Ever since the emergence of social media marketing, and given that the platform has a huge customer base, it has become vital for brands to go viral on various social media marketing platforms and connect with their audience. That is certainly why various brands across the world have been extremely concerned about their social media presence.
When it comes to getting viral and creating a subject to initiate or regulate social media interactions- #hashtag does a pretty good job. Initially, Hashtag was a user innovation. It was soon adopted by social media channels to hyperlink the search results. By adding this trending feature to their interface, social platforms allowed the users to collect information, drive conversions, and express their emotions.
Well, it isn’t the only way hashtags can be used. It has evolved in a tremendous way. In the recent past, many brands practised a few hashtag campaigns, and for some, it worked out extremely well. However, on the other hand, it backfired some as well.
The major difference to observe here that led to someone’s success and other’s failure was the pattern behind the curation of the hashtag campaign.
Therefore, this blog is to upgrade your knowledge about what is a Hashtag Campaign? How to create your successful Hashtag campaign, and what benefits does it offer.
So, let’s get started.
What Are Hashtag Campaigns?
#Hashtag, often employed by small businesses, startups, big brands, and multinational companies, is a smooth way to gather more information and gain popularity. They do this by creating “Hashtag Campaigns”.
Simply defined, a Hashtag Campaign is a marketing vehicle to keep in pace with the dynamic audience. It is created by customizing a unique hashtag to launch a new product, catch up on an old existing product, or to promote an event.
Moreover, such campaigns are an advantageous strategy for the brands and are a perfect choice for brands to gain social media attention.
Why Do Brands Use Hashtag Campaigns?
1. Promotes products/events socially and effectively.
Hashtags help in increasing the visibility of the product and makes it easier to track it. It helps the brands to gain social media spotlight revolving around their events and products.
2. Explore and aggregate more information.
Hashtag Campaigns helps the brands to collect more information using hashtag search results. Hashtags make information easily accessible for the brands as it helps in the categorization of the content.
3. Boost user engagement.
Brands sometimes run contests and giveaway events using hashtag campaigns. Such events help the brands to boost customer engagement and get maximum audiences involved. This helps the brand to increase followers and get popularity.
4. Establish brand awareness.
These hashtag campaigns help the brands to launch new products and to even announce new events. Such marketing strategies create brand awareness in the wider community and help the brands in increasing sales.
Now since we know the benefits of hashtag campaigns, let us have a deep understanding of how to create a hashtag campaign and what are the key points to keep into consideration.
How To Create A Hashtag Campaign
The elementary step towards a successful hashtag campaign is to create a unique hashtag that can easily go viral on social media and can trigger the maximum audience reach.
Here are some tips for creating a hashtag campaign.
- Your Hashtag should connect with your targeted audience.
- Keep your Hashtag short and simple. Try to keep it below 12 characters.
- Capitalize each word to avoid the miss-spell of words.
- Avoid hashtags that directly relate to your brand’s name.
- Design hashtags that define your marketing goal.
Hashtag Do’s and Don’ts
There are various annoying patterns people put into hashtags. It does not only make the Hashtag look unattractive, but it also reduces its relevance.
1. Follow the KISS rule that is “keep it small and simple”.
A complicated; difficult to memorize Hashtag is liked by no one. The fewer people will remember your Hashtag, the lesser will they use it.
2. The Hashtag should be easy to use and read too.
#dontforgettouppercaseyourinitialletters. Couldn’t understand what’s written right? So, remember if you create such long hashtags and do not use the correct font or pattern #ToWriteIt, it will not be an effective hashtag.
3. Please note, a hashtag does not recognize any punctuation mark. Therefore, kindly do not put any (,[email protected]$”:) in your Hashtag.
What makes a hashtag campaign successful?
1. Research the Spheres of your Target Audience.
Before framing successful hashtag campaigns, it is essential for you to analyze the target audience. There has to be a classification of the audience group that you want to attract towards the campaign. Once you have a fair idea of the targeted audience, we recommend you to begin analyzing their social media activities.
The motive of the research should be to understand the kind of content they would preferably lookup for and the content they have been currently looking for. Then, curate your campaign around the requirement of the audience. It will give you an edge over as such a well-designed campaign will urge the audience to participate and spread the word.
2. Analyze and Prioritize the Channels for Interaction.
Once well aware of your targeted audience, it is important that you reach to them through appropriate channels. Hashtags are used over almost every social media network (excluding LinkedIn, everywhere else). In such a scenario, you would have to be extremely particular about choosing the platform.
It is so because every other social media platform caters to a distributive content type. Hence, it is preferable to opt. for channels that possess the audience that treasures conversations relevant to the brand. This allows the campaign to deliver its idea most effectively.
