Learn from the best social media hashtag campaigns to build your brand and grow your business.
Hashtags have been a part of social media platforms for centuries. It was Chris Messina who came up with the idea. An idea to categorize content on social media around keywords. Little did he know this idea would explode in popularity and would become a great marketing tactic.
Yes, that’s what we’re going to talk about in this blog — Social Media Hashtag Campaigns.
We’ll discuss what a hashtag campaign is, its benefits, and what you can learn from some successful hashtag campaigns.
Let’s jump right in!
What are Social Media Hashtag Campaigns?
A hashtag campaign, true to its name, is a campaign promoted with hashtags to increase your reach and engagement. Hashtags help brands take their campaigns to the relevant audience to generate awareness around a brand, its products, launches, events, etc.
The combination of hashtags you use for your social media campaigns has a great impact on their success. You can’t just put all the trending hashtags and expect your sales to boost. Yes, it’ll boost your reach. But reaching people who are not interested in your business isn’t worth the effort.
The hashtags you go for must resonate with your target audience. Only then your social media campaigns will reach the users who are interested in your products/services.
And how do you find relevant and high-performing hashtags? By using the hashtag analytics feature of Radarr, you can compare the performance of hashtags over time. This, when combined with social listening and sentiment analysis, will help you find hashtags with the right intent.
Benefits of Social Media Hashtag Campaigns
While the benefits of social media hashtag campaigns may vary from business to business, based on their industry and their target audience, here’s taking a look at some of the clear advantages:
1. Builds brand awareness
Hashtags allow you to reach a wider audience, an audience that you wouldn’t have reached organically. It helps you appear in front of users who’ve never heard of your branding, increasing brand awareness.
When you want to boost your brand awareness, try putting your brand name in the hashtag. Calvin Klein, a fashion brand, did something similar when they started the “MyCalvin” hashtag campaign.
They made a series of posts with this hashtag to get their audience excited about owning a Calvin. And when their customers came across this hashtag campaign, they joined, spreading it even further.
2. Promote your products, new launches, or events
Leveraging the reach of hashtag campaigns, you can promote your products, launches, or events.
A lot of movies get their hashtag campaigns started while they are in production. This allows fans to get regular updates regarding that movie under the hashtags.
Similarly, when you’re launching a new product or hosting an event, create a hashtag around it. Your audience will be able to discover everything they need to know by searching for the hashtag.
And when the event finally happens, they’ll share posts on their social media account with that hashtag, helping you reach a wider audience.
Adidas started one such hashtag campaign to launch their new Originals line with the hashtag #ORIGINALis. The campaign got so popular that Adidas had to create a separate account for this product line.
3. Boost engagement on social media campaigns
If you manage to create a successful hashtag campaign, it’ll drive engagement like no other. Your existing customers, followers, or relevant audience will want to join your campaign by posting about your hashtag.
Hashtags are meant to spread the word about your brand. Therefore, you must ensure that your hashtag is easy to remember and spell. It should also be unique. If the hashtag has already been used in general conversations, the campaign’s impact will not be that high.
4. Find user-generated content
You can create a hashtag campaign that asks your audience to create and share posts featuring your brand.
You might ask why they would do it. They would do it because social media users love getting featured on a brand’s page.
It’s a win-win! Your customers are happy about you featuring them on your page. And you get to post user-generated content, which is better at converting leads than professional imagery.
7 Best Hashtag Campaigns and What You Can Learn From Them
Creating a hashtag campaign that guarantees success requires a lot of planning and research. But before jumping into the analysis part, let’s get you inspired by some successful hashtag campaigns.
#ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
Whenever there will be talks about hashtag campaigns, Coke’s #ShareACoke campaign will always be mentioned. It’s one of the most brilliant hashtag campaigns ever to exist.
For this campaign, the sticker on the Coke bottles had names and titles that pumped sales and helped the company get a ton of user-generated content.
People shared photos on social media when they got their name. Whenever someone found their friend’s name, they tagged them on social media.
But this campaign won people’s hearts when a couple, Patrick and Whitney McGillicuddy, shared a video announcing their pregnancy using Coke cans with the labels — Mom and Dad.
This campaign worked so well because Coke managed to do mass-scale personalization and add a community feel. Coca-Cola also collaborated with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Ryan Seacrest, increasing this hashtag campaign’s engagement.
#IceBucketChallenge by ALS Association
The #IceBucketChallenge hashtag campaign did two things for ALS Association — raised awareness about ALS and helped raise $115 billion. The cause behind this campaign was its prominent driving force.
