A well thought-out holiday hashtag strategy can be a gift that keeps on giving. Promote the wrong one, though, and you risk exposing your brand to ridicule or worse—indifference.
While most of these tips are also useful year round, the holiday season ups the stakes. There’s more noise in the market, but if your campaign catches on, it can really help your brand stand out among the crowd and have a lasting impact on both your branding and content collection.
Already have a hashtag strategy in place? Take a look at The Practical Retailer’s Holiday Guide 2015 for tips on getting rights to UGC photos and how to add UGC to your customer touchpoints this season.
Last year, Olapic rounded up some holiday hashtag winners from 2014. One common thread was that these managed to be both holiday-appropriate and unique enough to be “owned” by a brand. Some great examples are Lululemon’s #givepresence and Anthropolgie’s #dearanthro. You should avoid more generic examples like #bestgift because they are not uniquely tied to you and will also collect a lot of unwanted content.
Here are the six perspectives to consider when deciding your brand’s holiday hashtag strategy:
1. Seek the Right Emotion
The first thing you should figure out is what sort of emotion you’re trying to elicit. This should be the question that you raise when brainstorming internally.
Here are a few of the most common ones:
Circling back to last year, Giggle’s #shareagiggle campaign was obviously built around the idea of “giving back.” (For every baby posted with that hashtag, the brand donated $1 to the Worldwide Orphans Foundation to help babies find families.) Esprit’s #myeverydayamazing was about being thankful.
2. Don’t Worry About Fitting Your Brand Name In
Including your brand name in the hashtag is nice, but not always necessary. The important thing is to relate it to a larger campaign or brand message. Whether you use a clever pun or a fun play on words, just keep in mind that a hashtag is basically a mini tagline. Some great taglines of the past, like Nike’s “Just Do It,” would function well as a hashtag.
In fact, Nike showed its prowess for hashtags last year with its #betterforit campaign.
3. Add Another Dimension If It Makes Sense
Sometimes people are motivated to use a hashtag because they like the sentiment. Other times, there’s an ulterior motive as well. Frequently, hashtags are part of a charity campaign (like Giggle’s) or a contest. Last year, for instance, Anthropologie randomly gave away gifts that consumers asked for using the #dearanthro tag. That’s a nice incentive to spread the word.
4. Be A Creative Contrarian
Christmas is big and hard to “own” on social. It might be more effective to focus on another holiday that makes sense for your brand like Thanksgiving, Hanukkah or maybe just the winter season.
A good example: Target’s #salefie, which punnily combined sales and the selfie trend.
5. Make it Personal
Let’s face it, social media plays to our narcissistic tendencies. Since people are on there to express themselves, why not make it easier for them with hashtags like #myfirstcoach and #myeverydayamazing?
6. Track Results To Make Next Year Even Better
Don’t forget to wrap up the campaign when you’re done! Be sure to set goals ahead of time and track those KPIs throughout the campaign so that when the next holiday campaign comes along you are ready with even better ideas because you know what works for your brand.