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How To Use Hashtags To Boost Your Marketing Campaign

Hashtag marketing is everywhere—on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and other social platforms.

Although it may initially seem like random words paired with a number sign, hashtags are powerful when used correctly.

Today, you’re going to learn how to use hashtags for better-targeted marketing campaigns.

Soon, you will be able to connect with a bigger audience, improve brand awareness, and increase your online presence. Your tag might even go viral!

This is every business’ dream, so make sure to keep reading.

Let’s begin!

What is Hashtag Marketing?

#Hashtag marketing is now a key component on all the social platforms.

This renowned symbol is used to drive user engagement and boost impressions.

How is it doing all this, you ask?

Well, hashtags make content more searchable. This encourages users to talk about a specific brand.

Emerging trends and hot topics are also popularized through a hashtag. Whenever a user adds a hashtag to a photo or post, it is indexed by the social network and becomes discoverable by other users.

But using hashtags can be tricky sometimes.

How do you utilize hashtags in your campaign without being annoying?

What can you do to drive results?

Here’s the answer:

How It’s Done

A. Use branded hashtags

For branded hashtags, think of a slogan or catchphrase that is unique to your brand.

Your brand hashtags become your signature, so it should be special to your business.

Branded tags are beneficial because your audience will be able to share posts with you using this hashtag. In turn, the online community can find content related to your brand.

For example, in a previous post, we mentioned how successful the #ShareACoke campaign was.

Image via bandt.com.au

#ShareACoke worked tremendously because of how personal it felt.

Because of its uniqueness, the hashtag was able to build a lasting discussion around Coca-Cola.

And since the names were so personal, online communities were on a hunt to find Coke bottles with their names on it.

This is the underlying power of branded hashtags—you encourage the audience to learn about your products while subtly promoting them.

Your branded tags can likewise be used when you do online giveaways or contests

In the long run, this will create a positive ripple effect.

B. See what’s trending

When multiple users include a hashtag on their post, that hashtag will likely start trending.

This isn’t even exclusive to hashtags. Even ordinary words, phrases, or names will start trending if enough people keep talking about it.

These are some worldwide trends on Twitter:

Trends change constantly, depending on how many people are still engaged in a topic.

As such, trending topics can last minutes or can stretch for days. When you see a trend that relates to your business, don’t be afraid to use that to your advantage.

This allows you to reach an insane amount of users all at once.

Anyone who clicks on the trending topic will be able to see your post there. Make sure you post something witty, original, and downright unforgettable!

If users like and share it, it can boost your impressions. Your post might even go viral!

Look at how KFC took advantage of the trend #NationalFriedChickenDay:

Pretty soon, customers started tagging KFC with the hashtag #NationalFriedChickenDay in their posts.

C. Recognize Special Holidays/Events

During special holidays or events, social media comes up with themed hashtags to celebrate.

Here’s what menswear brand Bonobos posted for St. Patrick’s Day:

This doesn’t just apply to regular holidays.

There are also special days—”social media holidays” as they call it—where you can post relevant content. #NationalFriedChickenDay was just one example.

A few others are National Pie Day, International Women’s Day, Employee Appreciation Day, and many more!

Take a look at what Sonic Drive-In posted on National Handwriting Day:

Not only does this post take advantage of a trending topic, but it also does social good for public school teachers. 

The hashtag is very relevant to the company’s social cause.

D. Get in touch with influencers

Knowing your audience also means you know which influencers they closely follow.

Influencer marketing is continuously on the rise. In fact, 67 percent of marketers promote content with the help of an influencer.

The reason behind this is simple. It is much easier to reach an audience by taking advantage of other people’s network.

It works like this: Instead of targeting an audience that may be scattered all over the internet, you’re able to reach your target audience faster (and easier) through an influencer’s network.

But it’s not right to select any influencer right off the bat. You have to make sure that these people are relevant in your industry.

For example, if you run a makeup brand, you would naturally get beauty influencers to promote your product.

And once you’re able to partner with these influencers, you can ask them to use a branded hashtag for promotion.

Influencer campaigns with branded tags are easier to track. It also helps increase brand awareness.

If trusted influencers enjoy what you have, you better believe that their followers will too.