3. Uncomplicated Participation Scheme.
Hashtag campaigns fail if people either do not participate or else the Hashtag gets hijacked. The first scenario can be the worst-case to experience. Therefore, once you have your campaign in place, make sure to interact with people, and involve them in the campaign.
The more the people will participate, the more outreach you will achieve. Here, one major factor that affects audience participation is the flexibility of your participation schemes. The Minimum the cost and time consumption for entering the contest, the more will be the number of participants.
4. Showcase the Output through Real-Time Marketing Tools.
The best way to showcase the generated output and using it to fetch more outreach is by using real-time marketing tools, such as a Hashtag wall. The emergence of digital signage has brought hashtag wall into existence. The basic feature of a hashtag wall is to aggregate live social media hashtag feeds and showcasing all the updates derived from various channels and networks on one screen like an Instagram wall, Twitter wall, or social media wall.
You can use a hashtag aggregator and generate an amass output of the participatory live Hashtag feeds for your trending hashtag campaign. The showcasing will also encourage more people to participate and get their live feeds being displayed onto the hashtag wall or social media wall.
Some Trending Hashtag Campaigns That Gained World Popularity
1. #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
#ShareACoke is one of the most popular hashtag campaigns that reached to thick and thin layers of social media and gained huge popularity worldwide.
The idea of the campaign was to attract people to share a bottle of coke by offering personalized labels for the bottles. It generated greater sales for the brand than before.
To further boost the impacts of the campaign, it collaborated with stars like Ryan Seacrest and Selena Gomez. This added to the success of the campaign, and it seemed as if people from all over the world did #ShareACoke.
2. #LetsDoLunch by Domino’s Pizza
Domino’s UK launched a hashtag campaign in 2012, by the name #LetsDoLunch. It was to promote their popular pizza, the pepperoni passion, and to catch the attention of the customers. The event lasted until lunchtime and was a huge success for the company.
The catch was, for every tweet made using the Hashtag, the price of pepperoni pizza was to be dropped by a penny. After innumerable tweets, the price of pizza dropped from 15.99 pounds to 7.74 pounds.
The reduced price lasted for a day, which provoked many customers to buy pizza because of this huge discount.
This short span campaign, not only helped Dominos boost sales but also increased its popularity and followers.
3. #WantAnR8 by Audi
This campaign is considered as the most distinctive one from all the hashtag campaigns that have marked their impact on social media.
This started as a result of a tweet from one of the fans of Audi who wanted to ride this amazing R8 just after its launch.
And you’ll be amazed to know that Audi surprised her by giving her a ride of Audi R8 for a day.
This event gained huge momentum on social media as many other people started posing their desire with the same Hashtag, and surprisingly Audi gave many of them a chance to fulfil their wish.
With more than 75 thousand tweets, Audi’s new launch touched the zenith of popularity.
4. #KnowYourLemons by Worldwide Breast Cancer Organization
In 2017, Worldwide Breast Cancer Organization launched a hashtag campaign #KnowYourLemons. The motive behind this campaign was to create awareness among the women about breast cancer and to convince them to get their breasts regularly checked.
The concept went viral worldwide, as it provided an interesting way to inform women about some lesser-known symptoms of cancer.
All the above examples depict how User-Generated content can help brands achieve their goals and how brands make maximum use of this content to generate sales and growth. But sometimes, these hashtag campaigns can even go off the track and can ruin your marketing strategy.
Hashtag campaigns That Fizzled Out
1. #McDStories by McDonald’s
One of the world’s largest burger chains, McDonald’s once initiated a hashtag campaign with a name #McDStories to let people post their experiences about happy meals.
Instead, it attracted negative tweets with people posting their experiences of vomiting after eating the meal and also about the nails in the patties, using the Hashtag.
It soon became a nightmare for the big brand such that the franchise removed the promoted Hashtag in less than an hour.
Entenmann, an American sweets manufacturer, used the #NotGuilty to promote their low-calorie sweets by saying, “Who is #NotGuilty about eating all the tasty treats they want?”
But, the Hashtag it used was said to be hijacked as this same Hashtag was used a few years back by the people to share their thoughts against the court verdict that accused Casey Anthony of murdering her 2-year old child.
The company then apologized sincerely for what it did. But once it’s viral, it’s hard to get your back off from the situation.
Hashtag Campaigns are the ingredients of success when it comes to expanding your brand socially worldwide.
With this new generation of social media enthusiasts, brands can rely on these platforms to generate more engagement. And what’s better than Hashtags to pump up your marketing strategy. So, to have a successful hashtag campaign, consider the above points, and choose your Hashtag wisely.