Hashtag Campaign Examples and Best-Practice Tips

How to Create and Run a Successful Hashtag Campaign

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The image displays a person examining marketing data alongside another person peering through a pink hashtag cut-out, surrounded by social media platform icons, symbolizing the multifaceted approach to hashtag campaign setup.

Hashtags play a pivotal role in digital marketing strategies, serving as a tool for marketers striving to amplify the visibility and reach of their hashtag campaign.

Similarly, for event organizers, hashtags help engage participants, facilitate feedback collection, and track conversations across diverse platforms. This enables a holistic understanding of audience sentiment and interaction dynamics.

This blog post will equip you with the insights and tools necessary to leverage hashtags effectively, ensuring your campaign resonates with your target audience and achieves its intended impact.

What is a hashtag campaign?

A hashtag campaign is a marketing initiative designed to harness the power of social media hashtags to generate buzz, foster community engagement, and promote brand awareness. When executed effectively, these campaigns can transcend mere visibility, creating meaningful interactions and fostering a community around your brand or cause.

Make your next hashtag campaign a success!

Aggregate hashtag content from multiple social media channels.

CREATE A HASHTAG WALL

Why are hashtag campaigns great?

Hashtags are a powerful tool that makes content related to a specific topic easily accessible and searchable. Whether created by companies, social causes, or individual users, they serve as a beacon, guiding conversations and information about specific topics. This accessibility empowers users to stay informed and engaged, enhancing their social media experience.

Hashtags make events more social

Hashtags can bring together attendees of an event, giving the audience a way to interact with each other, discuss relevant topics on social media, and share their thoughts to be seen by others. They are a great addition to all kinds of events: conferences, award ceremonies, weddings, company events, and more. There are many more ways to use hashtags at events, especially in combination with a social media wall that displays the conversation centered around the hashtag.

BMW Working Out Loud Event Social Media Wall
BMW Group uses hashtags in combination with a social wall to increase engagement during their event.

⭐Related: Event Hashtag Strategy Guide

Engage attendees before, during and after your event!

Display a social wall at your venue and encourage everyone to post using your hashtag.

CREATE A SOCIAL MEDIA WALL

Hashtags amplify marketing campaigns

When a brand creates a unique hashtag for a campaign, it categorizes content and encourages user engagement and participation. Users can click on or search for a hashtag to access a collection of posts from diverse users, fostering a sense of community and shared experience. This accessibility expands the campaign’s reach beyond the brand’s immediate followers to a broader audience.

Moreover, hashtags are about more than just visibility and engagement. They also serve as powerful tools for tracking and analyzing a campaign’s reach and engagement. By providing valuable insights, they enable businesses to optimize their strategies and make data-driven decisions. Hashtags often spark viral trends, significantly elevating brand visibility when users share content within their networks.

 #takeabreak post it next to black pencils with the walls.io logo on them

⭐Related: How to Create a Hashtag Feed

Hashtag campaign examples with different use cases

Here are some of the best examples of hashtag campaigns we spotted in recent years:

Screenshot of the landing page for the Kids In The Kitchen campaign on the NatureFresh™ Farms website. The heading says “Explore Our Gallery Of #KidsInTheKitchen Inspiration” above the embedded social wall.
The #KidsInTheKitchen social wall embedded on the landing page on the NatureFresh™ Farms website.

⭐Related: A Thorough Guide to Hashtag Aggregators

How to create the perfect hashtag campaign

A critical factor for a successful hashtag marketing campaign is choosing a new, memorable, and unambiguous hashtag. This requires creativity and setting clear goals for the campaign that will determine the hashtag.

A lot of brands do this quite successfully. Of course, things can also go terribly wrong, like when fast-food giant McDonald’s wanted to collect people’s heartfelt #McDStories. The hashtag got hijacked and ended up aggregating a flood of horror stories about their brand. Whoops!

So, what can you do to avoid being like McDonald’s? How do you find the perfect hashtag for your campaign?

The image shows a person standing in front of a whiteboard, writing and engaging with the content on the board. The whiteboard contains a conceptual map or a set of rules that appear to revolve around the central theme denoted by a hashtag campaign symbol. The branches from the central theme point to words that describe characteristics these rules should possess: "SHORT," "RELEVANT," and "UNIQUE." These criteria suggest that the discussion is about creating effective hashtags or similar identifiers that are concise, pertinent, and distinctive. The person in the image seems to be in the process of writing or adding to the "UNIQUE" branch of the diagram, indicating active participation in formulating or understanding these rules.

