How to Plan a Successful Hashtag Strategy

Okay so you want you to create a hashtag for your brand but you’re not sure where to start. First thing’s first, you’ll need to decide what your goal for your hashtag is. Are you wanting to drum up brand awareness? Do you want to create a unique hashtag to track entries for a social media contest?

Pssst interested in learning more about this? We have you covered!

Maybe you want to create an entire social media campaign based around a hashtag? Whatever your goal might be, creating an effective hashtag strategy starts here!

Once you’ve determined your end goal, the next step is do some research!

The four questions you should be asking for creating your a successful hashtag strategy on social media. Plus loads of helpful examples by some of our favorite brands! Trust us, these social media tips are to pin for! Click through to learn more!

Is It Brand-Related?

Having a hashtag that is brand-related does not necessarily mean that you have to have your business or blog name somewhere worked into the hashtag. For example, #DarlingWeekend, #VSCOcam, #newdarlingsontheroad, 31 Bits' #bitsofstyle, and #socialstudiolove.

Although this can be a great way to build the buzz and familiarity around your brand, it can also be limiting. Even for ourselves, how many #socialstudio tags could we possibly come up with? Maybe a hand full but our brand name does not always reflect the goal that we are trying to achieve. The same could be true for you!

In some instances, you may want your brand to be represented in other ways. For example, you could have your hashtag illustrate your mission or your core values. Check out Lancome's #BareSelfie, Nike's #BetterForIt, and Yellow Conference's #bloomyellow for inspiration!

You could also have your hashtag evoke a feeling or an emotion in your audience. Glitter Guide's #flashesofdelight, The Free Woman's #solovelysofree, Under Armor Women's #IWILLWHATIWANT all come to mind.

This can be a challenging decision to make but hopefully these examples will get you to start thinking outside of the box.

Is It Memorable?

Another important question for you to ask yourself is whether or not your hashtag is memorable. For this you really need to dive into the mindset of your audience. Of course whatever you set your hashtag to be, YOU will remember it, but that doesn’t necessarily mean others will. Likely you will want your community to be able to extend your reach by using your hashtag. Make it easy on them by ensuring that your hashtag is unforgettable. To do this you can do any of the following (they are not all necessary).

  • Use your brand name in the hashtag

  • Keep things short + sweet

  • Spell it out (i.e. no acronyms or shortened words like btw or cuz)

  • Promote it EVERYWHERE! (Include hashtag in your bio, social posts, website, etc.)


Image via The Knot

Is It Free to Use?

The last thing you want to happen when people click on your “supposedly” unique hashtag is for your audience to see a hashtag hub full of unrelated content. What’s a hashtag hub you ask? Essentially it’s a virtual space where content is organized and filtered by hashtags. Here’s a couple examples…

So before you get your heart set on a hashtag, you’ll want to make sure it’s available! The best way to ensure that it’s free to check on Twitter AND on Instagram.

Using Twitter

One of our favorite (and totally undervalued) search tools is Twitter! Want to learn how to use Twitter's search like a boss? >>> How To Use Twitter Advanced Search.

Using Instagram

You’ll also want to make sure the hashtag you want to use is free on Instagram. To conduct a search on Instagram you can go to the desktop site. Type in your desired hashtag in the search bar and see if anything comes up. If nothing comes up, it’s free! You can also do this on mobile by going to the “Search” tab. Type in your hashtag, select “Tags” as your search result and there you go!

If your heart is still set on your hashtag and you see that someone else is using it, there is something you can do! Want to know how to handle crashtaggers? Check out our in depth online course...

Also included in this online course:

  • The seven different types of hashtags and how you can implement them
  • Our three favorite tools fro measuring + tracking your hashtags
  • How to promote your hashtags across multiple platforms

Tell us, what's your hashtag and what does it mean to you!

Jessica Howell