8 Brilliant Ways to Use Hashtag Content

A successful social media campaign generates tons of posts about your brand. If you’re not sure what to actually do with all of that exciting content after the campaign has ended, we have some ideas to help get you started.

Hashtags are now an integral part of social media platforms and an indispensable tool for brand marketers. By categorizing each post with a keyword or phrase, users are able to come together around an organization, product, event, or even a feeling. We wrote earlier about the Top 10 Hashtag Campaigns of 2018 (So Far), and more hit the Internet every day. You might encounter branded hashtags – like #ShareACoke, unique to Coca-Cola – or generic community hashtags like #denim and #cleaneats. Whatever the topic, this type of user-generated-content is highly-coveted by brand managers. It’s fresh, authentic, and chock full of potential.

For most marketers, hashtag campaigns are designed to increase awareness and build a sense of community around a brand. You might be content to achieve those goals, too, but the benefits don’t have to stop there. Consider using hashtag content in one of these ways.

1. Engage with brand followers.

You asked followers to participate, and they did. Now what? Taking the opportunity to personally respond is an unexpected gesture that will quite likely knock their socks off. Start by acknowledging that your brand is listening and values the customer connection. This is far from routine on social media, so the organizations that do it make a big impression. (The team at TwineSocial engineered an automated “High Five” feature that helps message fans and drive further traffic to your brand’s website.)

2. Reward the superfans.

Run a few campaigns, and you’ll find your proudest fans returning to the front lines: sharing content, liking posts, and contributing new material along the way. Consider rewarding the loyalty by sending complimentary swag or a special, exclusive offer to these superfans. This is a strategy that almost always generates more UGC as recipients rush back to social media to tell the world about your brand’s awesome act of kindness. So, for exponential impact, choose fans with robust followings and fans that represent your brand image and values.

3. Identify themes.

UGC may be the most valuable source of information you’ll ever have about your brand. Consumers tend to be candid online, so hashtag campaigns allow marketers to get a fresh perspective on how products are being used. Are fans uploading photos and videos? Study them closely. Which products or services are referenced the most? Are there popular pairings within or outside of the brand’s offerings? What can you learn about your fan base? These types of observations can be a tremendous help in guiding your strategy moving forward.

4. Repurpose and repost.

Studies suggest brands ought to post between 1 – 51 times a day, depending on the social media network being used. Creating new content to keep up with that pace is an issue many brands face. But remember all of that hashtagged content floating around the Internet? This is an ideal moment to give one of your fans a shout-out.

Publishing user images tells fans they are valued and embraced by the brand. Simply sift through for the best content, and repost, making sure to credit the source with a photo tag and caption mention. Fashion brands do this routinely, featuring a customer’s Outfit of the Day or #ootd photo. The perks are two-fold. Showing products in attractive, real life settings ultimately boosts sales, and the brand’s attentiveness to customers encourages other users to post as well – putting more fresh, influential material within easy reach.

5. Embed UGC in ads.

Nobody influences better than consumers themselves. Nielson reports that 92% of people trust personal recommendations over all other forms of advertising. Imagine the impact of incorporating user reviews, photos, and posts right alongside brand content.

This is the approach Apple took with its award-winning “Shot on iPhone 6” campaign. After securing photo rights from 160 or so users, Apple launched advertisements on 10,000 billboards, as well as on TV and print media around the world. Industry leaders called the strategy a game changer, and they were right.

Fortunately, TwineSocial’s Content Permissions Module allows other brands to turn earned media into owned media, too. As publishing rights are secured, marketing teams can then weave organic UGC into advertisements, catalogs, and virtually any marketing tool on the planet.

6. Foster a sense of community with social hubs.

The world’s most sophisticated marketers recognize their fans are telling the brand’s story together, but separately. That’s because digital activity is inherently fragmented between Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Vine, and any one of the other growing social media networks. Unfortunately, this means that, even with a successful hashtag campaign, much of that content is out of view from consumers.

What’s the fix? A social hub. Using our powerful aggregation engine, brand managers can now easily scan major social networks, searching for desired hashtags and feeds, and pull that UGC into a customized dashboard. Rules and filters route specific content to relevant areas of the website – for example, academic institutions may opt to publish alumni posts on one page and official college content on another -- while moderation tools ensure messaging stays on target. The result is a lively social hub that’s packed with peer-driven inspiration and information.

Want more ideas? Check out how the city of Bentonville, Arkansas, created a “virtual rooftop,” where residents of the city can gather to hear from one another.

7. Be a shopify-connected company.

What if you could connect a fan photo or customer review to the product it depicts on your website? Well, you can.

This is great news, because purchase anxiety is one of the top reasons shoppers leave a shopping cart behind. Consumers are constantly asking themselves, “Of course that product is going to look great on a Photoshopped model in professional lighting, but how will it look on a real person like me?” UGC provides the needed context.

From product discovery to checkout, integrating UGC into e-commerce shoppable social galleries is a must-do in today’s marketplace and a quick way to turn hashtag campaigns into conversion machines.

8. Bring online content on-site.

For any environment where guests regularly gather – stadiums, museums, amusement parks, restaurants, corporate headquarters, art galleries, even the local mom and pop shop – live social displays lend a personal touch to brand messaging with very little effort behind the scenes.

Attendees love being featured and seeing what others have to say. That alone makes this an attractive use case for curating existing UGC. But imagine, too, the impact of featuring real-time feeds during a call to action or even at the point of purchase.

Have another brilliant idea to add to the list? We’d love to hear it. Feel free to drop us a note, and enjoy a complimentary trial of TwineSocial.

For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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