Hashtags are a great source of engagement on social media.
Using popular hashtags helps people discover your brand organically and drives traffic to your social channels.
However, if you want to maximize the potential hashtags can have on your social media marketing efforts, you should really consider using branded hashtags.
In this post, you’ll learn what branded hashtags are, why you should use them, when to use them, and tips for creating your own branded hashtag campaign.
What Are Branded Hashtags?
A branded hashtag is simply a hashtag that is unique to your brand.
These hashtags can be related to a product you are selling, an event you want to promote, or your brand’s slogan.
By creating branded hashtags, you can collect all of your social content relevant to a particular campaign in one place.
This not only helps you organize your social campaigns, but also makes it easier for your audience to spread news about your brand, event, or product.
Ultimately, the point of a branded hashtag is to help promote your brand.
Here are some examples of famous branded hashtags:
- #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
- #LikeAGirl by Always
- #OreoHorrorStories by Oreo
- #letsdolunch by Domino’s Pizza
- #TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin
- #OpenYourWorld by Heineken
Why You Should Use Branded Hashtags
While you should continue using popular hashtags to promote your brand and drive more organic traffic to your social channels, branded hashtags are another tool you should utilize for several reasons.
Branded Hashtags Have No Competition
One of the great things about branded hashtags is that you won’t have to deal with any competitors.
If you can create a branded hashtag that your audience wants to share and engage with, you won’t have to worry about competitors engaging with the hashtag.
This is because a branded hashtag is unique to your brand.
Branded Hashtags Help You Track Engagement
Since you have no competition for your branded hashtag, all of the engagement for that hashtag will be relevant to your brand.
This means that determining engagement for your campaign will be easier to measure than a more generic hashtag.
All of your engagements will be neatly organized under your hashtag, meaning you’ll be able to scroll through all of the content and get a feel for your campaign’s social sentiment.
Social sentiment measures users’ attitudes toward your brand. If the social sentiment is positive, then you’re doing a good job of conducting your campaign.
However, if the reaction to your campaign seems to be negative, you may want to consider adjusting your strategy.
You may also consider adjusting your strategy if your branded hashtag isn’t receiving a lot of engagement.
While it may take some time before your branded hashtag catches on, if it’s been a while and you’re not reaching your engagement goals, you may want to think about choosing a different hashtag.
Branded Hashtags Build Brand Awareness
If you use a branded hashtag that is easy to engage with and has broad appeal, it can help boost your brand awareness.
Since users will be sharing your hashtag on their own accounts, the hashtag will be shown in networks of people outside your own followers.
This will help gain more exposure for your brand.
Most people will need to be exposed to your brand multiple times before they become aware of it.
By using branded hashtags, you can improve your brand’s reach and start getting new potential customers to enter your digital marketing funnel.
When You Should Use Branded Hashtags
There are plenty of instances where using branded hashtags is a good strategy to implement.
While you certainly don’t want to overwhelm people with a lot of branded hashtags at once, it’s a good idea to use different branded hashtags for different campaigns and goals.
Your branded hashtag goals will depend on what stage of the marketing funnel you’d like to focus on.
Branded Hashtags for Running Contests and Challenges
If you’re running a contest or creating a challenge to increase your brand awareness, you’ll want to create a branded hashtag related to it.
By having users tag their submissions with a branded hashtag, you can organize all of the entries in one place.
This also makes it easy for users to enter the contest.
When running a contest or challenge, you should be sure to include your brand’s name in the hashtag.
This way, as more people share content to participate, you ensure other users in their network are exposed to your brand’s name.
By doing this, you start to make them more aware of your brand.
Branded Hashtags for Developing Your Brand’s Voice
To use branded hashtags that focus more on the middle of your marketing funnel, you should consider using a branded hashtag to develop your brand’s voice.
This branded hashtag could be something like your brand’s slogan. By using your slogan as a hashtag, you help to communicate what your brand stands for.
People are more likely to trust a brand that communicates its values clearly.
You may also consider using branded hashtags to show “behind-the-scenes” content or content that helps users connect with your brand.
For example, using a branded hashtag dedicated to introducing members of your business can help users get to know the people working for your brand, which will help develop trust with your brand.
Branded Hashtags for Promoting Events and Products
If you’re looking to focus more on the conversion stage of your sales funnel, you may want to consider a branded hashtag campaign focused on promoting a new product or an event.
Branded hashtags are perfect for product launches, because they help you gauge the sentiment around your new product.
As opposed to tracking sentiment for your whole brand, you’ll be able to more easily see the sentiment for the new product.
This allows you to make changes to your new product or see what people do and don’t like about it.
Finally, if you’re trying to get people to come to or share their experiences at an event, branded hashtags help you figure out sentiment around that specific event.
This would be especially helpful if you have events in multiple cities or places.
By separating the different events using your brand name and event location, you can more easily judge the sentiment in different places.
For example, maybe your event had a lot of positive feedback in one city but was poorly received in another city.
By separating the cities with unique branded hashtags, you will know how to adjust your strategy for future events.
Tips For Creating Branded Hashtags
Using branded hashtags incorrectly could annoy your audience. However, used correctly, they can be a powerful tool.
By following these tips, you’ll be sure to create a branded hashtag that resonates with your public.
Reference Your Brand
The whole point of creating a branded hashtag is to promote your brand.
Therefore, you should be sure to mention your brand’s name in your branded hashtag.
If your branded hashtag goes viral, lots of new potential customers will be exposed to your brand’s name and hopefully begin working their way down your sales funnel.
Make Your Hashtag Short and Memorable
You’ll want to make sure to keep your hashtag concise and simple.
This will be easier for users to remember and make them more likely to engage with the hashtag.
You should also be sure to avoid commonly misspelled words.
This will make sure all of the user-generated content is organized in one spot, making it easier for you to judge the social sentiment of your campaign.
If possible, and depending on the voice of your brand, you should also try to incorporate humor.
This will make the hashtag more memorable for the user and encourage them to post content with your hashtag.
Research Your Competitors
By paying attention to what your competitors are doing, you can see what is working for them and strategies you may want to consider incorporating.
If something seems to be working for your competitors and you’re not doing it, perhaps you should be.
If you want to succeed, you need to make sure you’re doing everything and more that your competitors are doing, but do it better than them.
Just be sure to make your campaigns unique.
Consider Your Broader Marketing Strategy
If you really want your branded hashtag to succeed, you should promote both on and off social media.
Including the hashtag in an email newsletter and print marketing is a great way to drive even more engagement for the hashtag.
By promoting your hashtag on and off social media, you create a more holistic marketing strategy.
Include a CTA
Incorporating a CTA into your branded hashtag is a great strategy to help drive engagement.
By including a word like “share” or “create” in your hashtag, you encourage users to take the action you want them to take.
Wrap Up: Branded Hashtags Are Great for Driving Brand Engagement
While you should continue using popular hashtags to generate more awareness for your brand, branded hashtags allow you to create a unique hashtag with no competition.
By driving engagement for your brand, they help boost your social media presence.
However, to really improve your social media presence, you’ll need to consider strategies beyond branded hashtags.
To learn more, check out our guide to social media presence!