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Posted on 11.06.2014

Generating #BrandAwareness

Whether or not you’re a Twitter advocate, you’ve most likely heard of the hashtag. This “pound sign” symbol tags the word or phrase following the character and then groups the phrase with all other similarly tagged hashtags. Hashtags have garnered copious success since their Twitter debut in 2009 and are now used regularly on blogs and other social networking sites such as Facebook, Instagram and Google+.

Notwithstanding its popularity, the symbol has faced criticism and skepticism, particularly for its close association with millennials. Like many other Twitter users, I initially dismissed the hashtag as a meaningless social media trend. After all, the symbol often precedes simplistic phrases such as #winning or #awkward – words that do not appear to be making a significant contribution to society anytime soon.

However, in the past few years, this simple symbol has certainly left an impact. By uniting millions of social media users, the hashtag has generated vast awareness for social campaigns, miscellaneous trending topics and brands.

The hashtag’s ability to garner brand awareness surpasses nearly every form of advertising. In just minutes, a powerful hashtag campaign can not only reach thousands, but also engage them in conversation. With assistance from the hashtag, consumers play an active role in creating a brand’s image – an essential aspect of interactive marketing.

To prove the hashtag’s brand awareness capabilities, I have chosen a diverse sampling of some of the most successful company hashtag campaigns.

  1. #TweetFromTheSeat
    The popular toilet paper company, Charmin, launched this hashtag in 2013 after learning how often people use social media while in the bathroom. With this memorable hashtag, Charmin used humor to engage thousands of Twitter users while humanizing its brand and generating vast awareness for its products.

  2. #MakeItCount
    Nike’s 2012 #makeitcount campaign originally launched to promote its new Fuelband but quickly became viral – contributing to Nike’s status as the unofficial Olympics sponsor. Paired with #findyourgreatness, Nike successfully inspired, engaged and celebrated its consumers without flaunting its brand name.

  3. #IceBucketChallenge
    Using this unconventional method of fundraising, the ALS Association took social media by storm a couple of months ago with its #IceBucketChallenge. This non-profit not only raised incredible awareness for its cause, it received nearly 30x the amount of donations it had during the same time period the year before. By providing social media users with a fun and interactive way to participate in the donation process, the ALS Association reached record-shattering success. Read more about the Ice Bucket Challenge in Katelyn’s blog “Soaked in Success.”  

What do you think of using the hashtag to advertise? Do you have any other favorite social media campaigns? Share with us below!


Jacqueline Miller is an Administrative Assistant at Lovell Communications. You can view more of Jacqueline’s blogs here. Connect with Jacqueline at jacqueline@lovell.com or @JacqMills28.

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