Best Hashtags to Use for Sweepstakes or Contests in 2022

Learn about hashtags and how to use them effectively in sweepstakes and contests. You can use hashtags to attract contest participants and to help increase the engagement of your social media posts.

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Do you know what the best hashtags for sweepstakes and contests are in 2022? Do you know how to find trending hashtags that are relevant to your target audience? How about how to create branded hashtags and use them effectively?

This article explains how to effectively use hashtags with sweepstakes and contests that include a mix of popular, relevant and branded hashtags, and why using trending hashtags isn’t always the right approach.

Let’s get started.


  • Why do sweepstakes and contests use hashtags?
  • How do you use hashtags efficiently?
  • Do hashtags attract contest participants?

What Are Hashtags?

Twitter first introduced hashtags as a social media platform feature in 2007. However, they are now used on many social media sites including TikTok, Facebook, LinkedIn, and Instagram. Hashtags are designed to help put social media content into categories. By including the #[KEYWORD] with your social media post, other people can see what you wrote along with the other posts using that same hashtags.

For sweepstakes and contests, hashtags may be used in a number of different ways from marking your post as an additional entry to advertising the brand sponsoring the promotion. How you use hashtags in your contest or sweepstakes marketing will largely depend on the social media sites that you use to reach your audience.


How to Find Trending Hashtags for Your Social Media Contest

Finding the right hashtags for your social media contest or sweepstakes promotion is easier when you look for the ones that already exist. You can use tools to find trending hashtags or analyze sweepstakes and contests run by other brands to see which hashtags they use for their campaigns.


How to Find Hashtags on Each Social Media Network

  1. Find Hashtags on Twitter: You can view the trending and popular hashtags on the sidebar to your Twitter newsfeed.
  2. Find Hashtags on Instagram: You can browse trending hashtags by opening the Instagram app and tapping on the search icon (which is at the bottom of the screen). You can add hashtags to your status update, published article, and business page.
  3. Find Hashtags on TikTok: TikTok has a dedicated page inside the TikTok Creative Center where you can browse trending hashtags and discover new trends on TikTok.
  4. Find Hashtags on LinkedIn: On LinkedIn, you can find any hashtags from the search bar at the top of the screen with auto suggestions that will appear as you type.
  5. Find Hashtags on Facebook: Hashtags are generally not used by Facebook users. But you can use hashtags to organize your Facebook Group posts into categories for your Group Members.
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Some examples of tools that you can use to find popular hashtags include:

Using a social media marketing tool, you can get even more in-depth information about hashtag usage, including influencer score, number of interactions, social media reach, and more to learn how people are using it, how they use it, and why. Make sure to do thorough research on hashtag usage first to avoid damaging your brand’s reputation.

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Should You Create Your Own Contest Hashtag?

There are times when you might want to create your own hashtag, so that you can track engagement and social posting activity. You can consider using your brand name as the hashtag or simply creating one that is related to your contest only.

Whatever your decision, just keep in mind that a good hashtag is memorable, relevant to brand, and unique. It should also be easy to remember or so broad that it’s possible that it might be used by others during your campaign.

Creating your own hashtag will even allow you to create branded merch featuring the hashtag.


Best Popular Hashtags to Use With #Sweepstakes or #Contest

Hashtags are one the most effective and cost-free tools for increasing reach on social media. Hashtags also increase engagement and CTR rates if you use the right ones. In addition to your branded hashtag for your sweepstakes or contest, consider using the following hashtags:

  • #promotion
  • #giveaway
  • #raffle
  • #contestalert
  • #contestentry
  • #giveawaywinner
  • #givewaycontest
  • #prizes
  • #enternow


Use Existing Holiday and Event Hashtags

Holidays, popular shopping days, sports events have their own hashtags. You can make your sweepstakes or contest become part of the conversation by telling participants to use relevant holiday hashtags or use them in your own branded social media posts.

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Other types of hashtags that trend include community hashtags, location hashtags, daily hashtags, and acronym hashtags. You need to do testing to figure out what is the right number of hashtags for your particular brand.


10 Tips for Effective Hashtag Usage for Sweepstakes and Contest Marketing

When hashtags are used effectively, it can help boost the quantity and quality of engagements with your sweepstakes or contest. Here are 10 tips and best practices for using hashtags to increase the visibility of your social media giveaway:

1. Choose the Trending Hashtags for Your Audience

Choosing specific hashtags, especially popular hashtags, that are already used frequently by your audience will help to attract more of your fans.

