How to use hashtags in Twitter marketing?

Hashtags are inherent part of Twitter communication and a way of highlighting topics in tweets. They can also help in getting more attention from users. The popularity of specific hashtags reflects interests of followers. Because every profile has its own group of unique followers, there is no universal hashtag that everyone could use and win. There are various strategies and principles that can be applied to maximize the effects of using hashtags. To inspire you, we looked through several cases of using brands’ own and trending hashtags. Check what we discovered.


Follow trends with trending hashtags

Taking part in trending events makes your brand look more social and connected to other Twitter users. Nifty slotting into trends is also the easy way of getting popularity and reach. Brands are doing well when getting social by sharing emotions with followers. It is easier when big things happen, such as important global or local events. For example, Listerine Global was getting advantage by using hashtag #worldcup. Its whole campaign was based on the WorldCup theme.

Also Snickers got into the World Cup trend. Tweets tagged #worldcup were doing extremely well during the whole event. But watch out! Adding #usavger, a little bit less catchy, universal hashtag, worsened Snickers’ results. On the other hand, hashtag #ger turned out to be useful for Listerine. As told before that there is no perfect hashtag that could engage everyone and our data confirm it. Not all Twitter brand profiles suceed in engaging followers in World Cup topics.

For example Lufthansa USA’s #worldcup tweets got on average less users’ activities than others. Maybe it can seem a little bit odd that something works and something similar doesn’t, and for your close competition it is good, while for you it’s not. Indeed, determining it in advance would be a hard nut to crack, but for sure the best you can do is to try and watch what is good just for you.

Hashtags used by Listerine Global

Feeling the season’s vibe is the great way to catch the attention of followers. We found that sunny #summer tweet was very beneficial for Olay Skin Care. Now, in the autumn, PayPal got almost 4 times more activities than average with tweets containing #backtoschool tag.

Hashtags used by PayPal

Hashtags used by PayPal

In August we experienced another phenomenon on the Internet – ALS “Ice Bucket Challenge” action. Not only celebrities, but also brands took part in fun and beneficent trend. Hashtag #IceBucketChallenge helped in scoring few times more users’ actions even for smaller and non-English language profiles.


Create your own unique hashtags

Apart from participating in trending events via tweets, it’s worth creating your own hashtags. You may try using for example these referring to your brand or product. Such hashtags are frequently used by mobile phones manufacturers, like HTC USA. We found that tweets with #htcadvantage tags were more popular than others. On the other hand, more specific hashtag #HTCOneM8 was also a good choice for the brand.

Hashtags used by HTC

Hashtags used by HTC

When talking about mobile phone brands, we also took a look at LG USA Mobile. It turned out that its hashtag #lgg3, referring to a new LG G3 smartphone model, was also extremely successful. The Indonesian LG got more than twice the number of activities than usual with #lgg3. Also Nokia has its own good hashtag. Tweets containing  #teamlumia had twice more activities than other Nokia’s tweets.

Next to hashtags containing brand’s names, we noticed some created for specific campaigns. Sharing emotions can be part of such campaigns. American Express credit card used it in a nice style when promoting the brand by hashtag #EveryDayMoments. Olay Skin Care made it differently – by sharing people’s stories campaign via #OlayStories.

Hashtags used by Olay

Hashtags used by Olay

Remember about general hashtag principles

When you decide to make your own hashtag, it is worth remembering about several basic principles. Here is what you definitely shloud have in mind while thinking about your own hashtags:

  • Keep your communication consistent. Think about “the bigger picture” of your brand. Have a wide vision of your brand communication, not only on Twitter or other social media, but in all communication channels.
  • Use only relevant hashtags. Keep in mind the purpose of each tweet. Use only hashtags that match the topic and try not to use more than three at a time.
  • Don’t spam. Choose hashtags carefully and don’t spam people with your tweets when they are not about the topic they want to read.
  • Know what hashtags your competitors use. Control what topics are trending in your niche and check if they will turn out to be beneficial for you.
  • Make the right form of your own hashtags. They should be short, direct, easy to read and understand. Use: uppercase letters to make your hashtag readable when containing more than one word. Watch out to not string too many words. Don’t use: spaces, punctuation marks and other special characters.
  • Discover the rules applying to your profile and mantain personal approach. You cannot expect you will always succeed. It is natural that some tweets  won’t be so successful as others. You  have to check how your fans react to various types of tweets containing different hashtags. You can analyze it for example with Sotrender that will give you personalized recommendations for your profile and will evaluate your choice of hashtags.

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