Dana Sullivan Kilroy is a communications professional with more than 20 years of experience delivering compelling content. Her work has appeared in national, award-winning publications and sites, including: The New York Times, The Los Angeles Times, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and Fast Company, Inc.
Are you looking for ideas for Halloween Instagram contests? Want to build some momentum for your brand going into the even bigger November and December holidays?An Instagram hashtag contest is the way to go.Instagram and hashtags go together like Stephen King and It; adding a contest to the mix can make your marketing efforts scary effective. Instagram contests are entertaining, but they also motivate people to follow and engage with your business, and perhaps promote your products and services too.In this post we’ll look at three ideas for Instagram hashtag contests that will grab your fans’ attention.
Basic hashtag contest
To run a hashtag contest, all you have to do is ask people to post an image on Instagram and include your branded hashtag in the caption. That’s it!Once they post, they’re entered to win. If you're using ShortStack, you can collect all the entries in a database and use our random entry picker tool to choose the winner. If you're not using ShortStack you'll choose a random winner. Just be sure to spell out in your bio, or on your rules page, how the winner will be chosen. (Here's a template you can use to post rules.)As you formulate the posts encouraging people to enter, make sure to include several industry-related hashtags in your captions. Hashtags help you gain access to a wider audience. Not sure which hashtags to use? Research popular hashtags that will help people find your business and contest, and include a couple of them.Here’s an example of a simple hashtag contest. Notice how the caption clearly communicates what people need to do to enter, and how the nightclub also asks people to follow their account.
Selfie or product promotion contest
For a selfie contest, you’ll ask your followers to post a photo of them using or posing with your product. The goal is to get people to show off your product and your business’ name/logo in fun and creative ways.The sky’s the limit with this one. You could ask your followers to pose with your product in unique locales, or, if selfies aren’t your style, you could ask them to show off an alternative use for your product.With this type of hashtag contest, there’s a good chance you’ll see some fantastic user-generated content (UGC) that you’ll want to use for your own marketing at some point down the road. Make sure you’re using a software tool that helps you request rights and secure explicit permission to use the content so you’re building a library of photos (and video) at the same time you’re capturing your fans’ attention. (Here's a template where you can post terms and conditions for UGC you collect.)
Costume contests are everywhere during the month of October, but how about a contest for people who don’t dress up? Like a fall home-decorating contest, or a recipe contest that asks people to show off their pumpkin-preparation prowess.You’d ask people to submit their favorite pumpkin recipe, accompanied by a photo. You collect and display the entries on a landing page and then determine the winner by number of votes.As with the selfie contest described above, a voting contest that collects user-generated content could bring you a rich collection of photos and/or video you could use in future marketing. Again, make sure you have rights to use it.
Get started with Halloween Instagram contests
Instagram and Halloween were made for each other.Take the time to think about ways your business can scare up some enthusiasm from your customers and followers. If you'd like to learn more about how our team can help you with Halloween or Holiday contests, get in touch!
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