Here’s an example of an influencer post by Brock and Chris of Yummertime.

Influencers Brock and Chris often do partnerships with brands. From the post above, they partnered with the appliance company Maytag in promoting their product—an oven gas range.

This isn’t just an ordinary product post where influencers simply tag the company. The caption says that the oven fits perfectly within limited space. Plus, it also cooks food faster using the Power Preheat feature.

The key takeaway here is that your message should respond to your overall goal. Thus, influencers need to promote your brand with a lasting, impactful message. It can be about sharing what’s unique about your product or how you can answer consumers’ needs.

It’s not enough to put random quotes in the caption and lazily tag the brand who sponsored the post. That’s not how it works, sweetie.

If you put much thought into your blogs, the same rules apply to your social media content.

E. Employ content-related hashtags

Hashtags that reflect your content don’t have to trend, they just have to be used and searched by other users.

Content-related hashtags are simply tagged words that relate to your content.

For example, an Instagram post about books can be tagged with “#bookgram” or “#instabooks”.

If you were a tourist traveling to Canada for example, the hashtag “#Canada” can also be used.

Content-related tags work because they optimize content for search. If someone looks up a specific hashtag, your post will likely pop up.

These tags are particularly good for selling physical products, operating in a specific store location, participating in related events, or sharing posts relevant to the company’s niche.

Notice how clothing brand Old Navy commented several hashtags below their post, all of which are related to what they’re trying to promote.

There’s #outfitinspo, #ootd, #STYLE, among others.

Successful Hashtag Campaigns

A. Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins

You may think it’s difficult to sell underwear, but not for Calvin Klein.

I guess you could say that the topless celebrity models who were featured in their ads helped them draw some attention.

But beyond that, the #MyCalvins campaign has been very effective because it captures the desires of an audience. And because interest is already there, this encourages them to create a lot of user-generated content across all platforms.

In fact, there are 760,000 Instagram posts with the hashtag #MyCalvins as of writing. This underlines how word of mouth and user generated content can really make a difference in anyone’s business’ marketing strategy.

Even internet influencers (who are not affiliated with Calvin Klein, by the way) are purchasing their products and subtly promoting the brand themselves.

B. Audi’s #WantAnR8

This successful campaign actually happened by accident.

Contrary to popular belief, #WantAnR8 didn’t even start with Audi.

It started when Twitter user Joanna McCoy told Audi that she wanted to experience driving around with their R8 model.

Image via hashslider.com

Surprisingly, Audi agreed, and the rest is history.

Seeing that this was good for marketing, Audi encouraged online communities to share their reasons for wanting an R8 using the popularized hashtag.

It was very well-received by car enthusiasts and casual fans alike.

The luckiest users were even given a chance to drive the R8 model for a day.

Their wish was granted!

C. Charmin’s #TweetFromTheSeat

Toilet paper brand Charmin started a hilarious hashtag campaign called #TweetFromTheSeat.

Charmin asked online users to tweet funny scenarios “from the seat”. Apparently, this toilet paper brand is well aware that many people use their phones while on the toilet.

If a toilet paper brand can make it big on Twitter, then your brand can do it too!

Conclusion

#ThatsAWrap!

I hope you learned a thing or two from us today about hashtag marketing.

It may just look like an ordinary number sign, but we guarantee that it can reap a lot of benefits.

What unique hashtag are you going to use for your business?

Leave us a comment!

References

Gallegos, Jose (2018 April 2). Jose Angelo Studios. 10 hashtag campaigns that will blow your mind. Retrieved from https://joseangelostudios.com/10-hashtag-campaigns-that-will-blow-your-mind/

Hitz, Lucy (2018 May 1). SproutSocial. 9 hashtag marketing tactics that actually work. Retrieved from https://sproutsocial.com/insights/hashtag-marketing-tactics/

Keyhole (2016 Jan 6). 5 hashtag marketing strategies proven to engage audiences. Retrieved from https://keyhole.co/blog/5-valuable-hashtag-marketing-strategies/

Ryan, Olivia (n.d.). Mention. Hashtag marketing: How to use hashtags for better marketing. Retrieved from https://mention.com/blog/hashtag-marketing-how-to-use-hashtags-for-better-marketing-campaigns/

 

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