It’s a question as old as time. What came first, the campaign or the #hashtag? If you know a thing or two about influencer marketing, then you know a hashtag can make or break a campaign. But, there is actually an art to selecting the right hashtag that will both positively promote your campaign and generate your desired results.
The art of hashtag curation is such a thing that it even has its own fancy industry term, Hashtag Marketing. And, like all marketing strategies, there are multiple concepts one could take. Discover the different ways you can effectively run a hashtag marketing campaign.
Should I Do Hashtag Marketing?
Of course, you should. The question really shouldn’t be if but why. Hashtag marketing is one of the most effective marketing strategies. It’s a cost-effective way to create user-generated content, which is often beautiful and reusable. Also, it’s a great way to get your audience engaged and active in your brand’s marketing. There is nothing better than a strong community, and that, ladies and gentlemen, is through a #hashtag.
There are many types of hashtag marketing, each creating a different effect and achieving different results. First, determine what the goals of your campaign are, and then pick the perfect strategy.
1. Location-Based Hashtags
Goal: If you want visitors to your store, museum, city, etc.
This is a hashtag strategy that reflects a location. It uses online power to promote IRL traffic.
The Vessel is a new tourist attraction in New York, that opened in 2019 and was immediately hot on Instagram. Made of 154 connecting staircases, the structure is a dream for anyone looking for an Instagramable moment.
On the location’s Instagram page it encourages people to share content with the hashtag #TheVesselNYC. The use of this hashtag helps market The Vessel with user-generated content and offers visitors a chance to be featured on the Vessel’s official Instagram page.
2. Branded Hashtags
Goal: Brand awareness and user-generated content.
Branded hashtags are pretty straightforward, they promote your brand. If hashtags are ways to filter content, then having a branded hashtag is a great way for users to find content related to your brand.
Beauty brand Burt’s Bees constantly uses a brand hashtag in posts, and their loyal followers are quick to follow suit. From make-up artists to lovers of their honey lip balm, it’s a great way to show followers the brands you identify with.
Reusable cup brand Keep Cup is very popular among the influencer community. Snapping a pic of the product is a clever way of promoting environmental values. Thanks to a branded hashtag, KeepCup can easily discover and repurpose user-generated content.
3. Community Hashtags
Goal: Unity in the community!
A community hashtag is different from a branded hashtag, it is a way to unite your followers on a common value, idea, or topic. This lets your followers post branded content while subscribing to your brand message. The hashtag should be something catchy, yet capable of conveying your brand value.
Beauty brand NARS calls their followers “NARSissist?”, and it’s a compliment. Narcissists are NARS make-up fans who are risk-takers and rule-breakers. Users can post content with NARS products with the hashtag to show that they are creative trend-setters, as any NARS user should be.
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The Heart Wants What It Wants❤️ All products used for creating this look from @narsissist 🙌🏻 P R O D U C T S 👧🏻Natural Radiant Longwear Foundation (vallauris) 👧🏻Super Radiant Booster 👧🏻Afterglow Eyeshadow Palette 👧🏻Larger Than Life Eyeliner (via de martelli) 👧🏻Overlust cheek Palette 👧🏻Laguna Bronzing powder 👧🏻Rouge À Lèvres Lipstick (instant crush) 👧🏻Climax Mascara #narsissist #ad
The best thing about community brands is that they are relevant to every industry. Take Tuft&Neddle, a mattress and bedding brand known for quick delivery and easy unpacking. The brand uses the hashtag #8hoursleepchallenge to have the audience promote the positive benefits of Tuft&Needle products. Seriously, who doesn’t want 8-hours of sleep?
4. Holiday Hashtags
Goal: Share your values
Holidays hashtags are a great way to connect your brand to a holiday or cultural event. It helps people associate your brand with specific times of the year and values.
As a brand, Calvin Klein has been very vocal about their values. And, one holiday they love is Pride. In 2020 the brand ran a campaign during Pride month with the hashtag #ProudInMyCalvins. This strategic hashtag marketing campaign allowed the hashtag to be used by influencers as well as the extended Calvin Klein community who identified with the campaign’s values.
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Annonce// I never fitted in. I always tried to, but never got to the conclusion of where that was! Finally I found the confidence to stand up for myself, and dare to tell the world that I only have one goal, and that goal is to never fit in, but to just be me! @calvinklein #proudinmycalvins
5. Niche Hashtags
Goal: Connect with the die-hard fans
Niche hashtags are like anything *niche*, (adj) denoting or relating to products, services, or interests that appeal to a small, specialized section of the population. Capiche?
This hashtag marketing strategy resonates with a specific community, but might not have meaning outside. It can transcend a brand to cult-status, and really emphasizes the loyalty of the network.
