19 Jan How To Create Your Own Hashtag (and Why You’d Want To)
Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Facebook—it’s hard to find a social media platform that doesn’t use hashtags. More importantly, how can you start using hashtags on social media to leverage your business?
Hashtags, typically expressed with a “#” symbol before a word or phrase, are ways to group your social media content with other similar content to get them discovered by more people.
Some hashtags, like #business on LinkedIn or #food on Instagram, are what we call generic hashtags. They’re used by a lot of social media users in a lot of posts. Other hashtags are more unique and only used in very specific circumstances or can be tied to certain types of content (e.g. promotional posts). For example, #healthyfoodforkids and #businessgoals2021 are more specific variations of #food and #business.
What exactly is a unique hashtag? These are hashtags that are created for a specific purpose. While a general hashtag like #business can refer to just about anything business-related, a hashtag like #ShareaCoke is much more specific—it’s tied to a specific brand and is part of a specific marketing campaign.
This type of hashtag isn’t only used by brands, but brands can benefit greatly from creating and using their own hashtag. Unique hashtags can also be referred to as branded hashtags when they’re used by businesses.
Learn about creating your own social media hashtags
Why create your own unique hashtag for your brand?
How to create an effective unique hashtag
Expert advice on creating your own unique hashtag
For brands, creating your own unique hashtags allows you to generate buzz around a specific topic. In turn, this can bring traffic to your social media content and website, or help you reach your business goals, such as driving more sales.
Don’t believe us? Take a look at our award-winning marketing campaign for Engage and Change, a charity that wanted to raise awareness about homelessness during the wintertime. Our unique hashtag for their campaign, #ProjectWinterSurvival, trended #1 in Canada and received over 13 million impressions.
Why should you create a unique hashtag?
- It establishes credibility and helps set you up as an authority on a specific subject, especially if most of a hashtag’s content points back to your social media page.
- You become the leader instead of a follower. Social media users love engaging with original, creative content.
- If you are setting the hashtag trends, users will be more likely to share your content on their own feed or with their friends. This helps your brand tap into thousands of new followers.
- You can drive and steer your own conversations. Hashtags are useful for community management and can help you connect more effectively to your audience.
- Branded hashtags help marketers manage or keep track of a campaign. For example, if users must make a post and use the hashtag to enter a giveaway, the hashtag allows marketers a convenient way to view all the submitted content.
How to create an effective hashtag in three easy steps
Step 1: Start with a clearly defined purpose.
Whether you’re having a contest on Instagram or hosting a live video discussion on LinkedIn, you’ll want to generate buzz and get people to participate. Creating your own unique hashtag tied to the event will let other social media users easily find your event. Depending on your objectives, you may want to promote the unique hashtag to your audience before launching your campaign.
Step 2: Create a list of potential unique hashtags and research them.
You might find it easier to first look at other successful marketing campaigns that used unique hashtags. Some examples of branded hashtags include lululemon’s #TheSweatLife, Herschel’s #WellTravelled, and Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt.
Once you come up with a list of potential hashtags, be sure to research each of them and get other people’s feedback. If your unique hashtag is already being used and it’s not content that you want to be associated with your campaign, try a different hashtag.
Step 3: Launch your own hashtag.
After you’ve selected your unique hashtag, use it in posts where it makes sense to do so. For example, if your unique hashtag is tied to a specific marketing campaign, use the hashtag in posts that mention the campaign. If your unique hashtag is more general, like your company name, use it sparingly in posts that are more promotional or posts that mention your brand specifically.
Our Expert Advice on Creating and Using Hashtags
Give it a chance. Some hashtags will catch on quickly and others will take time. If you used a hashtag during a marketing campaign and it never took off, look at reasons why this may be the case. Was it too similar to other hashtags? Was the hashtag too long and hard to use? Did you promote it often enough on your feed?
Keep your unique hashtag simple. After all, you want your audience to easily remember it when they’re searching for it on social media or using it in their own posts. Our hashtag for Engage and Change, #ProjectWinterSurvival, was the name of the marketing campaign itself so it was easy to remember.
Don’t overuse unique hashtags. In other words, you shouldn’t be using it in every single post. This can unintentionally get your content flagged as spam.
Unique hashtags can be used in many different places. If you’re posting on Instagram for example, consider using your hashtag in a Story, as the title of a Story Highlight, or even in a comment response if it’s appropriate.
If you’re looking at ways to use social media to increase brand awareness or generate leads, let’s have a conversation! Click the button below and chat with one of our social media marketing experts and learn how today’s top platforms can help you reach your business objectives.
While hashtags seem simple to create and use, there’s actually a lot of strategy that goes with it. For your next marketing campaign, make sure that you’re using the right hashtag the right way. Click the button below to chat with our social media marketing experts today!