Advanced Hashtag Competitions can collect entries from Instagram by finding posts that were a) created between the open and close dates of the competition and b) that are tagged with your chosen hashtag and c) that mention you.
In some cases, the number of entries/posts available in the platform may be different to the search results seen within Instagram itself. This article explains why this may be the case.
There are two main reasons:
1. Entry criteria are configured to limit entries per user
If you have configured your experience to allow only one entry per user or one entry per user per day, then any additional entries that break this rule will be invalidated. You can review these by going to the "Entries" area and using the drop-down at the top-left of the screen (swapping from "Entries" to "Excluded").
2. Posts that are modified after creation
We check Instagram every few minutes for content created during your competition period. Instagram returns posts that mention your chosen account and are tagged with the chosen hashtag within the caption field only (not within comments).
Consider the following scenarios:
- A user creates a post before the competition open date with the chosen hashtag and mention
In this case, we will not accept it as the post was created before the competition started.
- A user creates a post before the competition and then, after the competition has started, adds the hashtag and mention to the caption or in a comment
In this case, we will not accept it as the post was created before the competition started. Note also that we do not accept hashtags and mentions in comments, only in captions.
- A user creates a post after the competition has started, but does not tag it immediately with the hashtag and mention, but does so later.
The post will be accepted once the hashtag and mention are added. Keep in mind that we do not accept hashtags and mentions in comments, only in captions.
- A user creates a post after the competition has started and another user comments on it and uses the chosen hashtag and mention.
In this case, we will not accept it as Instagram doesn't consider a hashtag or mention in a comment by a third-party to relate directly to the post.
What to do
Ensure that the information posted in the campaign (including the T&Cs) details explicitly that only posts created within the competition period will be considered, that the caption must mention your chosen account and include the competition hashtag, and outline any additional entry criteria in place (such as one entry per day, per Instagram user).
If you would like further assistance with hashtag competitions, please contact your Customer Success Manager.