ALS Association is a non-profit organization spreading awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and funding related research. Though they didn’t start this hashtag campaign, they got enough attention for it. And by enough attention, we mean attention from George Bush, Bill Gates, and many other big names.
Under this campaign, people had to record themselves while someone poured a bucket of ice on them. They then had to nominate three people to do the same within 24 hours.
The reaction when a bucket of ice was poured on people made social media users laugh. And the humor in the challenge made this hashtag campaign a success.
#ShowUs by Dove
One of the best things about a social media hashtag campaign is that it helps you build a rapport with your audience. It helps you convey what you stand for. And if your target audience like your stand, it’ll do wonders for your business like the #ShowUS campaign did for Dove.
Dove consistently launches new campaigns supporting positive body image, natural beauty, and inclusivity. When Dove discovered that 70% of women feel they are not represented in advertising, they launched the #ShowUs hashtag campaign.
This hashtag campaign, like other successful ones, helped Dove gather a lot of user-generated content. With more than 638k posts on Instagram alone, this campaign was an internet sensation.
Dove created a personal connection with those women who felt left out. Those women felt heard. Other social media users saw how Dove cares about inclusivity. And this personal connection and a good message made this campaign a roaring success for Dove.
#ShotoniPhone by Apple
#ShotoniPhone is a campaign that has become an internet phenomenon itself. This campaign began as a challenge where Apple invited users to share their best clicks. And after doing a review, those shots would get featured on Apple’s social media, billboards, stores, etc.
Instagram has more than 26 million posts under this hashtag, which makes it one of the most successful UGC hashtag campaigns. Moreover, Apple still features #ShotoniPhone clicks on their Instagram account regularly.
The UGC that Apple gets from this campaign helps them leverage the power of social proof. And getting social exposure from 26 million posts without spending a penny is magical!
#HereToCreate by Adidas
Everyone loves personalization. According to a survey, 87% of consumers feel that relevant branded content creates a positive image of the brand.
Adidas leveraged personalization in a unique way for their #HereToCreate hashtag campaign. During the Boston Marathon (2018), Adidas created customized videos for all the 30,000 athletes who participated.
These athletes then posted the video on their social media accounts using the #HereToCreate hashtag. This campaign helped Adidas convert these athletes into their brand advocates.
Because the followers of the respective athletes were sports enthusiasts, they also became Adidas’ target audience. This campaign took Adidas exactly where it wanted to land.
But this campaign didn’t stop at the marathon. Many other athletes like Lionel Messi, Pharell Williams, and David Beckham joined in to share their motivational stories, bringing a positive revolution. It expanded the reach of this social media hashtag campaign.
#WorthSaying By Loreal Paris
Loreal Paris, a famous beauty brand, asked women to raise their voices and post everything that matters to them using their hashtag campaign #WorthSaying.
It showed the world how Loreal is not just about making women feel confident with their beauty products, but it’s also about encouraging them to feel confident about their inner selves.
The campaign got really popular and gained the attention of celebrities like Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez. They actively participated in L’oreal’s hashtag campaign. In 2018, this campaign was revamped as Loreal Paris partnered with TIFF donating $0.25 for every mention.
#PutACanOnIt by Red Bull
No one knows the art of free advertising like Red Bull. In 2014, they launched the #PutACanOnIt hashtag campaign, which social media users picked up instantly. This hashtag campaign was a perfect example of a campaign that’s innovative, fun, and sparks the creativity of the participants.
All their customers had to do was get a can and think of creative and witty ways of putting it on objects, people, pets, scenes, etc.
Red Bull received a lot of humorous and inspiring user-generated content without having to spend any money. It was their customers who did all the ideation for the posts.
Only people who buy Red Bull could join this campaign. This exclusivity ensured that more and more people bought a can to get an opportunity to showcase their creativity. Similarly, you can also create campaigns exclusive for your customers so that more and more people want to become your customers.
Ready to Start Your Own Hashtag Campaign?
Successful hashtag campaigns have certain things in common. They are simple but effective. You can generate a lot of engagement with them. These campaigns are your solution to leverage social proof with UGC. And unlike paid marketing campaigns, they stay alive to provide you with long-term gains.
But you can’t just start a campaign and expect it to go viral on day one. You must also monitor its performance and how your audience feels about it. How do you do that?
With Radarr’s hashtag analysis and tracking feature, you can analyze what’s working for your hashtag campaign and what’s not. Combining it with sentiment analysis, you can identify how your target audience is reacting to the campaign.
Using Radarr, you can make all your social media hashtag campaigns successful!