Pick a hashtag that speaks to your audience

Choose a hashtag that not only reflects the name of your campaign but also triggers emotions. This might not be your brand name, so take some time to find the perfect claim. For instance, consider Ben & Jerry’s. While it’s not an emotive brand name, their #CaptureEuphoria campaign perfectly encapsulates the extreme joy of eating yummy ice cream. This emotional connection is what sets them apart. So, ask yourself, what’s more inspiring: #Nike or #MakeItCount?

Pick a hashtag that’s unique

Find a hashtag that is not widely used already. To do this, you will have to check social media extensively and internationally. Simply do a search on X, Facebook, and Instagram. You can also create a hashtag wall to test the hashtag across multiple platforms.

KISS: The good old Keep-It-Short-and-Simple rule

Try to keep it below ten characters, but when in doubt, go for a longer but more understandable hashtag rather than an acronym no one will get. Avoid the use of special characters where possible.

Decide on only one hashtag for your campaign. Combining different hashtags will only confuse people. It rarely makes sense to use more than one hashtag, for example, when you’re running a campaign where hashtag use equals votes for or against something or when you’re running a multilingual campaign.

Here’s an example of a successful hashtag campaign that uses multiple hashtags: Jack.org Does Something for Mental Health. To promote the campaign, Jack.org is using the hashtag #WellnessForAll and — since the campaign is bilingual — the French hashtag #MieuxÊtrePourTous.

Show your hashtag campaign concept to a dirty mind

Tell your most ambiguously thinking friend about your hashtag idea to ensure no unintended suggestive meanings are embedded in it. If Susan Boyle’s PR team had done that, they probably would’ve decided not to use the hashtag #Susanalbumparty. Yes, read that again. And be smarter than that.

Hahstag fail example. The image is a screenshot of a tweet. The tweet comments on an unfortunate hashtag related to Susan Boyle. It includes a manipulated image of Susan Boyle with text that misreads a promotional tagline due to poor spacing in the hashtag. The image intends to be humorous, highlighting the importance of carefully considering how words run together in hashtags. The tweet reflects a light-hearted response to a social media mishap.
Source: X

Do’s and Don’ts for your hashtag campaign

Picking the right hashtag isn’t the only key element for hashtag campaign success. Here are some do’s and don’ts to guide you.

Do: Promote your hashtag campaign cross-media

For a hashtag campaign to be successful, it’s crucial to support online and offline efforts. As you can see with our Walls.io Showcases, the most successful campaigns promote their hashtags cross-media.

Do: Incentivise people to take part in your hashtag campaign

Kick everything off with a lovely little giveaway. Nothing gets people to repost your hashtag like the chance of winning something extraordinary. Organize a raffle or a competition to get everyone invested in your hashtag.

Do: Monitor the content posted with your hashtag

People can blatantly use your hashtag to post negative things. It’s called hashtag hijacking, and it happens all the time. It’s vital to use a hashtag tracking tool to monitor all the content posted on social media using your hashtag so you can avoid a scandal and keep the conversation under control.

Screenshot of the Rochester Regional Health website, prominently featuring the #RRHSpreadJoy hashtag in a header and, underneath it, the social media wall with the headline “We Are All In This Together”.
Rochester’s hashtag social wall powered by Walls.io sharing tips on mental wellbeing.

Don’t: Be insensitive

Of course, you will do your best to promote your hashtag by using it often, but you have to be careful when, how, and where. Don’t try to piggyback on trending hashtags or current events unless you’re sure it is a good fit, and, most of all, never piggyback on tragedies.

Don’t: Be offensive

Just like putting some thought into your post, put some thought into how you say it. Check your language to avoid any racism, misogyny, homophobia, transphobia, etc. in your hashtag campaign. Of course, you can’t keep other people from posting problematic content (You can keep it off your social media wall by moderating it!), but you can lead by example.

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

This blog post contains a lot of information that will help you get started. If you want more in-depth information about successful hashtag campaigns, look at our Showcases, which include interviews with the marketers behind these campaigns. Those interviews can give you a lot of insight into the makings of successful hashtag marketing.

Related blog posts

⭐Related: Event Hashtag Strategy Guide

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⭐Related: How to Create a Hashtag Feed: A Step-by-Step Guide

⭐Related: A Thorough Guide to Hashtag Aggregators

⭐Related: The Ultimate Guide to Using a Hashtag Slideshow

⭐Related: How to Run a UGC Hashtag Contest

Make your next hashtag campaign rock!

Aggregate hashtag content from multiple social media channels.

CREATE A HASHTAG WALL