Why should you bother creating your own hashtag campaign? A good hashtag can redefine your online brand identity, provide you with new ways to interact with your customers and help you promote product and services to new audience segments.
Here are 5 great examples of hashtag campaigns from the hospitality industry that will inspire your social media strategy.
#LifeWellTravelled: Cathay Pacific sets the travel tone
Screenshot from the Facebook account of Brooke Savard, creator of the popular World of Wanderlust travel blog.
The hashtag was originally created at the beginning of 2015 but is still very popular today with over 19,700 mentions over the last three months. This success can be partly explained by the continued involvement in the campaign of travel blogger Jessica Stein (2.3 million followers on Instagram), but the lifestyle hashtag has taken a life of its own and has become a reference point for travelers worldwide looking for inspiration. As you can see in the Facebook post above, the influencer Brooke Savard uses #LifeWellTravelled even though the experience she talks about has nothing to do with the airline which created the hashtag.
An analysis of Cathay Pacific's #LifeWellTravelled hahstag using Talkwalker's social media analytics
"Our strategy for the launch was to ensure the hashtag had authenticity and momentum before we started to align it with the global advertising campaign. We see #lifewelltravelled as a state of mind that resonates with many different types of travellers, so it was important that it was co-defined by the audience, and not just OUR brand idea," said Brandon Cheung, a managing partner at McCann Hong Kong on Skift.
#SPGLife: Starwood leverages UGC to boost website conversions
#SPGLife was another popular hashtag that popped up during our research as part of the outreach strategy of the Starwood Hotels group, with over 4,500 mentions over the last three months. What is interesting about this campaign is that it has become a way for the brand to attract users to its website through a "Guest Gallery" which pulls all posts using #SPGLife from Instagram. Visitors can browse through the user-generated content with filters based on location and interests, and a large Call To Action button added to each publication encourages them to book their next vacation with Starwood Hotels.
#LiveThere: Airbnb Uses Data For Hashtag Inspiration
Airbnb partnered among others with photographer Farhad Samari to create content for its official Instagram account.
The #LiveThere hashtag campaign is the result of extensive consumer research: according to Airbnb, 86% of its users select the platform because they want to experience the cities they visit like locals. As a response, the brand decided to launch a massive marketing campaign with short videos and updated features in its app that help travelers match their interests with homes and neighborhoods for a more personalized experience. For the hashtag campaign itself, the brand enlisted the help of professional photographers and users alike to share amazing content on all platforms. Over the last three months, #LiveThere was used over 5,800 times, and the main campaign video on Facebook generated 11 million views, 56,000 likes and 5,200 comments.
With this hashtag campaign, the hospitality brand successfully tapped in the desire of customers to live unique experiences during their travels, as opposed to templated versions of each country.
#FeelWelcome : AccorHotels Uses Hashtag To Mark Transition
Here is yet another reason to start thinking about hashtag campaigns as a part of your digital marketing strategy: it's a good way to mark a change, or to promote a new tagline for your brand. The hashtag #FeelWelcome was launched in June 2015 when Accor became AccorHotels as an attempt to promote an universal signature for the group, as well as a promise to customers, employees and partners. In the last three months, it generated over 2,500 mentions globally and is still used to boost the production of user-generated content.
One of the best performing posts with the hashtag #FeelWelcome. Screenshot from the Instagram account of @areta.
#RCMemories: Ritz-Carlton Taps Into Customer Stories
Ritz-Carlton's #RCmemories hashtag might be less successful than the ones described above (about 900 mentions over the last 3 months), but is worth mentioning because of the efforts of the brand to get its customers to share their experience. The staff used hashtags in the handwritten note left in a guest's room, which encouraged the satisfied customer share that experience on Twitter.
This is especially relevant when you understand the importance of these micro brand advocates in terms of reach and overall influence. According to a Wildfire study, companies with the largest numbers of brand advocates are able to get up to 264% more earned impressions compared to other brands. In addition, 92% of people report they trust the recommendations of their families and friends over any form of brand advertising.