I recently received an Instagram Direct Message from someone asking me about how they would go about creating a brand hashtag that can be used both by them in their content and also by their online community.
What are Brand Hashtags?
A brand or a branded hashtag is a hashtag that is unique to you and your product or service.
It can be as simple as your business name, for example, #Chookapeck, or they can be an amalgamation of your business name and your product, for example, #ChookapeckPhotoBackgrounds.
Custom or Brand Hashtags give your audience another way to make a connection with you and your brand/service/product. They provide an easy way for your community to engage and connect with brands on social media (especially Instagram).
Why should I use a Brand Hashtag?
Brand hashtags are an excellent marketing resource that can create digital word-of-mouth about your business. They’re pretty much essential if you would like to create an online community around your brand. And they’re also a great way of finding content that other users have created about you or your brand or product.
Brand hashtags are a really valuable part of your marketing toolkit, and by encouraging your audience to use your hashtag, you can both grow your online community and increase brand loyalty.
Brand hashtags are also a great way to drive engagement and they’re particularly valuable when used in a campaign to generate and then collate user-generated content.
How do I create or start a Brand Hashtag?
Before creating your brand or custom hashtag, make sure that you do some research to ensure that your chosen hashtag is unique and that it hasn’t been used before by another profile.
Importantly, make sure that the hashtag isn’t going to send your users to irrelevant or inappropriate content
The easiest way to do that is by tapping on the search button in Instagram and typing in your proposed hashtag and seeing what content appears.
If nothing comes up then that’s great because it means that your hashtag hasn’t been used before and there’s much less chance of leading people to off-brand content
An important tip when you’re creating a branded hashtag is to keep it short and simple and easy to spell.
Tips on creating Brand Hashtags
- Research your intended Hashtag.
- Integrate your Brand/Business Name into the Hashtag.
- Keep the hashtag short, simple and easy to spell.
- Make the hashtag catchy or memorable.
- Proofread the hashtag to ensure there are no spelling mistakes or inappropriate words.
How to promote your Brand Hashtag
Once you’ve created your brand hashtag, you need to promote it to your existing and potential audience.
Inviting people to use your brand hashtag is a great way to make your community feel valued as they can become more involved in your brand.
Here are some ways you can promote your brand hashtag:
- add your brand hashtag to every Instagram post
- include it in your Instagram bio so that your online community is encouraged to use it
- invite your followers to follow your branded hashtag
doing this potentially doubles your chance of engagement as those followers will see your content both in their feed but also through the #feed
- add your brand hashtag to all of your digital and physical touchpoints:
- email signature
- other socials platforms
- marketing materials
- the outside of your store
- signage etc
How to maximise your Brand Hashtag
Once have promoted your brand hashtag and your community is using it in their content creation, you can then use the hashtag to:
- create connections with your online community
– regularly check the content that has used your hashtag and engage with the profiles that are using it.
Engaging with users in this way is an excellent way to gain new followers.
- increase brand awareness
- use User Generated Content (UGC) in your communications (with the original user’s consent)
- gain followers by running a competition using your brand hashtag.
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If you’d like more tips on how to grow your social following, I regularly post tips on my @chookapeck Insta account and would love to connect with you there.