5 Creative Hashtag Campaigns You Should Look Up To

Natalia Chrzanowska
October 20, 2015 ・ 6 min read

Using hashtags is an easy way to categorize your social media content and simply let users find you among the abundance of information on the Internet. It is also a perfect way to engage the audience in an online campaign. You just need to come up with a catchy and easy to remember hashtag, give users an incentive to join the conversation and then collect all the mentions with dedicated hashtag using Internet monitoring, for instance.

This is a perfect way to win some new followers and increase social media reach and engagement at the same time. Many brands know about that already and impress the others with their marketing stunts. Here are the 5 examples of how hashtag campaign should be done.

#UnAdjetivoParaMessi by Pepsi

Argentina is the country of football. This is where the greatest players in the history were born. Including Lionel Messi, FC Barcelona player, who is often considered as the best footballer in the world. Pepsico Argentina realized that Spanish language lacks an adequate term for such a talent. This is why, togehther with BBDO they designed a hashtag campaign asking football fans on social media for a proper adjective.

The dedicated hashtag #unadjetivoparamessi (#one adjective for Messi) was invented and campaign started. Social media users were supposed to share their ideas for the perfect word describing Leo’s gift on their profiles together with the hashtag. The response was massive. The brand collected nearly 11,000 adjectives. Then Argentina’s team coach chose the most adequate term — inmessionante. The word caught on and the Spanish Royal Academy approved it to be included in the dictionary.

The campaign was a definite victory for the brand and the following numbers reflect their whopping success. 18 million users took part in the campaign during one month, suggesting 10,987 unique adjectives and Pepsi was featured in 65% of media overage about the initiative. The wordinmessionante itself earned $10.5 million dollars in earned media.

#Polowers by Volkswagen Polo

The Volkswagen Polo is one of the most desired car models for young people. The brand wanted to foster engagement among the digital native target, so they took a challenge of to be the first topic of conversation on Twitter for a day.

Volkswagen and DDB Spain invented a catchy hashtag #Polowers that is a combination of words: Polo and followers. Then they had to come up with the idea how to encourage users to join the discussion with dedicated hashtag. Thus, they organized the 1st Polowers Race on Twitter — the race of tweets. Naturally, the brand new car was the prize for the winner. The rules were easy as a piece of cake: each time a user tweeted with the #Polowers hashtag he or she would take the first position. The Polower to be in the first position when the Polo stopped would win the car.

The race generated more than 150,000 tweets within 8 hours, at a rate of 5 tweets per second! On top of that, the campaign reached 10% of Twitter’s global audience in Spain, becoming the number one in the Top 10 trending topics on the platform (beating Bieber).

#MyCalvins by Calvin Klein

Last spring Calvin Klein launched a campaign encouraging social media users to share their selfies in underwear with iconic brand’s waistband. Naturally, all these photos were supposed to be tagged with #mycalvins hashtag.

The campaign called “show yours. #mycalvins” coincided with the launch of the 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 Instagramers were the first to post self-portraits on social media with the hashtag #mycalvins.

All the Instagram photos with dedicated hashtag were reviewed and the best shots then handpicked by the Calvin Klein team and featured on the brand’s official Instagram feed. This is a great opportunity for every social media user to become a hot model watched by millions just for a moment.

However, the coolest thing about the #mycalvins initiative is the brand’s idea for the new way of online shopping. When a user who is scrolling the Calvin’s Instagram feed likes a particular underwear from the photo, he or she can easily purchase a similar type of the outfit straightaway. The button “shop this look” that is attached to most of the pics shortens the acquisition process. It enables to get the apparel of a particular model that a user crave with a few clicks and with no need for time-consuming search. Unfortunately, model is not included.

#Friendsie by Somersby

Somersby, a leading brand of cider (beer drink on the Polish market) by Danish brewing company Carlsberg Group, has conducted numerous campaigns with dedicated hashtags and all of them achieved resounding success. The company also keeps engaging influencers and bloggers in such activities. They have already developed firm relations with them and it amplifies the effect of their actions.

#Friendsie campaign was designed to promote social lifestyle by encouraging people to share photos with friends on social media, instead of selfish one-person selfies. In the very beginning, the brand conveyed the idea of friendsie to bloggers and influencers by sending them personalized packages with Somersby beer and some gadgets. They were supposed to be educators who would introduce the concept of friendsies to their audiences. And they did.

Soon social media users started sharing their own friendsies on their profiles. There was an extra incentive. The most creative photos were rewarded with special packages from Lord Somersby.

This campaign (like all the others) helped the brand to increase the buzz around Somersby on the Internet and extend social media reach. During the campaign, users generated more than 11,000 contents, which reached to approximately 4.5 million people! Amond all the content almost 9,000 included photos (data from Brand24 – media monitroing tool)! What is more, this campaign together with all the others in the same year contributed to amazing business results. The variant of Somersby (Blackberry), that was introduced the very same year, became best-selling beer in its category and its annual sales plan was executed in just 4 months.

#Castmemarc by Marc Jacobs

Another example from the fashion industry is Marc Jacobs’s campaign promoting Fall 2014 collection. Social media users were encouraged to share their photos with dedicated hashtag #CastMeMarc. The reward was promising — becoming the face of the brand. The recruitment process through social media brought 70,000 applications on Instagram. Then the Marc Jacob’s team elected 30 lucky ones and then 2 final winners were chosen. Lucky Instagramers did become faces of the campaign and were featured in Teen Vogue.

Key factors that make hahstag campagin successful

There is no secret recipe for a successful hashtag campaign. However, there are a few features that all these actions above have in common. These factors should be your base and square one when designing your own hashtag campaign. Here are the tips to follow:

  1. Keep your campaign consistent with your brand image. Keep your message in accordance with your general appearance. Don’t try to be stiltedly funny if your brand is perceived as a serious company.
  2. Make your hashtag short, unique and catchy. The easier phrase to remember the better. Also it should be unambiguous so you will collect only mentions that relates to the campaign.
  3. Give your audience a sufficient incentive to join hashtagged discussion. If you want to engage your audience you need to encourage them to join discussion. You can use a reward or just make a conversation very interesting, so people would want to participate.
  4. Monitor your results throughout the whole campaign. You can easily collect all the mentions with the Internet monitoring tool. Not only will you have the access to generated content, but also you will be able to get data about your audience (number of mentions, social media reach, platforms, etc.)
  5. Be responsive and actively talk with social media users who participate in the campaign. Your task does not end after announcing a campaign to your audience. You should actively talk and interact with social media users. It will amplify the effects and increase your reach even more.

If you want to measure the results of your next hashtag campaign, try Brand24. Enter your hashtag as a keyword and create a project in which you will be able to access all the mentions that were published online, analyze content and measure the effectiveness of your activities.