case we mentioned earlier, you could use a hashtag related to the latest trend or something your customers would relate to. Give your customers a blank canvas and let them give their perspective around your unique hashtag.

People love to express themselves on social media, and when you let them, you will make the whole contest fun, and more people will talk about your hashtag, which will create more conversations. 

#4 Content For Future Marketing Purposes

The contest is over, and you have announced the winner. Now what? What will you do with all the user-generated content you have collected. You can use them for future marketing purposes.

Taggbox widget allows you to create a social wall for your aggregated social media posts. You can embed it on your website, use it during any event or simply display it on your store. This would also help you improve your marketing game.

Platforms To Run The UGC Hashtag Contest


Twitter is considered the foundation of hashtags because that’s where people started using them. Originally hashtags were used to create conversations and make certain topics of discussion easier to find.

Even today, hashtags are a major tool for anyone to share their opinion and make it visible to a larger audience talking about a similar topic. Marketers have taken this opportunity to run various hashtag campaigns to create brand awareness and attract the audience.

Twitter becomes the perfect platform to run the UGC Hashtag contest because Twitter’s audience loves using hashtags; with every tweet they make, adding a hashtag is almost like a necessity. So it gets easier to encourage people to use your branded hashtag. 

Another prominent feature of Twitter is the 280 character limit; with Twitter users know for being witty, you can surely get some unique and fun-to-read and display content for your future marketing purposes.


With over 1 billion active users, Instagram becomes a very important social media platform for you. People love posting on Instagram and scrolling through the pictures or videos posted by others. 

Instagram is the main hub for marketers as it has features like Story, Reels, IGTV videos, Live-streaming, and whatnot.

ugc hashtag contest

Instagram is different from Twitter as it focuses more on visual content than textual content. With Instagram, you can encourage the participants to post unique pictures and ideas revolving around your brand using your branded hashtag. 

With so much visual content, you can use it for your future marketing campaigns by displaying it on various platforms to build brand trust, awareness, and uniqueness.

Over To You

We come to the end of the blog where you got to know how to run UGC hashtag content, and most importantly, a successful one. 

Keep everything in consideration, and with just the right UGC platform like Taggbox, you are all set for this new marketing adventure! 

Manage Your Hashtag Campaign with UGC Suite

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