HashTag – A New Way of Brand Communication in Digital Era (PART-1)

HashTag

With social network updates happening faster than you blink, using hashtags to raise brand awareness is not as easy as adding # to your target keywords. Brands must not only rely on the popular hashtags now but also must be aware of emerging trends among consumers and influencers. This helps optimize your hashtag usage so social media users don’t miss your posts. To increase their reach among an increasingly global market, more brands use social media analytics tools to change their hashtag marketing strategy and keep up with shifts in trends the second they happen. To get the most out of your hashtag marketing, you’ll need to define your goals. Will you be using hashtags to discover content or to contribute to a conversation? You can certainly do both in different campaigns, but having a more narrow goal will help you pinpoint the best content and hashtag use. Read on to check out some great examples of how brands have hashtags to increase their brand awareness, and how you can research and track success yourself.

The Best Hashtag Campaigns of All Time: Here is my pick of some of the most remarkable hashtag campaigns that are still known for their massive reach.

1. #WantAnR8 by Audi
A while back, when R8 was released, one of the Twitter users (Joanne McCoy) let the brand know how badly she wanted to ride an R8 by including #WantAnR8 in her tweet. The brand gave her a surprise by letting her drive an R8 for a day. The hashtag later took off as the brand used it to promote the launch of their car. Soon, others also started using the hashtag and the brand surprised a few them by letting them drive an R8 for a day. Tweeted more than 75 thousand times, it depicts how to make the most of user-generated content. The brand was listening to their customers and let them be their ambassadors on social media.


2. #NationalFriedChickenDay by KFC
When #NationalFriedChickenDay started trending on Twitter, KFC jumped to make the most of this opportunity. The hashtag originally started to trend on Twitter as thousands of food enthusiasts wanted to dedicate a day to fried chicken. KFC realized that the hashtag was related to their brand and ran a promotional campaign around it. It became an annual celebration, as well as KFC’s most popular hashtag campaign. This year, the brand celebrated the day by installing SAW-like drive-thru robots. Just like KFC, we should also stay updated with the ongoing trends. You can always tap into an already-trending hashtag and associate it with your brand. You don’t even have to include your brand’s name in the hashtag to make it relevant.

3#ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
This is one of my personal favourites as the campaign redefined Coca-Cola’s social media image. A while back, the brand came up with the idea of sharing a coke by offering personalized labels for bottles. In this way, customers can gift Coca-Cola to others and share a Coke with them. The brand also launched a website where customers could order their personalized Coke. To further boost the visibility of the campaign, it collaborated with stars like Ryan Seacrest and Selena Gomez. It became a viral hashtag campaign and is still promoted by the brand. If you have an original idea like Coca-Cola, then make the most of it by running a powerful hashtag campaign. Think beyond social media and don’t hesitate to run a whole marketing vertical if the campaign takes off.

Authors:
1. Dr. Vikas Arya
Associate Professor, Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai
Email – vikas.arya@rsb.edu.in

2. Ms. Pratheepa. P
Rajalakshmi School of Business, Chennai

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