Do you even know what this means? Nope, not Play Station Live, Guess again. Unless you’re a true, die-hard, Starbucks fan this will presumably go straight over your head. #PSL = Pumpkin Spice Latte, a hashtag used to promote everyone’s favorite fall beverage.
When I was in high school my friends would talk about how they spent the weekend on “wow”. I had no idea what they were saying, I figured it was someone’s house in New Jersey since I didn’t go to New Jersey. My friends were nerds. This isn’t a hashtag to express excitement or a nickname for a dude from New Jersey, any gamer knows “WOW” stands for World of Warcraft…wow.
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Where my @warcraft friends at?🌼 . . . One game I've played on and off throughout the years is World of Warcraft. As much fun as it is, it's sooo time consuming 😅. What are your thoughts on WOW? . . . . Tags #worldofwarcraftclassic #wow #worldofwarcraft #wowgirls #razer #pcgamer #pcgaming #pcgames #mmorpg #gamergirl #twitchstreamer #twitchgirls #girlgamer #pcgamergirl #pcgamingsetup #gamingsetup #pcsetup #pcsetups #razerquartz #funkopop #gamrtalk #love #weekend #pretty #playinggames
6. Social Movement Hashtags
Goal: Raise awareness for an important cause or social issue
What do social movements and social media have in common? No, it’s not the word social, it’s the innate ability to drive conversation and unite individuals with a shared message. Almost all recent social movements have developed online using a hashtag that drives the importance of the movement. Think #MeToo or #BlackLivesMatter.
Tip: Measure your success with a Social Listening tool like Meltwater
#ArtsHero is a grassroots campaign raising awareness for the Defend Arts Worlds Now (DAWN) Act and is asking for financial relief towards the arts and cultural industry due to the impact of COVID-19. The hashtag has been used by industry professionals, fans of the arta, and those in support of the DAWN Act.
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✨ SAVE THE DATE ✨ On Monday, September 7th, join us for a day of action, #ArtsWorkersUnite! In addition to sharing ways for you to act from home all day, we’ll be holding live demonstrations across the country! The day will culminate in a streamed panel of Arts Workers, leaders, celebrities, and economists: “The Ghostlight Panel: Changing The Conversation About The Creative Economy”. #ArtsHero #BeAnArtsHero #SaveTheArtsEconomy #ExtendPUA #ExtendFPUC
7. TikTok Brand Campaigns
Many brands are still finding their footing on TikTok, as such, there isn’t a clearly defined hashtag etiquette the way we are seeing on Instagram. But, hashtags are still super relevant on TikTok. They are used to filter content and are a great way for users to discover your brand.
Still, it’s hard for some people…of…cough..a specific…age….to understand what is happening on TikTok. Kids these days, amiright? An irreverence and irony exist on TikTok, which we don’t see so much on other platforms. Approach TikTok with an open-mind good sense of humor, it’s not a Ted Talk.
TikTok is all about the fun and breezy challenges. In honor of the 2020 graduating class, T-Mobile asked graduates to post a video tossing their graduation caps in the air. The brand vowed to donate $5 for every post.
Congrats @Dixiedamelio and Class of 2020! ##TossYourCap w/ @TMobile to celebrate! 🎉 ##Ad♬ #TossYourCap w/ T-Mobile - “All I Do Is Win (feat. T-Pain)” - DJ Khaled
Oreo asked users to share videos about Oreo stuffing. I hope you’re getting the theme of chill, breezy content. Is it a challenge…maybe? It wouldn’t be TikTok if it didn’t feel slightly random Or, maybe I’m just old.
IT’S MEGA STUF, NOT A MARSHMALLOW! ##WhatsYourStuf ##oreochallenge ##posetothis ##cookievideo ##fypシ♬ What's Your Stuf? (Most) - OREO Official
8. TikTok Dance Challenges
Ever seen a child/ young-person/semi-adult dancing into their phone in a public space and thought, “huh?”. Don’t fret, it’s just a TikTok dance challenge. The youth!
Songs with a catchy 15-second hook are often set to choreography and then turned into challenges.
Dance content is transforming music artist’s discoverability. Many songs and artists get their initial fame on TikTok, which many say is changing the music industry.
dc @zoifishh♬ Supalonely (feat. Gus Dapperton) - BENEE
What’s great about these dance challenges, and TikTok for that matter, is that anyone can participate. It’s a great way to show an alternative personality, and a more light-hearted, relatable side of your brand. Take JLo and A-Rod being super relatable.
@dscvr.twins Flip the switch 😁✌🏽 wait until the end 🤣#fliptheswitch ♬ original sound - dscvr.twins
The moral of the story is there are so many ways to use hashtag marketing to achieve your brand’s goal. From promoting a new product to celebrating a national-holiday, hashtags are a great way to say what you stand for and to get your community involved.
If you’re looking to take your hashtag strategy to the next level, schedule a call with one of Klear’s influencer marketing experts.