7 Effective Examples of Brand Community Hashtags
It is becoming more and more essential to build a brand community. Not only is it beneficial for market research, but essential to drive brand loyalty and social media growth. For example, a study by the University of Michigan found that customers spent 19 percent more after joining the brand’s online community. In terms of marketing, 96% of companies see the value that customer collaboration presents for the marketing department and 80% of consumers say that authenticity of content influences them to follow a brand.
A brand community primarily exists to add value, serve and meet the needs of the people within the community. Often this entails creating valuable brand-relevant, value-relevant content, but also includes allowing the members of the community to connect (either through following, liking each others posts or messaging).
In this article, we are going to look at the specific hashtags that can help brands grow their community following on Instagram. In order to do that, we start by briefly examining the different types of hashtags relevant to a continuous social media effort - before examining some great examples of brands that have built strong communities.
There are many different sorts of hashtags that brands use to promote their content. These can be divided into time-limited hashtags for a quick spike in hype, like Event or Campaign hashtags. On the other hand, there are evergreen, always on, types of hashtags for sustained efforts. These are what we are going to focus on today.
Types of Evergreen Hashtags (Brand, Product & Community)
Brand Hashtags are generic brand hashtags that sit as a catch-all for all brand-related social activity - whether its by the customers, employees, brand ambassadors or the actual brand itself. For example, a brand like Lululemon would use the hashtag #lululemon across multiple types of postings and content - and their customers would also use the same tag. This tag tends to product high-volume, varied, low-quality social posts.
Product hashtags are focussed on specific products. This is useful for customers to see how other customers have worn specific products, and the brand uses this content to create very targeted, authentic marketing material. This content is low-volume, very specific and medium-quality social posts.
Some brands create an extra hashtag in order to build a community around the customer base, this is normally reserved for either just customers and/or brand ambassadors. It has the advantage of driving more loyalty and customer advocacy than a generic hashtag. This is because customers feel more connected to other members of the brand ‘tribe’. This tag tends to produce mid-volume, user-generated content of a high quality.
See below for examples how great, community focussed brands have grown and the hashtags they used.
Lomography aka Lomographische AG is a photography company that focuses on creating products around an art movement within photography called ‘Lomography’. This movement encourages the embracing of photographic errors as a method for creating unpredictable and exciting photos. The movement traditionally focussed on broken, damaged or old film cameras to create the kind of unpredictable effects followers of this movement are passionate about. The brand is community first - focussing on building and adding value to their passionate community. As well as hosting a photographic community on their own website, they also use hashtags heavily. In this case, #lomography is a great catch-all brand hashtag as it links beautifully to those hashtagging the artistic style too. The specific products, for example, a film roll with an ISO of 400 is hashtagged #lomography400. Their community hashtag is #heylomography, which has driven tens of thousands of very high-quality photos.
Brand Hashtag: #lomography
Product Hashtag: #lomography400
Community Hashtag: #heylomography
GoPro has always been focussed on creating an amazing brand community, which in turn produces jaw-dropping User Generated Content. This content reinforces the promise that GoPro cameras produce amazing quality videos, while also driving sharing to reach new segments of the market. Using this marketing strategy, they have been able to produce a brand with world-wide recognition with a small marketing budget. There is at least one GoPro video uploaded to Youtube every day.
Brand Hashtag: #gopro
Product Hashtag: #goprohero5 etc.
Community Hashtag: #mygopro
Jeep is another brand that is focussed on building a community of highly loyal customers. Their community approach seems very profitable, with the Fiat-Chrysler brand having almost doubled sales between 2019 and 2014. Part of that winning strategy was to engage heavily with customers, for example, Jeep recently encouraged people to share their #jeepsummer moments on Instagram. In return, each photo uploaded was rewarded symbolically to a $1 donation from Jeep to the United Service Organization in order to support military members and their families, as well as the chance to win a brand new Jeep Wrangler.
Brand Hashtag: #jeep
Product Hashtag: #wrangler #jeepwrangler #jeepcherokee
Community Hashtag: #jeeplife #jeepnation #jeepfamily
#4 Calvin Klein
Calvin Klein is a popular apparel, accessories and ready-to-wear brand. They are best known for their undergarments. Calvin Klein had an early success working with customers on social media, with their #mycalvins, campaign which managed to drive 1000s of uploads of User Generated Content images. Now, Calvin Klein is expanding this campaign to becoming a global, long-term marketing strategy - describing as a hashtag to connect ‘Our Family’. The strategy is focussed on customers, but combined with a large influencer effort including singer-songwriters like Solange, Kelela and Adam Bainbridge.
Brand Hashtag: #CalvinKlein
Product Hashtag: #calvinkleinunderwear #calvinkleinjeans
Community Hashtag: #mycalvins
Everlane is a values and community driven United States clothing retailer that sells primarily online. They honor their values of sustainability and high ethical standard via their principle of Radical Transparency. This entails sharing the stories of the factories that create their products, as well as a breakdown of the costs associated with it, including their markup and margins. This kind of principled selling drives a huge amount of community activity, and they’ve taken advantage of that feeling through their social media.
Brand Hashtag: #everlane
Product Hashtag: #everlanejeans
Community Hashtag: #everlanewomen
Nike has always been a visionary brand when it comes to creating a brand-associated lifestyle and a sense of community among fans. They approach the community hashtag as the most important of their hashtags. They almost always use the hashtag #justdoit or #nikewomen, as oppose to brand or product focussed hashtags.
Brand Hashtag: #nike
Product Hashtag: #nikeairforce #nikeair #jordan1
Community Hashtag: #nikewomen #justdoit
Take Away Learnings?
Almost all of the brands follow a few principles. Firstly, every brand used their brand name as their brand hashtag. The product hashtags often included the brand name as well as the product name, or occasionally brands used both - for example, Jeep who use both #wrangler and #jeepwrangler.
The community hashtag most often was simply the brand name with ‘my’ as a modifier before it, for example, ‘mygopro’ or ‘mycalvins’. There were also variations on this approach, for example, using ‘hey’ as a modifier instead of ‘my’.
An alternative approach is focussing on a segment of the brand’s population that may be particularly active, like Nike focussing on #nikewomen or Everland focussing on #everlandwomen.
Some brands are more direct in their community hashtag - creating hashtags by clearly aiming them at creating a family. Brand also often add ‘family’, ‘community’ or ‘team’ to the beginning or end of the brand name.
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