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I know lots of hashtag campaigns. But not all of them are interesting. The majority is boring and easily forgettable. How to avoid failure? There are a few golden rules when creating your own hashtag campaign on social media platforms. Big players like Adidas, Coca-Cola, and Disney know it. That’s why I encourage you to learn from them.
Hashtags will categorize your social media content, produce more visibility, and increase brand awareness.
Hashtags help users find you among other brands, social media posts, and popular celebrities. It is a perfect way to engage the audience in an online campaign and get new social media followers.
Here’s what you need to do as a digital marketer.
Come up with a catchy and easy-to-remember hashtag and give users a real incentive to join the conversation. Collect all the mentions with a specific hashtag using a social listening tool. This way, you can engage with people who share pictures with your brand hashtags and monitor the entire campaign.
This is a perfect way to win new followers and increase social media reach exponentially. Top-notch brands know about that and impress others with their marketing stunts.
- #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
- #JustDoIt by Nike
- #ShotoniPhone by Apple
- #MyCalvins by Calvin Klein
- #ShareYourEars by Disney
- #IceBucketChallenge by ALS Association
- #PutACanOnIt by Red Bull
- #HereToCreate by Adidas
8 Creative and Successful Hashtag Campaigns
There are many captivating and successful campaigns. Undoubtedly, successful brands pay a lot of attention to this field of marketing promotion. It took work to pick the best of the best.
After research, I chose those campaigns that made lots of buzz on social media platforms. Some of them are still doing well.
Here are the 8 examples of how to make a viral hashtag campaign.
01 #ShareACoke by Coca-Cola
Coca-Cola launched a multi-national marketing campaign that soon turned out to be massive. Coca-Cola replaced the logo we all know with the phrase “Share a Coke,” followed by a name, nickname, or title.
Along with the debranded Coke bottles, Coca-Cola created #ShareACoke, which went viral. People willingly shared their bottles with custom logos.
The brand encouraged consumers to post social media photos of themselves with #ShareACoke. They got the chance to appear on one of Coca-Cola’s banners in the U.S. in exchange. It was a big success which reversed the decline in Coca-Cola consumption and won numerous awards. The results even exceeded the campaign goals.
The campaign is still working. In the last 30 days, the hashtag was mentioned across the Internet about 278 times. Most mentions come from Instagram.
Brand24 is a tool that monitors and analyzes hashtag campaigns.
02 #JustDoIt by Nike
This hashtag accompanies the campaign Just Do It that Nike promotes widely on many channels. It is an integral part of Nike’s digital marketing strategy.
#JustDoIt by Nike is one of my favorite hashtag campaigns. Instead of just pushily selling shoes, custom t-shirts, and other products, it promotes a healthy lifestyle and motivates its audience to do everyday activities, saying #JustDoIt.
It all started a long time ago. The slogan arose in 1987 to accompany Nike’s first television campaign that focused on various activities such as running, walking, basketball, cross-training, and women’s fitness. Each activity had its own spot that was markedly different from the others. The tagline Just Do It connected them.
It’s hard to detect when the hashtag was used for the first time. But it’s clear that nowadays, the slogan Just Do It has stuck to the brand for good.
It is one of the most successful hashtag campaigns because it gains extensive user engagement. The significant advantage of the #JustDoIt campaign is user-generated content that appears on social media platforms every day.
In the last 30 days, this hashtag has been used over 74k (!) times, which stands for 196 million social media reach. Most mentions come from Instagram, but many are on Twitter, too.
Furthermore, the Presence Score of the #JustDoIt hashtag is higher than that of 74% of brands.
It’s not a surprise for me. In my previous article, I analyzed Nike’s performance on social media. You can read it here: How Effective is Nike’s Social Media Strategy?
Monitor topics surrounding social media with Brand24.
03 #ShotoniPhone by Apple
In 2019, Apple announced a photo contest. The rules were simple. IPhone users had to take a creative photo and publish it on Instagram or Twitter with the tag #ShotoniPhone. The winning images were posted on Apple Newsroom, apple.com, Apple Instagram, and other official brand accounts.
Result? We can scroll through millions of posts on Instagram and Twitter presenting stunning photos shot on iPhones.
The good news is that we have the rendition of the contest in 2022, so you can participate 😉
As you probably guessed, this social media marketing campaign is doing fantastic.
In the last 30 days, the #ShotoniPhone tag was added to over 10k social media posts and generated 15 million reach. Most of them come from Twitter.
Currently, it is one of the most popular hashtags created by a brand.
04 #MyCalvins by Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein launched a social media hashtag campaign encouraging users to share their selfies in underwear with the iconic brand’s waistband. Naturally, all these photos should include #mycalvins.
The campaign called “show yours. #mycalvins” coincided with the launch of Calvin Klein’s new underwear collection, Calvin Klein Dual Tone. The brand engaged over 100 style influencers to contribute to the campaign promotion. The popular Instagrammers were the first to post self-portraits on social media with the hashtag #mycalvins.
The Calvin Klein team reviewed all the Instagram photos with the right hashtag. Then, they handpicked the best shots and featured them on the brand’s official Instagram feed. This was an excellent opportunity for every social media user to become a model watched by millions just for a moment.
Calvin Klein’s fans still willingly use this hashtag. There were 565 mentions in the last 30 days. Instagram seems to be the best social media platform to promote fashion. But interestingly, most of the brand mentions come from Twitter.
05 #ShareYourEars by Disney
While presenting social media hashtag campaigns, I need to mention the charity one that impressed me. The collaboration of Disney and the Make-A-Wish Foundation turned into a charming donation campaign.
