Hashtag Contests & Promotions Defined
Happy New Year! We are excited to be back in the office after a nice little holiday vacation. Today we’re talking “hashtag promotions”.
Way back when we wrote a post about the type of hashtagging the FTC requires when running certain types of promotions. Today we thought we’d take it a step further and talk about hashtag promotions specifically (also called “hashtag contests” or “hashtag sweepstakes”). Whether you’ve run one already or are a newbie, we’ve got all of the details below.
HOW DOES A HASHTAG PROMOTION WORK?
Most standard online promotions involve some type of entry form the entrant needs to complete in order to receive his or her entry. A hashtag contest or sweepstakes works differently in that the entrant obtains his or her entry by posting a designated hashtag to a particular social network.
You can run hashtag promotions on a variety of social networks (including Instagram and Twitter to name a few). But you’ll need to pay careful attention to each individual social network's promotion guidelines to ensure compliance (don’t worry, we’ll help with that). Facebook in particular can be a tough one when it comes to hashtag contests and sweepstakes.
WHY SHOULD I RUN A HASHTAG CONTEST OR SWEEPSTAKES?
A lot of our clients run hashtag contests and sweepstakes because they are cost effective. You don’t have to set up a promotion website and they are a great way to grow your social following. In short, they're pretty easy to get up and running. Pair that with the various cost savings and it's a win.
WHAT DOES THE FTC REQUIRE?
According to the FTC's requirements, making the word "contest" or "sweepstakes" part of the hashtag should be enough to alert readers that a post was incentivized. A sample of that would be to use #ABC_Sweepstakes instead of "ABC_sweeps or separate hashtags like, "ABC and "Sweeps.
We wrote a blog post about this last year that provides a bit more detail. Check it out here!
HOW MUCH DO THEY COST?
Hashtag promotions offer a great savings in that there is no website to build for entry collection. You do still need to comply with promotional laws which require things like Official Rules and bonding and registration (if the total prizes awarded exceed $5,000). You may choose to pull the entries directly from the public social feed on your own or ask us to do it for you. Either way we can help with the various administrative tasks (which also includes winner notification, verification and prize fulfillment).
Contact Us at any time to chat about your ideas and get an official quote. Looking forward to it!