How to Promote Your Brand Image Using UGC Hashtag Contests

This post looks into the intricacies of planning, executing, and leveraging UGC hashtag contests, offering actionable insights for brands to promote their image effectively.

How to Promote Your Brand Image Using UGC Hashtag Contests

Harnessing the power of user-generated content (UGC) through hashtag contests has evolved as a strategy for businesses or brands looking to boost their image and interact more directly and organically with their target audience.

UGC hashtag contests not only encourage creative content creation but also foster a deeper sense of community among participants, all while providing brands with a wealth of authentic marketing material. By engaging customers directly in the brand storytelling process, companies can leverage the unique perspectives and voices of their audience to enhance brand visibility, credibility, and trust.

This post looks into the intricacies of planning, executing, and leveraging UGC hashtag contests, offering actionable insights for brands to promote their image effectively.

What is a Hashtag Contest, and Why is it Important?

A hashtag contest is a social media marketing campaign where participants share content, such as photos, videos, or tweets, using a specific hashtag to participate. This tactic leverages user-generated content to increase brand visibility, engage with a target audience, and drive participation on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook. Participants use the designated hashtag in their posts, making it easy for the organizing brand or entity to track entries, engage with users, and sometimes select winners based on criteria set forth at the contest's inception.

Hashtag contests are important for several reasons. First, they significantly amplify brand reach by encouraging participants to share content within their networks, thus organically increasing visibility and awareness. These contests engage both existing followers and potential new customers directly, fostering a sense of community and loyalty.

Also, they generate a wealth of user-generated content that can provide valuable social proof, showcasing real people using a product or service, which can be more persuasive than traditional advertising. Again, hashtag contests offer insights into customer preferences and behavior, serving as a tool for market research and helping to guide future marketing strategies.

How to Promote Your Brand Image Using UGC Hashtag Contests

1. Planning Your UGC Hashtag Contest

Setting clear objectives and goals for your UGC hashtag contest lays the foundation for a successful campaign. It involves identifying what you aim to achieve, such as increasing brand awareness, driving engagement, or collecting user-generated content for future marketing efforts. Choosing the right social media platforms is crucial, as it should align with where your target audience spends their time.

Understanding your audience's preferences and behaviors allows for tailored engagement strategies. When deciding on the hashtag, creativity and relevance play pivotal roles. An effective and memorable hashtag should be easy to remember, specific to your campaign, and encourage participation.

2. Designing Your Contest Rules and Guidelines

Crafting clear, concise, and fair rules ensures participants understand how to enter and what to expect. It's essential to consider legal considerations and compliance with privacy laws and the terms of service of the platforms you're using. Setting up participation criteria, such as age, location, and content restrictions, helps in filtering entries and avoiding potential legal issues.

3. Promoting Your Hashtag Contest

Effective promotion of your hashtag contest is key to its visibility and success. Strategies should include a mix of announcement methods, from social media posts to email newsletters. Leveraging influencers and brand ambassadors can amplify your message, reaching a broader audience. Cross-promotion across different social media channels widens your contest's reach, while paid advertising options provide targeted visibility to potential participants who are most likely to engage.

4. Engaging Participants and Building Community

Encouraging high-quality submissions not only enriches your campaign but also sets a standard for the kind of content your brand stands for. Techniques to increase interaction and engagement include actively commenting on posts, asking follow-up questions, or sharing behind-the-scenes content related to the contest.

Highlighting and sharing participant entries not only validates their effort but also motivates others to join. A successful UGC hashtag contest fosters a sense of community among participants, creating a shared experience that resonates with your audience and strengthens their connection to your brand.

5. Accessing and Choosing Your Hashtag Contest Winners

Accessing and selecting winners involves creating fair and transparent criteria that participants understand from the outset, ensuring integrity and trust in the competition. Selection methods vary, from public voting, which fosters community involvement and engagement, to a panel of judges, offering expertise and impartiality. When announcing winners, best practices include timely communication, showcasing winning entries, and expressing gratitude to all participants to maintain excitement and engagement.

One of the challenges of gathering UGC from a contest is managing the entry method, collection procedure, participant task verification, and winner selection. Manually doing this process can be intimidating, time-consuming, and challenging. Therefore, using platforms like can streamline the contest process, from setting up to selecting winners, offering tools that ensure a smooth, efficient, and engaging experience for both organizers and participants.

This approach simplifies logistics but also enhances the overall transparency and fairness of the assessment and selection process, making it easier to manage public votes or judge inputs while ensuring the contest remains enjoyable and rewarding for everyone involved.

6. Leveraging UGC Post-Contest

After a UGC hashtag contest concludes, the real work begins to maximize the value of the content gathered. Brands can harness this user-generated content by featuring it prominently on their websites, social media profiles, and other marketing materials, turning participants' creativity into powerful testimonials. This strategy enhances brand authenticity and deepens customer engagement.

To assess the impact of UGC on brand perception and overall engagement, companies employ various metrics such as engagement rates, website traffic, and social media sentiment analysis. This data-driven approach helps in understanding how user-generated content resonates with the broader audience and influences brand image.

7. Analyzing and Learning from Your Contest

Effective analysis of a UGC contest involves deploying specific tools and metrics to gauge its success. Engagement metrics, conversion rates, and participant feedback serve as invaluable indicators of contest performance. By collecting and evaluating participant insights, brands gain a clearer understanding of their audience's preferences and expectations.

This iterative process of analysis and learning enables organizations to refine their marketing strategies, ensuring that future UGC contests are more aligned with their target audience's interests and more effective in achieving marketing objectives. Continuous improvement based on concrete data and participant feedback is key to maximizing the return on investment in UGC campaigns.

How to Promote Your Brand with a Share 'n' Win Hashtag Campaign Using

Creating a UGC contest can help you reach multiple goals: increased brand awareness and visibility, social proof, credibility and authority, and increased user engagement. With, it's straightforward to do without installing any plugin or browser extension. Sign up and create your project profile, select the giveaway mode, add necessary information about the giveaway and how to participate, and create your video contest campaign.

When using for a UGC campaign, you can require participants to complete a simple activity, such as sharing information about your brand, product, or service, as a contest entry condition. In this manner, you can create excitement for your giveaway while collecting valuable UGC for future marketing efforts.

Here's a boilerplate template for how creators and businesses leveraged YouTube video contests to generate user-generated content for brand awareness, social proof, and increased engagement.

This is a simple user-generated content giveaway campaign that requires participants to complete these simple tasks to claim the prize. The tasks for participants to earn the reward are simple:

  • Visit the channel page
  • Create and submit a short video

As you see in the image, this is a simple contest campaign to collect user-generated content to achieve increased brand awareness and visibility, social proof, credibility and authority, and increased user engagement.

The campaign is a timed draw contest in which the prize can be manually distributed to participants that completed the task.

Easy, right?

Click here to create a similar Share ‘n’ Win hashtag campaign for your brand!


Promoting your brand image through UGC hashtag contests represents a dynamic and interactive approach to marketing, one that capitalizes on the authentic voices of your customer base. Successfully executing these contests demands thoughtful planning, strategic promotion, and a keen eye for engaging content. However, the real value lies in the aftermath, where you can use the collected content to reinforce your brand's narrative and learn from each campaign to refine future efforts.