Hashtag campaigns can be a great way to cultivate brand awareness. When executed well, you end up with a ton of buzz and lots of user-generated content.
Hashtags are integral to both Twitter and Instagram, and a popular new hashtag can spread very fast.
Of course, coming up with a branded hashtag is easier said than done. It needs to be clever, but it also needs to kind of “have a ring to it.”
It can't sound clunky — it needs to be memorable. Also, Twitter has a character limit, so hashtags do best when they're short and pithy.
And naturally, it also has to be on-brand.
Despite these challenges, many companies have had a lot of success introducing branded hashtags that went viral.
While a lot of them are big companies with big marketing budgets, that doesn't mean that a smaller company couldn't achieve similar results.
Two of the most successful hashtag campaigns ever were Coca-Cola's #ShareACoke, and Nest's “CaughtOnDropCam.”
A recent article from AdEspresso details how these campaigns worked, and why they thrived.
How could we start this list with anything else? Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign is one of the most brilliant hashtag campaigns we’ve seen.
The idea behind the hashtag—cokes with names and titles on them—drove massive numbers of sales, and generated a ton of user-generated content on social media. People were snapping Instagram shots of bottles with their friends’ names; I even saw not one, but two pregnancy announcements where the first-time parents had “Mom” and “Dad” cokes in their announcement on Facebook.
The #ShareACoke campaign worked so well because it incorporated both personalization on a mass scale (without actually being personal at all) and a community feel all at once; “share” is in the name after all.
Coke kept their momentum from this campaign up; it’s still running, and I don’t see it going away anytime soon.
Nest’s security camera system can feel a little uncomfortable for a lot of people; who actually wants to be watched all the time?
To counteract some of the creepiness and showcase the human side of their brand, they used the hashtag #CaughtOnDropCam to encourage users to share hilarious videos.
They got everything from hysterical family moments to animals gone wild.And they got new customers too, of course!
You can find more hashtag campaign success stories over at AdEspresso.
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