The ABC's of Branding: Hashtags



Hashtags are crucial for any brand with an online presence. Especially now in our digital age, utilizing hashtags is a must for increasing brand awareness, visibility and customer loyalty. Hashtags make your company easy to find, and can be used to create a culture with both your employees and followers. Think of hashtags as the name tag you would put on your luggage at the airport. How might you find your luggage among similar luggage at the baggage claim? Your hashtags are key for tracking of all content related to your brand.

Two Ways to use Hashtags

Using Hashtags to Search

You can use hashtags to search engagement with your brand, trending topics and relevant industry conversations to join.This may also be a good way to see what people are saying about your brand, as well as the public perception you display. This form of passive monitoring is also called social listening.

Using Hashtags to be Found

You may also use specific hashtags to be apart of trending culture or to get your content in front of a certain niche market. This could be a location tag for viewers looking locally, or a classification tag for individuals searching for a specific type of product or service.

The Most Common Types of Hashtags

<img alt="hashtag symbol made of breadsticks">
Photo by Elena Koycheva on Unsplash

Company Hashtags

These are the hashtags used to describe the culture of the company. Whether it's a company tradition or getting employees involved, this is a fun tag to track the unique life at your company. While it may not seem like this matters to viewers who don't work for the company, this humanizes your company and puts real faces behind your service. Seeing a tight knit team or culture can encourage others to stay invested in your brand.

Example: #LinkedInLife

Campaign Hashtags

Campaign hashtags are used to track the success and awareness of a marketing campaign and to see how it's resonating with customers. Whether for retweets, or users responding to your campaign, this is an easy way to spread awareness of your campaign. Ideally, your campaign should be connected to a more general topic, so that your campaign comes to mind when this topic is mentioned. Find something that is in line with your brand, and make sure to understand the context of this brand association.

Example: #ShareACoke

User Generated Content

While this may be the most effective hashtag, it is also the riskiest. This tag focuses on engagement, and getting followers involved with your brand. Generally, this is a communal tag which invites users to use your company hashtag when they post about your brand or product. Not only does this encourage viewers to post about your brand, but acts as incentive for viewers to engage with your offering. After filtering through the tags, featuring reposts on your company page can increase brand loyalty and encourage customers to interact with your brand.

Example: #MyAritzia

Event Hashtags

Event hashtags are helpful for tracking (and networking) with individuals involved in an industry related event. This works great especially for annual events, as it tracks the momentum of an event over the years. Try to use one main hashtag for an event, and build on it every year. This makes it easy for users to find content for an event, and collects all user and partner content under one tag.

Examples: #pyeongchang2018 vs. #Tokyo2020

Location Hashtags

While a bit broader, location hashtags can be helpful for making locals aware of your brand. At the same time, because location tags are used so often, you may consider specifying the tag to something broader which still includes the location.

Examples: #yeg vs. #yegeats

Trending Hashtags

This tag could be a holiday, recent news or trending ideas. While this is a great way to stay relevant, always make sure that trending hashtag are in line with your company, and makes sense for your brand. For example, it might make sense for a bakery to be involved in posts about #nationalpiday, while it might not make sense for a clothing store to join this tag.

Examples: #nationaldogday, #stpatricksday

The prime number of hashtags often varies by platform. While places like Instagram may perform better with more tags, other platforms may do better with one, two, or even none. When making a hashtag it should be memorable, somewhat simple, and easy to spell. The tag shouldn't be too specific, but specific enough that it connects to your brand. Remember, anyone can use your hashtags, so be sure to weed out spam, anti-fans and fake accounts. If you can, do periodic checks to report spammers and keep associated results for your hashtag relevant.


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