How to create trending hashtags for your next viral campaign

How to create trending hashtags for your next viral campaign


Pooja Yadav

Pooja Yadav

15 Sep 2017, 09:13 — 8 min read

When hashtags were first introduced, few could have predicted how quickly they would capture public imagination. When a hashtag is clicked all posts on a medium like Twitter or Instagram are shown which incorporate the same hashtag in the post. The users can then peruse content of a similar nature. This allows for a focused viewing of content. Hashtags, therefore, allow companies to reach their target market with specific messages.

Twitter’s research on hashtags shows that it is very helpful for a user to use them. Engagement increases a 100% with the use of hashtag. For brands, that number is about 50%. Substantial. Being on twitter is essential for a brand looking to grow their base and engage their existing loyal customers. Social marketing campaigns of today require hashtags to succeed.

From the naive Instagrammers to the seasoned marketer, everybody seems to be using it and loving it. Nowadays using hashtags is as natural and common as typing a query into a search box. Hashtag fever is ingrained in the avant garde culture of the youth and modern marketing alike. 

But this whole phenomenon is way more than just a casual use of words strung together with a hashtag. It is much more than a random plugging into your tweets and posts. On social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, hashtag-marketing can boost impressions, reach, make the content more searchable and most importantly, urge the audience to talk about your brand, if it is done in a calculated way.


Social listening with hashtags

Standard social listening involves keeping track of what consumers say on any digital space that exists virtually.


Why social listening with hashtags?

If you are a marketer or want to know how your brand is perceived by your audience you can’t ignore hashtags. The use of hashtags enhances the repository of data collected on social media platforms wherever they are used. The tracking of data with hashtags is like data mining. And it revolves around identifying posts that bring significant  metrics such as influence and engagement.


How to use these tagged topics strategically?

Here’s a list of six hashtag marketing strategies:


1. #Brand hashtags

A brand hashtag is your signature for the digital world.  Unique to your business, a brand hashtag should be relevant to your business and should be included when sharing original content.


It benefits all, because:

  • The online community will get to know how to find your brand and its content.
  • Encouraging followers to use them will push your brand into the consumer’s lane gradually and positively. 
  • It is a way for users to let the community on social media know what they think about your brand/product/services/company. Instead of just a reference to your brand, they’re speaking out to their respective followers and users who are looking for tagged content.
  • The audience that uses them will earn more followers by drawing attention to their posts by use of brand hashtags.

The promotional contests dependent and determined on the hashtag-uses are examples that prove how engagement increases, steadily.


Example: Kitkat uses its tagline ’Have a break’.



2. #Trending hashtags

What’s trending now? Top 10 trends can come and go within minutes or last for a few days. A lot of users tend to use them in their posts and hence it trends. Trending hashtags are displayed in different ways on different social media platforms.


Why you should use them?

They successfully engage an audience base larger than your contacts and followers. The audience tends to become limitless.  Your posts appear for any searches for those trending hashtags.


3. #CallToAction hashtags

An essential rule of marketing: Encourage the audience to perform an action.


On social media, the end-goal is to have this mandatory CTA aspect in all the sorts of the marketing, good or bad.


Start with verbs like Talk, Share or similar words. Example: #TalkAboutMentalHealth


Why they work like magic?

  • Audience feels like they are part of an impactful cause since it solicits their opinion.
  • Sense of participation is injected among the users with a feeling of being in charge of something.
  • A fun-fountain is sprinkled in the hearts of the audience. People like something which has humour and induces laughter.


Example: Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign used the power of a strong CTA and became a wildly-successful hashtag initiative in marketing.



4. #ContentRelated hashtags

Hashtags, which speak about the meat-of-the-content, fall under this category. They don’t need to fall under the compulsive club of trending or popular. Your post’s uniqueness will be highlighted by the means of content-related hashtags.


Why to go for content-reflecting hashtags?

  •         They optimise content for searches.
  •         Niche topics are brought to the audience with use of specific hashtags.
  •         A new product/service can be sold tactfully.

Example: #DigitalMarketing is one such hashtag that can be used for the posts related to digital marketing services spanning across different segments.


5. #Campaign hashtags

Marketing campaigns that are done on social media needs to be identified uniquely and hence a campaign hashtag will serve the purpose. Promotions of the campaign can be done throughout the campaign-duration with the help of such hashtags.


How does it help in promotions?

  • Sponsored events and product launches get a huge boost among the audience with proper use of the campaign hashtags.
  • One of the most strategic tactics followed by the brands is to make the use of hashtags an entry mechanism to the contest or any user-engagement campaign.


6. #Chat hashtags

Businesses often host Twitter chats to get the audience talking in affiliation to a particular hashtag. This brings the brand alive by initiating a discussion on a topic into the audience’s attention. If we talk of the outcomes of Chat hashtags used in the past, they have worked great for building relationships & getting fans familiar with a brand.


How does it help?

  •         Connect with like-minded audience.
  •         Establish the brand’s expertise in relevant domains and topics.


These six strategies work best for spiking the engagement by making the content searchable, increasing the reach, firing up consumer conversations and more. Implement them in your coming social marketing campaigns to see what works well for you.


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Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views, official policy or position of GlobalLinker.