Social media managers across all categories may pride themselves on coming up with clever hashtags for each campaign, but research shows success is strongly correlated with keeping it basic. L2’s Digital IQ Index: Auto reveals that hashtags created for specific marketing campaigns repeatedly underperform relative to simple brand hashtags. For example, #buildfordtough received 1/64th of the mentions of #ford on Instagram, suggesting it doesn’t resonate with the platform. Results were similar for specific models. For example, 3M3 was mentioned 1.3 million times on Instagram at the time of the study compared to 10.9 millionfor #BMW. This suggest consumers instinctively tag photos with a brand name rather than a specific model or campaign, and marketing managers should tap into that instinct.

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