How Should Brands Use Hashtags?

Dan Tygard

July 7, 2020

Social media is a powerful tool that helps a brand to reinforce who it is, what it stands for, and why it matters to its audience. But how and when should your brand use hashtags?

Branded Hashtags

Branded hashtags are unique to a particular brand. These can be as straightforward as using the brand name or a variation of the brand name. A brand can also use its tagline or a form of its tagline as a branded hashtag. As an example, Nike often uses #JustDoIt as a branded hashtag. These hashtags can be a great way to brand your content and give your audience a way to search and find your posts.

Community Hashtags

Community hashtags are a great way to engage and interact with your target audience on social. Brands can create and use a community hashtag and ask followers to use it when posting something that relates to the brand. Outdoor brand Poler uses #campvibes and encourages its followers to use the hashtag when posting about their own outdoor adventures.

Campaign and Event Hashtags

Creating a hashtag that is specific to a campaign or an event is a great way for a brand not only to organize the campaign content, but also let its audience know the brand is doing something important or noteworthy. These hashtags usually have a start and end date that coincide with the campaign or event, but can be reused if applicable. These hashtags should include the tagline or messaging around the campaign or the name of the event. When Coke launched its “Share a Coke” campaign, which promoted gifting their personalized Coke bottles, it introduced and started using #ShareaCoke on all posts and encouraged consumers to do the same.

Holiday Hashtags

Holiday hashtags provide simple ways for a brand to interact with its audience and stay relevant and timely. #4thofJuly, #Christmastime, and #HappyNewYear are just a few examples.

Trending Hashtags

A brand can use its own social platforms to participate in larger conversations by using trending hashtags. Recently, a number of brands have posted content and used hashtags related to trending topics like #COVID19 and #EndRacism. Brands should use caution when utilizing trending hashtags to avoid the appearance of commercial exploitation. The message that accompanies the hashtag must feel authentic and should contribute something meaningful to the broader conversation.

Hashtags may seem like one more thing to add to your to-do list as a marketer, but using them correctly can add additional value to your content and provide additional opportunities for your brand.