6 Powerful Ways to Use Hashtags in Your Digital Campaigns
Published: March 6, 2018
Author: Lexie Lu
By spending just a few minutes on social media, you’ll see it’s difficult to miss prevalent posts that include hashtags. We all know that hashtags aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. Still, you may wonder whether it’s worthwhile to include them in a digital marketing campaign.
There are numerous ways they could help your efforts gain traction and maintain momentum. Here are six of them.
1. The Right Ones Make Your Business More Relevant
Many people use hashtags to find content they’re interested in on social media. For example, they might use #Oscars to find published material about who took home the trophies and wore the most outstanding attire after a ceremony.
However, it’s crucial to perform research and determine which hashtags are most appropriate for your business. Pay attention to trending hashtags, the ones that are most popular across platforms and the ones used by successful social media influencers.
A great hashtag is easy to remember. When people readily call it to mind, they’re more likely to use the hashtag in their posts, which gives your business more visibility.
2. You Can Tap into a Worldwide Tradition
Although the things said when toasting might differ by country, the act of raising glasses together to celebrate something is popular around the world. A well-chosen hashtag can connect your brand with a behavior almost everyone recognizes.
In 2015, Coca-Cola set a world record for its #ShareACoke campaign. In only a 24-hour period, the hashtag generated over 170,500 mentions around the globe. The drink brand accompanied the hashtag with a themed image on Twitter that showed two bottles of Coke clinking together.
Plus, as you can see from the image above, it’s a hashtag the brand still uses. The sentiment of the hashtag captures the sentiment of enjoying Coca-Cola together, and it’s a relatable theme that resonates with audiences.
3. Use Hashtags on Physical Promotional Materials at Highly Trafficked Events
Even when focusing on hashtags for digital campaigns, don’t overlook creative ways to incorporate them into the physical realm, such as on banners used at your trade show booth. You may even want to set up photo opportunities by designing a cardboard frame people can hold in front of themselves while snapping pics.
People love to mention they’re attending fun or prolific gatherings. That’s why it makes sense to encourage them to share photos related to your brand on social media — and potentially use your hashtag and the event’s hashtag simultaneously.
4. Hashtags Can Spread the Word about Upcoming or Current Events
IKEA has recently made strong impacts on the marketing sector with its inventive campaigns. The retailer also understands how to use hashtags effectively.
The #MakeRoomForIKEA hashtag helped advertise an in-store event to help get people in the mood to use products from IKEA to transform rooms in their home. This hashtag and the name of the event are particularly clever because they also cause people to associate IKEA with ways to make over their homes — by making room for the brand.
5. Hashtags Can Show Support for Societal Movements
Recent times have had no shortage of hashtags linked to social causes. Examples include #BlackLivesMatter and #TakeAKnee — both of which highlighted racial inequality — and #MeToo, the hashtag that reminded the world how sexual harassment and assault are such prevalent problems.
If you’re trying to build a personal brand or are a business that has made a conscious decision to show support for a certain issue, hashtags let you join the conversation. However, do so with caution and think carefully about the ramifications that could occur if you use a hashtag to speak out by supporting a controversial cause.
Actress Gillian Anderson wasn’t afraid to make her personal brand more diverse by boldly showing solidarity and participating with those who chose to wear black to the Golden Globes to signal they’ve had enough with sexual assaults in Hollywood. The incidents frequently happen to women trying to break into the entertainment industry, and those individuals are warned to keep quiet or risk damaging their careers.
Anderson is an established actress, most recently working on “The Fall” and “The X-Files.” The latter of those two came back on the air in early January. Now that fans of the show — so-called X-Philes — have evolved and use social media to stay in the loop, Anderson’s timing and decision to go public with her support extends her reach. Her example also illustrates how it’s sometimes okay to use multiple hashtags in a post.
6. You Can Encourage People to Connect Your Brand with Their Favorite Activities
Some brands place the hashtags of other companies in their social media feeds to give a nod of approval or emphasize how two things go well together. Putting another brand’s hashtag in your own post also lets you reach out to the people who follow that other feed.
For example, you might directly appeal to fans of NBC’s hit show “This Is Us” by using the #NBCThisisUs hashtag and bringing up how your product — whether it is a type of popcorn, a pair of cozy slippers, a brand of tea, or something else — makes viewing the latest episode even better.
Consider if you had a type of coffee called Evolution Beans. You could write a post that says “Are you as excited as we are to watch #NBCThisisUs tonight? Make your viewing experience even better and brew a hot #EvolutionBeans beverage first.
Taking this approach shows a couple of things. First, it capitalizes on the fact you’re in tune with the things people like to do with their free time. It also urges people to combine the product you sell with those activities, thereby bringing attention to your brand and inserting it into societal trends.
Over a decade ago — before hashtags were so firmly part of the international consciousness — Kit Kat found success after doing research and discovering that most people polled liked to pair chocolate and coffee together. The chocolate bar brand then wisely launched a “Kit Kat and Coffee” radio campaign that focused on how people shouldn’t consume just any kind of chocolate with their coffee — instead, Kit Kats would be perfect.
It’s obvious from this list that hashtags aren’t just things you insert into digital marketing campaigns because it seems everyone else is doing it. By developing firm strategies and figuring out what you want to achieve through the use of hashtags, you can build or maintain your brand and associated digital marketing campaigns.