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2. Keep It Simple With Your Sweepstakes Hashtags

When creating your own hashtags, don’t be too smart or vague with your hashtag choice. No one searches for hashtags that are difficult for most people to remember or spell, making them virtually worthless.

3. Use Promotion Hashtags With Buyer Intent Keywords

The audience you want is customers. Make sure that you use hashtags that include buyer intent keywords occasionally to attract prospects who are more likely to convert immediately.


4. Don’t Overdo It If You Use Hashtags

It’s easy to think that the more hashtags you put, the greater your audiences. Don’t use the same hashtags in every post. Furthermore, don’t put too many hashtags in your posts as it can seem spammy to other users. Finally, mix it up. Your hashtags should be related to both your brand and content, but should also be highly relevant to the present moment and events as well.

5. Avoid Using Irrevelant Spammy Hashtags

You should also make sure to avoid hashtags that attract bots and spammy behavior so that you don’t attract participants who have no interest in your sweepstakes. These hashtags also attract spam signup attempts to your contest entry pages which waste your budget and time spent to block them.


6. Analyze Your Social Media Engagement From Contest Hashtags

Before and after using specific hashtag, check for trends in your social media analytics data. Are users more likely to convert when you use specific hashtags? Do certain hashtags generate more engagement than others? All of these details will help you optimize your hashtag usage in your sweepstakes or contest campaigns.


7. Use Short Popular Hashtags for Your Giveaway

Hashtags should be short. Longer hashtags are not only difficult to remember, they are also hard to read. Don’t try this because long hashtags don’t receive searches and can’t be searched at all.

8. Include Hashtag Usage Planning in Your Contest Marketing Strategy

If you are running an SMS sweepstakes, you might want to also consider matching your branded hashtag for your social media marketing to your dedicated shortcode for your SMS campaign. By doing this, you’ll be able to ensure that your branding is consistent across marketing channels.

Furthermore, by considering hashtags as you plan your contest marketing strategy, you can also make sure that the shortcode is available. The hashtag should also be usable with no or mostly niche relevant content being posted there before you commit to them by developing contest advertising materials.


9. Analyze the Usage of Trending Hashtags in Your Giveaway

The popular hashtags and trending hashtags will often bring the most engagement for your sweepstakes or contest, if you choose ones that are relevant to your audience. On the other hand, use popular hashtags could cause your messaging to be drowned out by the other “noise” from other social media users who are also using the same hashtag. If you want to trend on a popular hashtag, paid social media advertising is the better way to achieve this goal rather than hoping to go viral on the hashtag organically.

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10. Make Sure That Your Contest Hashtags Are Relevant to Your Audience

Even if a hashtag is popular, that doesn’t mean that it’s relevant to your audience. Make sure that your chosen hashtags are used frequently by your audience. Irrelevant hashtags may be considered as spammy to your audience and others on the platform. Irrelevant hashtags also have lower engagement rates when you use them.

When it comes to the hashtags that attract sweepstakes participants, don’t just guess. Use the hashtags that are recommended by a sweepstakes marketing company that have been proven to drive engagement and purchases from participants.

How to Find the Best Hashtags for Your Brand

Here’s the truth. You can plan your sweepstakes or contest around a particular hashtag, but you still need to promote it as well.

To gain traction for your hashtag before your contest starts, let your audience know about it by putting it in your bio or highlighting in your posts. You should also test out how easy it is for your audience to share by tracking engagement with it over time.

Keep an eye on your sweepstakes participants to see what hashtags they use in response to your promotion. You may find that their #contestentry or #sweepstakesentry hashtags are accompanied by others that you aren’t using yet for your brand.


🏁 Next Steps: Plan Your Social Media Contest

Now that you know how to find the best hashtags for sweepstakes and contests, the next step is planning your social media contest.

🔺 Ready to take your contest marketing strategy to the next level?

Read these articles for more contest marketing tips:

💙 9 Types of Social Media Contests and When to Run Them
💙 7 Steps to High Converting Social Media Contests: A Quick-Start Guide
💙 10 Legal Mistakes to Avoid With User-Generated Content and Social Media Contests
💙 What Are the Benefits of Running a Social Media Contest for Ecommerce?

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