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A guide to hashtag campaigns for marketers

If you’re looking for a new campaign idea to help increase engagement and brand awareness on social media, we’ve got a great tactic for you to try: hashtag campaigns.

Hashtag campaigns help make it easier for your brand’s message to spread, so long as they’re done properly and make sense for the platform and the audience.

What is a hashtag campaign?

True to its name, a hashtag campaign is a social media marketing campaign that surrounds a specific hashtag that a brand creates and promotes. This is a great way to generate awareness around a brand, product, launch, event and more.

To run one of these campaigns, your brand would select a hashtag that best represents the campaign and share content related to and featuring that hashtag. The point is to get your customers to also pick up and start using the hashtag on related content in order to reach an even wider audience.

If you create a successful hashtag campaign, you can reach exponentially more people on social media than you would with an ordinary ad or organic campaign. You can also increase engagement with the followers that do participate and share your hashtag within their own posts.

Benefits of a hashtag campaign

1. Build brand awareness

Hashtag campaigns are great ways to get the word out about your business to a much wider audience. If you’re a relatively new or smaller brand, consider using hashtag campaigns simply as a way to generate awareness.

A Similar examples from big brands like Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins campaign hashtag, or Pepsi’s #UnAdjetivoParaMessi when featuring a famous player.

2. Promote products, services and events

You can also use hashtag campaigns as a promotional tool to showcase your business’s product and service offerings, as well as upcoming or annual events.

You’ll see this tactic used a lot with new movies that are coming out, but it’s a successful strategy for businesses to utilize as well, especially when launching new products, services, facets of a business, etc.

3. Aggregate information

Hashtags are searchable, so creating a hashtag for your audience to use in order to hold a discussion about a topic is a great way to aggregate information into one place.

Twitter chats are one great example of this, but you can also ask your audience thought-provoking questions and use a hashtag to keep track of all the responses and discussions.

One great example of this that brands can emulate comes from Jimmy Fallon’s The Tonight Show, where they’re regularly ask viewers to share funny stories and other information using different hashtags. They’ll then pull tweets that use those hashtags to share on the show.

4. Increase user engagement

Successful hashtag campaigns are great for generating user engagement and getting your followers to tweet or post about your hashtag.

Since the whole point of a hashtag campaign is getting your audience to spread the word, you need to make sure you make it easy and accessible for your audience to maximize engagement.

You also want to carefully search for and vet any potential hashtag ideas you have in advance. Make sure you’re not using common phrases not already being widely used in general conversations, which could dilute the impact of your campaign. This is another reason to look to your unique product, brand and service names for inspiration.

5. Collect user-generated content

Use a hashtag campaign that gets your customers to create and share photos that feature your products. In turn, your brand can share that content on your own channels as user-generated content.

One great example of a hashtag campaign that generated tons of awesome Instagram photos was RYU’s #WhatsInYourBag campaign. This centered around a photo contest that ended up increasing their follower count to well over 40,000 and helped them generate a ton of photos to share on their own social feeds.

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