How do hashtags work

Hashtag marketing: Increase reach and number of interactions on social media channels

In 2007, Twitter popularized the so-called hashtags as an elementary communication feature of its own microblogging platform. In the meantime, it is hard to imagine our virtual life without the hash sign (also known as the double cross) and on all common social media channels in demand as a tag tool for certain topics or topic groups. Hashtag marketing developed quickly: companies use hashtags to target the Range of their contributions to increase and the Number of interactions with these posts to increase. We explain what exactly this form of marketing is all about and how you can successfully integrate marketing hashtags into your social media marketing mix.

What is hashtag marketing?

As the name suggests, hashtags form the basis for hashtag marketing. Hashtags are Catchwords, which are marked with a preceding hash. The thematic assignment through such hashtags enables users to search websites specifically for articles or topics that are of interest to them. By using the right hashtags, the range of published articles increase significantly.

Hashtag marketing has also established itself as a means of implementing a guerrilla marketing strategy, as hashtags offer the potential for viral spread. The observation of certain hashtag trends enables companies to identify current topics and develop a suitable content strategy from them.

Using Marketing Hashtags Correctly: How Does Hashtag Marketing Work?

Implementing a successful hashtag marketing strategy requires a comprehensive one Research of suitable keywords ahead. Depending on the type and goal of a campaign, both existing and newly created hashtags are possible. The combination of different hashtags often forms the cornerstone of a successful marketing strategy that leads to increased visibility and more user interactions. Basically, you can Classify hashtags as follows:

  • Popular hashtags achieve a particularly large reach, but are in competition with a large number of other contributions.
  • Current hashtags Companies offer the chance to be part of a discussion on a hot topic.
  • New hashtags are in direct connection with a company and thereby increase brand visibility.

Meanwhile is Hashtag marketing Part of most Social media strategies and is used not only on Twitter, but across platforms - from Facebook to LinkedIn.

Online Marketing Hashtags: Types and Successful Examples

Not all hashtags are the same: Depending on the type of hashtag, companies can reach them different goals with their hashtag marketing strategy. Some keywords primarily increase the reach of posts, others strengthen brand visibility. We'll introduce three popular types of marketing hashtags and show how companies successfully incorporate them into their posts.

Brand hashtags: Individual and unique

Some large companies are establishing their own online marketing hashtag. This is usually short, easy to remember and contains the name of the company or a brand. In some cases, customers even develop a suitable brand hashtag, which the company then adopts in posts. In this way, companies increase the interaction rate and motivate their fans to use the hashtag as well. This also automatically increases the Reach of the contributions and brand awareness.

Brand hashtags on Instagram

Meanwhile, the Facebook subsidiary Instagram has become an essential communication option for companies. As one of the currently most important social media platforms, Instagram offers companies promising advertising opportunities and a wide reach. With the online service, posts can be tagged relatively often with up to 30 hashtags per post. The brand hashtag is therefore almost always used.

example: The clothing brand “Stay Cold Apparel” has around 250,000 subscribers on Instagram. The company generated the same from the brand name multiple branded hashtags such as #staycoldapparel, #staycold and #staycoldfit. While the brand itself published around 3,700 posts, there are already over 48,000 posts with the hashtag #staycold. This shows that the Community adopted the hashtag and thus increased the company's reach even further.

Brand hashtags on Facebook

A separate page on Facebook is essential for companies. In contrast to Instagram, however, hashtags are used less often there - especially due to their lower effectiveness. The background to this is that Facebook users rarely search for interesting posts using hashtags. Therefore, hashtags are very rare there and used very specifically.

example: A successful Facebook hashtag marketing example is #thisisqueensland. The tourism umbrella organization "Tourism and Events Queensland" of the Australian state of Queensland regularly shares the most beautiful pictures of the region on its website. The organization also encourages tourists to submit their Tag vacation pictures and thus to increase the reach of the organization.

Brand hashtags on Twitter

On Twitter, every tweet is on one Length limited to 280 characters. For comparison: Instagram has 2,200 characters per post. Therefore, companies use marketing hashtags on Twitter much more sparingly and as efficiently as possible.

example: The Company Samsung Electronics generated from the Names of their products have their own hashtags. In this way, keywords can of course be built into the post. For example, the company used the newly generated hashtag to publish the Samsung Galaxy S7 2016 #TheNextGalaxy. With this hashtag marketing campaign, Samsung increased user interactions, communication about the new product and brand visibility.

Brand hashtags on LinkedIn

LinkedIn first integrated hashtags in 2013, but deleted this function again in the same year. Since 2016 the tagging function is available again - initially limited to the mobile version, since 2017 also in the desktop version. Similar to Twitter are only one or two hashtags per post common.

Example: the company Nike relies on LinkedIn, which has existed for 30 years "Just Do It" campaign as a hashtag. Since the establishment of social media channels and the use of hashtags, many users have posted their own cross-platform posts and tagged them #just do it.

Event hashtags: Limited time hashtag marketing for events

Unlike branded hashtags, event hashtags are not used permanently. The name already suggests its intended use. These keywords relate to a one-time or regularly recurring event. The use usually starts before the event, when companies draw attention to the event with suitable hashtags. At the event, there is a good chance that visitors will use this online marketing hashtag to report live from the event. Companies can use event hashtags effectively even if they are not the organizers themselves.

