#HowTo Write a Good Hashtag

All brands dream of the moment their carefully-crafted content campaigns suddenly take off and set social media alight. Marketing teams can then sit back and relax as an expanding army of happy followers and likers spread the message for them. 

And today, whether you are a multinational financial operation or local NGO, a snappy hashtag can help capture the essence of your campaign and kick-start the viral magic. It will boost brand awareness and connect your content across multiple platforms in a cohesive and compelling way. Add an interactive mechanic and your audience is even more likely to engage, which can help promote events, competitions and new products. In turn, it can help track your content and reveal your ROI. 

There’s more. A hashtag that hits all the right notes can add a magical – and long-lasting – feel-good X-factor that reinforces your brand. Creating a #hashtag that captures the zeitgeist, however, is much easier said than done. Here are some key guidelines:

  • Originality – be unique. If not, there is little chance you will stand out in the crowd. Emulating a successful competitor will flatter but fail. 
  • Clarity – the word/phrase should be precise and easy to understand. 
  • UseCapitals – this helps with clarity. #Susanalbumparty was an innocent hashtag to promote a new record by Susan Boyle. Other interpretations were possible.
  • Brevity – if you can’t convey the meaning in three or four words it’s not going to work. Many big brands are distilling their essence down to a single theme. Or word. So, for example, Coca-Cola is ‛happiness’, McDonald’s is ‛loving’ and Oreo is ‛play’.
  • Authenticity – to thine own self be true, as Shakespeare said. Boastful brand BS is boring. Always…
  • Context – position your brand cleverly in the world around you. Content is king. Context is queen… as they (marketers) say.
  • Positivity – to make a splash, positive vibes are good. Simple, but true.
  • Be timely – you can ride the wave of trending topics, but don’t rely on the strategy. It’s a handy part of the mix. 

Here are six of Paragon’s favourites:

  1. Lego
    #RebuildTheWorld: A campaign launched on Twitter, epitomised Lego’s inherent creativity and mission to “inspire and develop the builders of tomorrow”. A classic brand suddenly felt funky and new. Lego’s use of cohesive branded content across platforms – the videos are fantastic – helped ensure the campaign worked. Check out Pinterest too.

Paragon view: A clear brand-supporting hashtag and comprehensive multi-platform campaign is hard to beat.

  1. Oreo
    #OreoHorrorStories: When it comes to platforms like Twitter and Instagram, Oreo takes the biscuit. You may have spotted campaigns like #OREODunkSweepstakes or #PlayWithOreo, which leverages their chosen word ‛Play’. But it was the #OreoHorrorStories campaign that first turned heads and showed the power of the hashtag. A timely Halloween treat, it was a series of humorous vines that parodied famous horror movie scenes from films like ‛The Exortwist’ and ‛Milkenstein’.

Paragon view: Think ahead to any brand-relevant event and create a dedicated campaign.

  1. Peleton
    #TogetherWeGoFar: Peloton’s #TogetherWeGoFar hashtag sums up the role this digital fitness company can play in the life of its members. It’s all about supporting each other to reach goals – the company supporting the community, members supporting other members, and everyone supporting charities and good causes.

Paragon view: Get your brand story spot on. Then sum it up in three or four words!

  1. L’Oréal 
    #WorthSaying: L’Oréal Paris deftly adapted the brand’s famous tagline – “Because you’re worth it” – to create a campaign (in collaboration with the Golden Globes Awards) that empowered women to talk about the issues that matter to them most. Everyone – including Hollywood A-listers like Blake Lively – was soon talking about the campaign. The message: beauty is more than skin deep.

Paragon view: What brand equity can you leverage to create a timely and engaging message that enhances your story?

  1. Domino’s Pizza
    #LetsDoLunch: A promotional giveaway campaign lured thousands of people to Twitter with the promise of a discount on a pizza once they had used the hashtag in a tweet. It rapidly boosted the company’s presence on social media. 

Paragon view: It sums up the brand’s proposition. It’s simple. It’s quick. It does the job. Just like a pizza. 

  1. Charmin
    #TweetFromTheSeat: What do you do if you make toilet paper and discover that 40 percent of 18 to 24-year-olds, according to Nielsen, use social media in the bathroom? Launch a snappy #TweetFromTheSeat campaign asking people to tweet about life from the seat”. A spokesperson added: “We love potty humour.” 

Paragon view: Humour is a winner. With creativity and knowledge of your brand and the market any brand can make Twitter light up. Even a toilet paper maker!

Do you need help capturing the essence of your marketing campaign and kick-starting the viral magic? Contact us to learn more about our integrated communications programs and services.

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