In 2016, when A Color Story, a mobile photography brand, first launched its popular hashtag #acolorstory, it started with a well-thought-out marketing strategy. Concerning its strategy, It’s Business and Product lead, Trey said, “We chose ‘A Color Story’ because we wanted people to feel comfortable hashtagging their photos with our brand name, which helps us increase brand awareness and get the name out there more. The name, ‘A Color Story’ does a good job of communicating what our app is about, but it can also be used to describe your photos”.
You can guess how that turned out. In just a few weeks, over 40,000 Instagram photos were tagged #acolorstory, and subscriptions skyrocketed.
In the world, today, where content is key and staying relevant is determined by how engaging and relatable our content is, the importance of a hashtag to further promote your brand cannot be underestimated.
According to the Merriam Webster Dictionary, A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the symbol # that classifies or categorizes the accompanying text.
In August 2007, Twitter user Chris Messina (@chrismessina) first Tweeted with a hashtag symbol # to define groups on the social media site. He posted;
How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina, (“factoryjoe”)
According to Messina, he suggested the use of the hashtag to make it easy for lay users without specialized knowledge of search protocols to find specific relevant content. Therefore, the hashtag “was created organically by Twitter users as a way to categorize messages.” August 23, 2007, the use of the symbol to categorize posts and define conversations quickly spread throughout the Twitter community and on other social media channels solidifying it as an integral part of social media and branding.
Why your brand should have a unique hashtag
Hashtags are the simplest way to organize endless amounts of information posted to social media so that you’re only seeing what you find relevant. They help users easily find specific content in whatever category they are searching for so it’s important to compose hashtags that fit your industry by using common industry-related terms.
What exactly is a unique hashtag?
This is a hashtag created for a specific purpose. While a generic hashtag like #writersofinstagram can refer to just about anything writing-related, a hashtag like #ShareaCoke is much more specific—it’s tied to a specific brand, Coca-Cola and is part of a specific marketing campaign. Unique hashtags can also be referred to as branded hashtags when they are used by brands.
- Taking a cue from A Color story brand, Unique hashtags can be used to create buzz around your brand, drive traffic to your website and even increase sales!
- It increases Authenticity. Instead of being a follower why not become a leader? On the social media space being authentic is a valued characteristic for any brand. Social media users love brands that are credible with original, and creative content and a unique hashtag is one way to make that possible.
- A branded hashtag helps keep track of every campaign done on social media, making it easier to analyze the success or failure of every campaign and readjust.
How to come up with a unique hashtag for your brand
Coming up with a successful brand hashtag requires a lot of dedication and creativity to even pull this off. It is a difficult process that requires lots of planning and strategizing but is worth it in the end.
Here are a few steps to getting started;
- Research! Research! Research! I don’t need to emphasize how important it is to undertake proper research before starting a marketing campaign.
- A custom hashtag should do multiple things at once. To have a prospect, it should be catchy, should fit your brand persona and should describe the message you are trying to send in the shortest way possible.
- Create a marketing strategy around your brand that supports the hashtag. Go all-in with your campaign. Create a graphic about your hashtag and take photos to post, consistently post your hashtag around social media. The certain about the hashtag you are, the more resource you are willing to dedicate to bring it to fruition.
- Lastly, remember to analyze and review your hashtag monthly. A good marketing strategy is not complete without analysis how else can the KPI be determined?
Be creative, #justdoit!
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