Event hashtag marketing: example on Instagram

The organizers of the American tech conference Collision Conference called the hashtag #collisionconf into life. Through the Abbreviation of the event name this became more memorable. A comparable example is the hashtag #LIBfestival, which abbreviates the actual name of the event: Lightning In A Bottle Festival.

Event hashtag marketing: example on Facebook

The Award ceremony "Academy Award of Merit" is the most important event in the film industry. On the official Facebook page "The Academy", the organizers use a suitable event hashtag that corresponds to the more common event title: #Oscars.

Event hashtag marketing: example on Twitter

The Dreamforce tech conference also provides a hashtag marketing example that uses the abbreviation of the event title as the hashtag. The organizer Salesforce combines the abbreviation “df” with the current year. This means that contributions can always be assigned to the respective event at a later date. Salesforce integrates the hashtag natural way in the post and thus makes the best possible use of the limited number of characters.

Event hashtag marketing: example on LinkedIn

In 2019 the Female Future Force Day took place for the second time. To tag the event, users on LinkedIn preferred to use this memorable hashtag# FFFDay2019 and thus drew attention to the event worldwide.

Community hashtags: The call to your own online community

Community hashtags are similar to branded hashtags and are primarily used by large companies and well-known brands. With this type of hashtag, companies call on their community to Post your own content and tag the brand. This strengthens customer loyalty to the brand and increases brand awareness. These online marketing hashtags are particularly popular as an instrument for recommendation marketing. Some companies even share the user-generated content on the official company website. For many users, this represents an additional incentive to use the hashtag.

Example of community hashtags on Instagram

The Clothing brand Forever21 calls online for your own images of clothing items in the collection with the hashtag # F21xMe to share. Forever21 presents this in their Instagram bio. The company shares selected posts on its own channel and motivates users to use the hashtag. With this strategy, Forever21 had already reached over 800,000 posts by mid-2020 with # F21xMe are tagged.

Example of community hashtags on Facebook

Canadian sportswear retailer lululemon Athletica has a large fan base on Facebook with over two million followers. The company called the community hashtag #thesweatlife into life. With that, lululemon created a sense of the Cohesion between the community members when applying from Online sports courses.

Example of community hashtags on Twitter

The toilet paper brand Charmin put a striking marketing hashtag on Twitter and reached one with the matching community hashtag large social media presence. With the hashtag #TweetFromTheSeat People could and can confess publicly - and with a pinch of humor - that their mobile device is also with them in the toilet.

Example of community hashtags on LinkedIn

The world-famous Starbucks franchise strengthens the Cohesion of partners and employees with hashtags like #tobeapartner or #tobeintern. The company is aimed at existing and future employees.

Community hashtags are a very efficient way of building or strengthening customer relationships. LinkedIn created its own index to measure the success of social selling.

A success story: #ShareACoke from Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola's “Share A Coke” campaign is one of the company's most successful marketing campaigns. The beverage manufacturer printed the Labels of the Coca-Cola bottles with 250 popular first names. The company then encouraged customers to search for the names of family members or friends and share the drink with those people. This form of personalization and the Building a community feel contributed significantly to the success of the campaign.

Coca-Cola recorded one of the biggest success stories in hashtag marketing with the campaign. Customers followed request #shareacoke and shared personal photos and stories various social media channels. Over 500,000 photos were shared with the hashtag during the first year. There are now over 650,000 posts on Instagram #shareacoke tagged. Coca-Cola gained around 25 million fans on Facebook during the campaign. Fans still use the hashtag to this day, even though the campaign has officially ended.

The best tips for a successful hashtag marketing strategy

The strategic use of hashtags is meanwhile an integral part of the Social media marketings. Especially on Instagram and Twitter, hashtag marketing can do the Reach of contributions increase enormously. We have summarized how to use online marketing hashtags successfully.

Hashtag research

Hashtag marketing employs a thorough research of suitable hashtags ahead. Important information about a keyword is, for example, how many posts have been tagged with it and how often the hashtag is used. This research should be repeated continuously. In this way, companies ensure that they become aware of trends and current topics in good time.

Recognize and use trends

Hashtags are also subject Trend movementssome of which are only up to date for a very short period of time. Trendy hashtags offer the Chance of a long range and a rapid increase in the number of followers.

Know the competition and target groups

A detailed hashtag research also includes the Competitor analysis. Which hashtags do companies with a similar audience use? The interaction rate of users on competing posts also enables an analysis of whether the company's strategy is successful.

Use different hashtags

There is no manual that can guarantee a successful hashtag marketing strategy. In many cases, however, the Combination of different hashtags successful. Most companies therefore combine general, popular hashtags with industry-relevant and company-specific keywords.

Cooperate with influencers

Influencer marketing enables young companies in particular to increase their reach in a short period of time. In order to use hashtag marketing successfully in cooperation with influencers, the development of a commonCommunication strategy, campaign and branded hashtags recommendable.

Define goals and measure success

The definition of goals makes it possible to measure the success of a campaign and to adjust the strategy if necessary. Classic goals of a hashtag marketing strategy are to increase the reach, the number of links or the number of website or shop visitors. In order to evaluate the success, the measurement is carried out selected metric before and after the campaign. However, hashtag marketing is subject to constant change. A permanent adaptation of the strategy to the interests of the users is therefore an integral part of this form of marketing.

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