The hidden power of hashtags (Social War #32)

This week in our weekly returning Social War research, we discuss the undeniable force of hashtag marketing. How do you claim a hashtag? How do you effectively use them to increase the engagement with your followers? Converse, Armani and G-star Raw have already used hashtags as an important resource in their campaigns. In this edition of Social War you can read more about the how and why’s of hashtag marketing.

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The hashtag as a binder
Coincedence or not? The most and especially the best campaigns we’ve seen this past year in our Social War research were that great because their hashtags of choice: #chucktaylor, #tightorwide and #atribute. In all campaigns the chosen hashtag was the binder between the campaigns going on on all social media channels. Online campaigns on Facebook, Instagram and Facebook were put together by a hashtag.

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The advantages of a hashtag
Compared to a ‘normal’ tweet, a tweet with a hashtag shows a 12% higher engagement result (RT, favorite or @reply). Tweets with a link and a hashtag have the most engagement. The effective use of hashtags can give a brand an overview of their followers and the ones that feel related to a brand and their story online. All you have to do is to follow the hashtag. But the question remains, what is the best way to use a hashtag most effectively? That’s why below follow a few tips for the optimal hashtag use.

5 tips for effective hashtag use
For the use of a hashtag as an effective marketing means a few matters are of crucial matter. And these may be even more obvious than you’d think.

      • Make sure your hashtag is concrete and clear. #tightorwide doesn’t leave much to the imagination. #WTFF (What The French Fry) by Burger King failed hopelessly. People have to know what to react to.
      • Keep it short. The shorter, the easier, the better. The most effective hashtags contain two simple elements: an event and a date. Keep it short and simple.
      • Read your hashtag with the eyes of an adolescent. Keep this rule in mind: everything that can be read with double remarks, it will be read that way. Susan Boyle launched her new album in 2012 with the hashtag #susanalbumparty. Auch.
      • Use the hashtag on- and offline. Use it at different social channels. Make sure it is the glue between the different channels.
      • Monitor the activity. By monitoring the hashtag you have a look at the heart of your targetgroup. What moves them, how do they respond. It doesn’t only show you where your targetgroup is at, but also what they think and say. Look, listen and conversate.

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Bershka’s hashtags
In our Social War measurement of the 23rd to the 31st of july, Bershka shows that they also master the art of hashtag marketing. With the consequently pushing divers hashtags, among which is #getthelook, Bershka knows how to make a connection between their different social media channels. In the measured week it brings them an Facebook engagement increase of  +148%.

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Hashtag marketing in practice
A hashtag is more than simply integrating ‘press cross hash’ in your marketing campaign. As a brand, you should follow a few simple rules, keep it short and simple. But the biggest investment your brand should do is following your target group and conversing with them. A hashtag isn’t some simple trick you can use to connect your campaign. It can be the key to the core of your followers. Use it wisely, invest your time in following it and dare to talk to your followers. That is the only way to fully use this so seemingly simple hashtag.

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Like to keep up to date?
IIZT regularly posts findings from our Social War research. Stay posted and send your email address to or call us at +3120 693 31 31

Social War is an ongoing research by IIZT on over 70 worldwide fashion brands. It signals the do’s and don’ts for brands on Social Media. Everyone in the communication business talks and blogs about social media. We provide you with the facts, so we can learn from each other. Pass the hype, it is the new mainstream.

IIZT Amsterdam has been the market leader for 13 years regarding communities, branding and interactive communication.  We have worked with Adidas, KLM, H&M, Mitsubishi, Miss Etam, T-Mobile, UGG, G-Star, Livera, Hart.volgers, Respectance, adidas Defensie, Men at Work, Cliniclowns and many more.

IIZT was founded by Richard Derks who earlier set up KaZaA and made it the most downloaded software worldwide at that time.

Would you like to know more about your opportunities and how you can put your brand in a surprising new daylight? Or would you like to know how to generate even more attention from your target group? Call Richard Derks +3120 693 3131 or mail to


De hype voorbij, het is de nieuwe mainstream
IIZT publiceert regelmatig findings uit het Social War onderzoek. Blijf op de hoogte en stuur je e-mail naar or of bel ons op 020 – 693 31 31.

Social War
Social war is het ongoing onderzoek dat IIZT doet onder meer dan 70 modemerken wereldwijd. Het signaleert de do’s en de dont’s voor merken op social media. Iedereen in de communicatiewereld roept en blogt over social media. Wij staven alles met feiten, zodat je ook echt kan leren van elkaar. De hype voorbij, het is de nieuwe mainstream.

IIZT Amsterdam is al 13 jaar leider op het gebied van communities, branding en interactieve communicatie. Wij hebben werk gedaan voor adidas, KLM, H&M, Mitsubishi, Miss Etam, UGG, G-Star, Livera, hart.volgers, Respectance, adidas, Defensie, Men at Work, Cliniclowns en meer. Bel ons voor een kennismaking 020 – 693 31 31.


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