How To Use Social Media Hashtags To Increase Brand Awareness

By Mervyn Kinuthia on February 19, 2018

Hashtags have been around for a while, yet they still can be tricky to work with. For instance, did you know that using more than two hashtags when tweeting can have a dismal effect on your engagement levels with your social media audience? Did you also know that you can use up to 10 hashtags on Instagram before you see any drop in engagement?

Hashtag Icon

It’s small details such as these that you should be aware of when building your brand’s awareness on social media.

In order to achieve the most from your social media efforts, you’ll need to highlight your goals first. That is, what will you be using hashtags for? To contribute to a conversation or to discover new discussions. You certainly can do both in various campaigns, however by having a more narrow goal you’ll be able to zero in on the best content and know what’s the best use for hashtags in your campaign.

Different brands use hashtags differently in their marketing. In this article will examine how you can use different types of hashtags to amplify your brand.

First though you need to know hashtag classification:

  • Branded hashtags
  • Community hashtags
  • Campaign hashtags
  • Event hashtags
  • Service/Product hashtags
  • Trending hashtags
  • Holiday hashtags

Branded Hashtags

As a marketer you need to know that the first step in promoting your brand on social media should be by creating your brand’s hashtag. You’ll need to ensure that the hashtag includes the name of your brand in one form or another, is memorable, and short.

If you find it challenging to come up with a hashtag, do some research and find out what hashtag is being used for your brand. Sometimes, your customers might already have created a hashtag for your brand without you even knowing about it.

Your branded hashtag should be your main hashtag and should be used frequently.

Community Hashtag

Community hashtags are mostly used by brands as a way of connecting with their audience. Usually, community hashtags are a combination of your brand’s name plus a suffix such as “community” or some other word.

When consumers of your brand use the hashtag they’ll include it on a photo featuring your product or service.

The use of the community hashtag is an easy way for your consumers to find other like-minded individuals who enjoy your products/services as well. Another benefit is that the brand is able to include user-generated content on its feed which legitimizes your brand.

The third benefit is that community hashtags spread word about your brand.

For instance, every February, B Lab celebrates #BCorpMonth. This campaign was started by B Lab, an organization that certifies companies that are heavily involved in environmental and social causes, legal accountability, and public transparency. These organizations are known as B Corporations

The #BCorpMonth hashtag is the perfect way to bring awareness to what B corporations are. It also offers an opportunity for B Corps to connect with one another as well as create awareness for various social and environmental causes they’re involved in.

Campaign Hashtag

Unlike brand hashtags, campaign hashtags have an end date. They are mostly used as part of a contest or marketing campaign. Brands usually use campaign hashtags to calibrate the discussion around a marketing campaign or tracking entries to a contest.

Even though these hashtags should have the brand name inserted in some form the emphasis is usually on the brand message or brand slogan.

Some research is required on the campaign hashtag before you start using it. You should make sure that it’s not being used anywhere else.

You should also draft a few iterations of the campaign hashtag to ensure that you’re not introducing new words that aren’t related to the brand.

To avoid any controversy, the words in your campaign hashtag shouldn’t be misinterpreted for having a double meaning.

Event Hashtag

Event hashtags like campaign hashtags also have a start and end date. If your company has a recurring event, for instance every year, there’s no harm in reusing the hashtag. However, you might want to change the hashtag a bit and include the current year. This would differentiate conversations from the year before.

You can use another brand’s event hashtag to create brand awareness. For instance, imagine there’s an ongoing conference for which your brand is a participant. You can tweet about the said event using the conference’s event hashtag. In the process you’d end up creating brand awareness for your own brand when people interested in the conference looked up the event’s tweets.

Some of the tweets you can make include live updates from the event/conference.

Service/Product Hashtag

Companies that offer a variety of products or services should use service or product tags to focus on various aspects of their brand.

Service/product hashtags can be very useful especially in instances where the various offers appeal to different demographics.

This kind of hashtag is useful to the consumer as it can help them narrow down their search to products or services that they’re interested in. Feel free to use both your product and brand hashtag in your posts.

Trending Hashtag

Another way you can market your brand using hashtags is by jumping on hashtags that are trending. Before you do though, you need to know that these conversations tend to be ephemeral and fast-paced. You’ll also have to constantly monitor trending hashtags as their occurrence is unpredictable.

When done correctly, trending hashtags can lead to a major payoff for your brand. Usually, news outlets will highlight some of the most popular posts the day after.

You’ll need to make sure that the trending hashtag is a good fit for your business. This can be a restricting factor, as it will be hard to start a conversation in a niche that’s not related to your brand’s industry.

Holiday Hashtag

Use holiday hashtags to spread brand awareness. You’ll need to make sure that you’re creating a post that’s relevant to the holiday. Celebrate holidays that are a fit for your brand. Using a holiday hashtag can lead to quick discovery of your brand. So use it whenever you can.

How To Track Your Hashtags

There are a number of available tools you can use to track hashtags. You can either use one or a combination of them.

  • Outbound Hashtags

You can use reports such as Sprout’s Hashtag Performance report to determine the most engaging hashtag. It’s the perfect tool if you’re testing between different branded hashtags.

  • Campaign Hashtags

By using Sprout’s Smart Inbox tool you’ll be able to monitor the same hashtag across multiple platforms from a single location.

  • Hashtag Listening

Using the Twitter reports on Sprout, you’re able to monitor conversations around certain words and hashtags. You’ll discover which words are commonly used in conjunction with your brand.

If you implement this hashtag ideas from this year going forward, I’m confident that you’ll see amazing benefits going forward.









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