Guest post by Pankaj Narang
The last few years have seen a drastic change in the current digital marketing scene. With the widespread use of hashtags, almost every brand has come up with its unique hashtag and keeps running dedicated campaigns. Even though hashtags were made popular by Twitter, they are now used in almost every major social media platform like Instagram, Facebook. Google+, and more.
If you are also a social media marketer who would like to work on an engaging hashtag campaign, then you have landed at the right place. In this post, I will make you familiar with the top 10 hashtag campaigns run by popular brands in the recent time. In this way, you can learn a few things from these hashtag campaigns and work on your own marketing strategy as well.
1. #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke is not just a hashtag campaign, but a marketing drive that put the brand on the social media map. A while back, the brand came up with an amazing idea that allowed its consumers to redesign Coca-Cola bottles with their name tag. This can be done by visiting its dedicated website.
To market this genius idea, the brand ran a successful campaign on Twitter. It collaborated with stars like Ryan Seacrest and Selena Gomez to reach out to its audience. This created a viral presence for the brand and other social media powerhouses like Disney also started collaborating with Coca-Cola.
It led to the development of their new marketing wing. Now, #ShareACoke has gifting ideas, apparels, and a lot more. All of this was a result of a thoughtfully managed hashtag campaign.
2. #IceBucketChallenge by ALS Association
The #IceBucketChallenge is undoubtedly one of the best hashtag campaigns run by a non-profit organization. The challenge became a global phenomenon and created a lot of awareness regarding ALS. Additionally, it also raised more than $100 million dollars by getting an evident support from almost every major celebrity out there.
Since it was a fun and thoughtful campaign that inspired people to move out of their comfort zone and create awareness regarding ALS, it gained immense popularity in no time. This further proves that it doesn’t matter what tone your organization has, it can easily come up with an engaging campaign.
3. #PutACanOnIt by Red Bull
Even though the campaign was originally launched in 2014, users all over the world still post creative photos with the Red Bull can. It all started when a Twitter user posted a creative snap by using the Red Bull can in a unique way. Later, the brand invited its audience to share more pictures using the Red Bull can as a prop.
Without spending tons of money, the brand got a prominent attention on Instagram and Twitter. It started sharing selected photos on Twitter and their website as well.
4. #CaughtOnDropCam by Nest
For a brand that deals with security camera and gadgets, it can be pretty tedious to run an engaging campaign on social media. Therefore, the #CaughtOnDropCam hashtag campaign by Nest came out as a breath of fresh air for its audience. The brand asked its users to share funny video footage of their hidden cameras – and the rest was history.
It created a wave on social media that made everyone laugh out loud. From animals doing creepy stuff to funny family moments, the campaign featured tons of funny videos with their hashtag. It showcased a whole new side of the brand and created quite a buzz on social media as well.
5. #NationalFriedChickenDay by KFC
Even though the hashtag was not originally marketed by KFC, it helped the brand gain lots of traction. The hashtag was already trending on Twitter when KFC utilized this opportunity to use it in its favor. After jumping in, the brand started posting engaging content on Twitter that became viral in no time.
This is one of the best examples on how brands can make the most of a trending topic and use it in their favor. While doing so, make sure that you don’t post anything insensitive and only use the hashtag in a constructive manner.
6. #TweetFromTheSeat by Charmin
Over the last few years, Charmin has come up with some of the most hilarious social media campaigns (including their toilet paper dress contest). For a brand that manufactures toilet paper, it can be a little tough to have a prominent social media presence. Nevertheless, Charmin broke this stereotype with its #TweetFromTheSeat campaign.
The brand invited its audience to post hypothetical (or real-life) scenarios from the toilet set. It resulted in tons of hilarious tweets and gave life to a trend that is still being followed on Twitter.
7. #ThrowMeBack by Expedia
Expedia’s #ThrowMeBack hashtag was initially targeted to travelers, but it gradually gained a lot of traction and became popular on platforms like Twitter and Instagram. The brand encouraged its audience to post old vacation photos on social media with the #ThrowMeBack hashtag. With free vacation packages up for grabs, the hashtag became viral on social media.
The brand took the advantage of an existing trend (like #ThrowBackThursday), tweaked it a little, and gave it a push with amazing prizes. This is a smart move, which we all can learn from Expedia.
8. #SFBatKid by Make a Wish Foundation
The #SFBatKid is one of the most moving and inspiring hashtag campaigns, which has been run by a non-profit organization. It proved that NGOs doesn’t always need to come up with funny campaigns. Sometimes, a thoughtful and personal campaign can also hit home and be viral.
The campaign featured Miles (a 5-yo kid with lymphoblastic leukemia) who wanted to be Batman for a day. Make a Wish Foundation made his dream come true in San Francisco by running a live-blog and a Twitter campaign. Not only from the residents of San Francisco, it also gained a lot of traction worldwide with over 1.7 million impressions.
9. #LetsDoLunch by Domino’s
When it comes to social media, Domino’s never seems to disappoint its audience. Even though the brand has come up with lots of hashtag campaigns over the last few years, their #LetsDoLunch campaign certainly gave rise to a whole new phenomenon.
The brand simply asked users to tweet with the #LetsDoLunch hashtag and get immediate off on their orders. Their single tweet created a wave with thousands of users posting tweets and getting tempting offs on their orders.
We all can learn how to create a limited and exclusive offer for our audience from this example. Even though this campaign lasted for a day, it helped Domino’s gain millions of impressions.
10. #OreoHorrorStories by Oreo
If you are active on social media, then you must already be familiar with various hashtag campaigns run by Oreo. The brand is known to come up with some of the most hilarious and well-known hashtag campaigns. Even though there are numerous hashtag campaigns from Oreo that we love, the #OreoHorrorStories campaign certainly stood out.
Around Halloween, the brand started posting small Oreo-themed parody videos of famous horror scenes. It gained a lot of attention from its audience and resulted in an annual phenomenon. This funny Halloween hashtag is still being used by the brand and its audience, giving more power to its social media presence.
Besides the above-stated hashtag campaigns, there are plenty of brands that won us over with their smart marketing strategy. Here are some amazing campaigns that made quite a buzz on social media:
- #WantAnR8 by Audi
- #MyCalvins by Calvin Klein
- #WeAccept by Airbnb
- #MyBreak by KitKat
- #RedCupContest by Starbucks
- #PetsAtWork by Purina
- #DontKillSeanBean by TNT
- #LikeAGirl by Always
- #EarthHour by WWF
- #MakeWhatsNext by Microsoft
How to proceed?
Now when you know about some of the best hashtags campaigns of the recent times, you can certainly learn a lot from these examples and come up with your own engaging campaign. Beforehand, you should know the evident mistakes one should avoid while running a hashtag campaign.
Needless to say, hashtags form the most important part of any marketing campaign. If your hashtag is too complicated or can’t convey its message, then you can’t run a successful campaign. Therefore, you can take the assistance of Hashtagify to get insights related to hashtags and influencers.
The tool is easy to use and provides a free encyclopedia with over 70 million hashtags. You can visit its interactive interface and dig hashtags in 38 global languages across different durations. This can help you tap the recent trends while running a productive hashtag campaign for sure.
Along with social media marketing Pankaj is determined to shape his ideas into perfect products. CoFounder of Socialert – Twitter Analytics Tool For Keywords, he believes in coming up with engaging tools to redefine the face of social media marketing. You can check his blog here.