You’ve seen them all over social media, in marketing campaigns, even put in print: branded hashtags.
Almost every large brand or corporation has its own branded hashtag. Target has #TargetRun, Conde Nast Traveler has #IAmATraveler (adopting #StillATraveler during coronavirus travel restrictions), the classic motto “Just Do It” easily translates into a user-friendly #JustDoIt for Nike promotions.
What’s the purpose of these hashtags?
A branded hashtag can strengthen recognition, expand your offerings to a new customer base and build a content “library” that loyal fans can contribute to. So what are you waiting for? Now’s the time to create your own original hashtag!
Here are a 6 tips to keep in mind as you create your hashtag:
Do your research; leave no stone unturned! Brainstorm a short list of ideas for your branded hashtag. Research each one on multiple platforms, and if it is being used, nix it. If it is similar to another brand’s hashtag, nix it.
No matter how quippy or clever you think it is, using something that has already been claimed by another brand, big or small, isn’t going to work. Either your posts will get lost in a user’s feed, or you could look bad for bulldozing another brand’s efforts at marketing themselves. The perfect hashtag is out there!
Grab my free Hashtag This Guide for best practices and the top industry hashtags – with less than 500K hits!
Can your hashtag be read in more than one way? For example, in 2013, after the death of Margaret Thatcher, a hashtag started trending for people discussing what the future would hold #NowThatchersDead. However, most people don’t sentence case in hashtags, so #nowthatchersdead turned into #NowThatChersDead, causing people to speculate that Cher had passed away!
Look at your hashtag forward and backward. Type it in all lowercase. Type it into a translator; maybe even consult Urban Dictionary. You don’t want to be the next Susan Boyle, who’s album release was given the unfortunate #SusanAlbumParty hashtag.
A long hashtag is inviting a misunderstanding and confusion among your customers. Limit your hashtag to four words – although two or three is preferred. Your hashtag should be intuitive, clear and concise, so that your customers can immediately understand and include it on their own social media posts.
Bonus Tip: Long acronyms are also a no-go as the majority of people won’t understand the reference.
Incentivize customers to use hashtag
Once you have an original, air-tight hashtag, it’s time to start seeing the benefits! Launch your #hashtag with an incentive for consumers to use it and start adding to your library of content. Many brands will introduce a new hashtag with a giveaway.
For example, an Instagram competition for a swimwear brand could look like this:
GIVEAWAY TIME! Win two swag bags for you and your bestie! All you have to do is:
Take a photo together that represents the freedom and confidence of KO Swimwear.
Tag the photo using #ISwimWithKimber
Make sure you and your friend are following this account!
This type of competition is allows you to boost Instagram followers (since they have to follow your account to be eligible) and creates a ton of user-generated content showcasing your brand.
Even the most perfectly crafted branded hashtag needs a little extra boost! Handpick specific and relevant hashtags to include in your social media post. Be careful that these hashtags aren’t overused already. Anything with over 500K hits is too hot; your post will be buried by thousands of other posts. Smaller, niche hashtags allow your content to shine.
Need help finding the perfect related hashtags for your industry? Grab our free Hashtag This Guide for best practices and the top industry hashtags – with less than 500K hits!
Bonus tip: Instagram has a 30 hashtag limit. A hashtag best practice – known as the first comment – is to add popular industry hashtags as a comment to keep your post copy looking fresh while boosting impressions.
Sticking with the swimwear example from above, reposting giveaway “entry” photos (with permission!) encourages others to use the hashtag in order to be featured on your account. It’s two-fold: a consumer will get the chance at increased visibility and new followers while the brand strengthens base loyalty and fills its content calendar. It’s a win-win!
Armed with this knowledge, you’re ready to craft the perfect hashtag for your brand.
Grab our free Hashtag This Guide for best practices and the top industry hashtags – with less than 500K hits!