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Running a Twitter Campaign? 4 Ways to Pick the Right #Hashtag

Chances are, if you didn’t tune in to last week’s Super Bowl for the football, you watched it for the commercials. Which means you likely noticed the steady stream of hashtags that flooded the screen during the last two seconds of almost every single one: Samsung’s #TheNextBigThing, Budweiser’s #Clydesdales, Volkswagen’s #GetHappy, Audi’s #BraveryWins, Speed Stick’s #HandleIt, Best Buy’s #InfiniteAnswers. The list goes on.

Hashtag campaigns are a hugely effective way to spur conversation with your online audience and unite your community around a theme. But with all that noise, how do you make an impact?

Here, we outline four easy tips to ensure you pick a hashtag that resonates, inspires action, and—most importantly—survives beyond the peak of your campaign promotion.

1. Inspire

When coming up with a hashtag, make it lofty. Make it relatable. Pull those heartstrings! And pick a hashtag that is relevant and inspiring on its own, outside of your brand. That way, when it’s wrapped in additional content—like a social media campaign or commercial—it becomes that much more powerful.

Check out the list above again: #BraveryWins. #GetHappy. #HandleIt. Each of these hashtags directly relates to the stories told in their brands’ ads. But on their own? Still definitely conversation starters.

For more inspiration, check out Mashable’s article on other successful hashtag campaigns, including Domino’s #letsdolunch and The White House’s #40dollars.

2. Keep it Clean

And simple! Don’t include crazy numbers, initials, or bananagram inspired synonyms in your hashtag. While you want people to be moved to action, you also want them to remember how to engage with your campaign. And if you use a phrase, capitalize the first letter of every word (so this doesn’t happen!).

Clydesdales3. Take Yourself Out of the Equation

Often, companies try to cram their name—or some abbreviation of it—into their hashtags. Don’t. Not only will you take up the majority of those pesky 140 characters trying to stuff your name in there, but your hashtag will inevitably lose its oomph. As long as you furiously and creatively promote the hashtag, people will inevitably know you’re at the helm.

4. Spread the #

Once you have your hashtag in place, build it into your promotional materials. Create content around it. Point to it on your various social media platforms. Include it in your signature. Share it with your friends. Most importantly: Continue to tie it into your marketing campaigns in new and creative ways.

Nike’s “Just Do It” is arguably the Holy Grail of brand campaigns. Why? Because Nike not only picked an inspiring slogan, but weaved it into promotional campaigns in such creative, heartfelt ways that it managed to turn a three-word phrase into a cultural phenomenon. So, when brainstorming your own hashtag campaign, #ShootForThis.