What the … Hashtag Campaign?Hashtag Campaign Basics pt.1

We’ve talked about what a hashtag is and given you some pointers for finding the perfect hashtag for your marketing campaign. But we realise we’ve never actually talked in detail about what a hashtag marketing campaign is. This is an oversight we’ll have to remedy immediately.

A quick recap

We use hashtags on social networks like Twitter or Instagram and, to an extent, Facebook to easily collect information about a certain topic. Hashtags make it easier to search for conversations and to take part in them. This goes for private use of social media and could start with the spontaneous creation of a hashtag in a conversation between friends. But it’s also happening on a bigger scale, e.g. with trending topics on Twitter, like when everyone is talking about a TV show premiere or people are taking part in a meme.

A colourful hot air balloon taking off
If and how well hashtags take off is often decided by the crowd on social media.

Hashtags can develop all on their own, like a snowball gathering material and turning into an avalanche. But hashtags can also be driven single-handedly by outside forces who already have a lot of clout – for instance organisations or companies. In these cases, when there’s a conscious decision to market a certain hashtag, we are talking about hashtag campaigns.

Hashtag Campaign Do: Promote cross-media

A company will typically craft a hashtag campaign in order to gain social media attention in regards to a topic which is relevant for them. It can be used to introduce a new product, spread content from a blog or a video, or to get more interaction with customers. These are just a fraction of possible uses, and the limit really is your imagination.

One important factor for a successful hashtag marketing campaign is choosing a hashtag that is new, memorable and unambiguous. But in order for a hashtag campaign to be successful it’s crucial to support online with offline efforts. As you can see with our Walls.io Showcases, the most successful campaigns are those that promote their hashtags crossmedia. It also helps to kick everything off with a nice little giveaway: Nothing gets people to repost your hashtag like the chance of winning something awesome.

Hashtag Campaign Don’t: Be insensitive

Of course you’re going to do your best to promote your hashtag by using it a lot, but you have to be careful when, how and where you are doing this. For instance, it might not have been the most sensitive move by the German branch of sports apparel company Brooks Running to promote their giveaway hashtag #hoodienstag (an amalgam of the words “hoodie” and the German word for Tuesday) in conjunction with a condolence tweet about the Germanwings flight which went down in the French alps on Tuesday, killing 150 people in the crash.

The tweet, originally in German, basically says:

“This #hoodienstag, in light of recent events, we are commemorating the victims of the #germanwings flight and are praying that there are survivors!!”

So far no one has called Brooks Running Germany out on this, and one could probably argue they were just attempting to respectfully call off their Tuesday raffle in light of these events. And it was probably just really unfortunate. But that’s what we mean when we say: Be sensitive, and avoid jumping on the tragedy bandwagon to promote your hashtag. Trust your gut, trust your instincts, but also use your head.

A post-it note with the word “think” written on it, on it a cup of coffee is placed
“Think before you post” is definitely an adage that goes for hashtag campaigns as well.

Last but not least: When in doubt, ask for support

The Walls.io team has a lot of experience with hashtag campaigns. When you decide to start a hashtag campaign in conjunction with Walls.io you get access to that experience.

You can find a lot of information on this blog right here that will help you get started:

To get a solid introduction, start with the following articles: The History of the hashtag and How to find the perfect hashtag and then maybe circle back to this one.

If you want more in-depth information about successful hashtag campaigns have a look at our Showcases, which also include interviews with the marketers behind these campaigns. Those interviews can give you a lot of insight into the makings of successful hashtag marketing.

And when in doubt about something you can of course contact Walls.io Support, and the team will do their best to help you with the issue at hand.

More from our series about hashtag campaigns:

    1. The History of Hashtags
    2. What is a hashtag campaign and what can I do with it?
    3. How to Find the Perfect Hashtag for Your Marketing Campaign
    4. Back up your hashtag campaign with good customer service