Disney asked fans to post photos wearing Mickey Mouse Ears. Each post tagged with #ShareYourEars meant Disney’s $5 donation to the Make-A-Wish Foundation. What a brilliant idea, isn’t it?
That was a very successful campaign. It went viral immediately. With the support of celebrities and philanthropists, it generated broad user engagement, translating into 1.77 million photos and 420 million social media impressions. In the end, Disney decided to double the original donation from $1 million to $2 million.
Even though the campaign ended, people are still using the hashtag. The numbers might not be impressive, but people still remember about #ShareYourEars.
Use the Brand24 tool to measure, track, and analyze hashtag campaigns.
06 #IceBucketChallenge by ALS Association
When it comes to viral hashtag campaigns, I must mention the Ice Bucket Challenge. Users liked it because it was one of those funny hashtag campaigns. Influential people all over the world pouring buckets of ice-cold water over themselves. Who didn’t laugh?
It all started with a video recorded by baseball player Pete Frates, who has amyotrophic lateral sclerosis. Then, other athletes joined the challenge to raise awareness. Soon, action gained fame among politicians and celebrities, creating their own content. The Internet was full of #IceBucketChallenge videos and hashtags.
Each person nominated another 3 to make a video within 24 hours. If they didn’t take the challenge, they had to donate $100 to the ALS Association.
The result of the campaign was spectacular. It collected over $115 million for the ALS Association. That money dramatically supported the fight against ALS.
Can you believe that people still post about #IceBucketChallenge? Yes, they do. In the last 30 days, the challenge was mentioned 251 times on the Internet. Some people are still pouring buckets of ice-cold water over themselves.
07 #PutACanOnIt by Red Bull
The next hashtag campaign I’d like to present is the award-winning #PutACanOnIt campaign by Red Bull. Do you remember Red Bull Mini Coopers with cans on them?
So Red Bull found on Twitter a fan’s photo of Mini Cooper with the photographer holding a Red Bull can to the back of the car, making it look like a Red Bull Mini. The brand turned this photo into a social media marketing campaign with the #PutACanOnIt.
Since then, fans have “put a can on” everything – cars, people, animals, nature, and more!
Interestingly, other brands producing canned drinks, including Pepsi, took part in the campaign in their own way.
For example, Pepsi posted a similar photo of their can, to which RedBull responded by putting their can on a Pepsi can. Moreover, Perrier put its can on top of the Pepsi and Redbull cans and posted it on social channels.
The audience has positively received this interaction between brands. The campaign was a success – fans posted 10k photos with hashtags.
Right now, #PutACanOnIt is not popular. In the last 30 days, it gained only 3 mentions on social channels. Currently, the primary hashtag of the Red Bull brand is #givesyouwiiings, which (in the last 30 days) gained 133 mentions.
08 #HereToCreate by Adidas
Now let’s talk about a hashtag that boosted the brand awareness of the Adidas brand. Personalization is something every consumer loves. Here’s how Adidas used it.
While organizing the Boston Marathon 2018, the brand created customized videos for all 30k participating runners. The athletes spread those videos across their social profiles with the hashtag #HereToCreate.
The campaign gained broad reach and (what is essential) found the right audience – people interested in sports activities.
Many hashtag campaigns are part of influencer marketing. #HereToCreate by Adidas is an example. Influential people like Lionel Messi, Pharell Williams, and David Beckham participated in this brand campaign.
Adidas fans still willingly use #HereToCreate. In the last 30 days, it was used 452 times. The majority of mentions come from the Instagram audience.
09 #McDStories by McDonald’s
This one is an anti-example.
McDonald’s created the hashtag McDStories to encourge the audience to share positive stories and events related to the restaurant.
Unfortunately, their audience had a different plan for the hashtag. People started to post negative content and criticism toward the brand.
The situation resulted in a quick end of this hashtag campaign.
That’s why the goals of your campaign need to be clear, and the whole initiative needs to be well-thought-out.
How to create the best hashtag campaigns?
There is no secret recipe for a successful hashtag campaign. However, there are a few features that all these actions above have in common. When designing your hashtag campaign, these factors should be your base.
- Keep your campaign consistent with your brand image. Keep your message by your general appearance. Don’t try to be stiltedly funny if your brand is perceived as a serious company.
- Make your hashtag short, unique, and catchy. The easier the phrase to remember, the better. Also, it should be unambiguous so that you will collect only mentions that relate to the brand campaign.
- Give your audience a sufficient incentive to join the hashtagged discussion. If you want to engage your target audience, you need to encourage them to join the discussion. Use a reward or make the conversation exciting so people want to participate.
- Monitor your results throughout the entire campaign. You can easily collect all the mentions with the Brand24 social listening tool. Not only will you have access to generated content, but also you will be able to get data about your audience and general brand campaign performance.
- Be responsive and actively talk with social media users participating in your brand campaign. Your task continues after announcing a campaign to your audience. You should actively speak and interact with social media users. It will amplify the effects and increase your reach even more. Also, you can share user-generated content to appreciate the engagement of your audience.
Read more: Hashtag Marketing Guide
Measure the results of your hashtag campaigns with Brand24!
At this point, you know everything about how to run a hashtag campaign. Excited to embrace hashtags in your social media marketing campaign?
As you noticed, most hashtags presented in this article are still used by users. Let’s take a look at an example. Adidas created #HereToCreate in 2018. Nevertheless, in the last 30 days, over 450 posts were tagged with this hashtag, translating into 2.4m social media reach. Impressive, isn’t it?
I’m sure you can achieve equally spectacular results.
If you want to measure the effectiveness of your hashtag campaigns, just set up the Brand24 tool and try it for free!
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