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How Hashtag Challenges bring us to tidy up, drink Coke and tweet from the quiet place

Hashtag Challenges are a popular format to encourage users to take action and take advantage of their UGC. Many of the campaigns quickly help companies gain more followers and awareness.

Hashtag challenges on Twitter, Instagram and Reddit are well known. While many of them are useless, the #trashtag Challenge makes the world a better place. The Hashtag #trashtag has been around for years, but over the past weekend it has gained popularity and gone viral. Contributions like that from @thescientistfacts have brought the challenge back to light and made thousands of users aware of it. The post of @thescientistfacts has been clicked over 57,000 times and over 25,000 posts have already been published under the hashtag on Instagram.

What is the Challenge about? Everyone who wants to accept the challenge looks for an area, mostly in the surrounding area, which is littered, clears it up and posts a before-and-after picture with the #trashtag. The Austrian @vanillaholica has brought something similar to life with its #refuse diary for the German-speaking area. And since tidying up and doing good together is much more fun, it is above all group pictures that can be found under Hashtag. People clean up whole beaches, meadows and forest sections and post their good deeds.

Over the last few years Hashtag challenges have been viral and have shown that social media users are always available for good UGC. The challenges can be spread particularly well through catchy hashtags. Usually the hype about a hashtag disappears by itself after a few weeks, but some keep themselves constantly in the news feeds.

While some of the challenges are quite dangerous (Bird Box Challenge, Tide Pod Challenge) and some quite meaningless (Cheese Challenge), other clever marketing campaigns are from companies that could gain a lot of attention and new followers through the clever use of hashtags. A winner's podium of the most successful hashtags follows.

1. Coca-Cola's #ShareACoke

Coca-Cola's #ShareACoke has been one of the most successful Hashtag campaigns. The bottles with printed names instead of the Coca-Cola lettering enjoyed great popularity and were extensively photographed and shared. The secret of the success was the personalization and sense of belonging created by the joint action.

Since 2014, Coca-Cola has continued to develop the campaign. Coca-Cola fans should expect something new this summer as well. After a small scandal in February, which contained an African swearword on a Coca-Cola can, the production of personalized Coca-Cola bottles has been stopped for the time being.

2. RedBull's #PutACanOnIt

Also RedBull's campaign of 2015 was immediately accepted and implemented. Under the #PutACanOnIt hashtag, users were invited to post their own creative images with a RedBull can. RedBull had nothing to do but share the best user content. For RedBull this meant: a lot of advertising without work.

3. Charmin's #TweetFromTheSeat

Even products that are not expected to have a large social media presence, such as toilet paper, manage to go viral with good hashtags. Charmin's #TweetFromTheSeat is very popular with Twitter users. No wonder, since many smartphone users now openly admit to taking their mobile phones with them to the toilet.

What makes a Hashtag campaign successful?

The hashtag should be simple and easy to remember. The catchy hashtag of Charmin #TweetFromTheSeat is just too good not to post under it. The invitation behind it - in the case of the three marketing campaigns obviously built into the name - must be easy to follow. This ensures that many users participate and share the action. @Instagramnutzer in particular are a grateful audience for creative challenges, as was seen in the RedBull case. In the case of the #trashtag challenge, the audience is more likely to be attracted by the positive image they can spread of themselves on social media.

The campaign should also be authentic and fit the brand. If the hashtag is then used regularly and appropriately, users will soon start picking up the hash tag and producing their own content.

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