American Marketer


75pc of consumers unlikely to share branded hashtag: study

September 1, 2020

Branded hashtags may not be all they are cut out to be. Image credit: Shutterstock Branded hashtags may not be all they are cut out to be. Image credit: Shutterstock


Seventy-five percent of U.S. consumers are unlikely to post content on social media using a branded hashtag from a company, per a new survey by Visual Objects.

Hashtag campaigns were a popular and non-traditional form of marketing five years ago, but now they are no longer as influential.

The Visual Objects study showed that only 11 percent of consumers have interacted with a social media hashtag campaign in the past three months.

While user-generated content is a more affordable and lower stakes method for brands to market their products, only a strategy that uses the right platforms and types of content will yield the desired results, per Visual Objects, which is a visual guide to finding the best creative firms.

Washington-based Visual objects surveyed 401 consumers on their attitudes to creating content for brands.

Social media stories see most engagement
When asked what types of content they engaged with online in the past three months, 40 percent of consumers answered stories on social media platforms such as Instagram, Snapchat and Facebook.

Additionally, 27 percent of consumers have engaged with videos such as livestreams and augmented reality lenses or filters in the past three months, according to Visual Objects.

The study found that 19 percent of consumers are likely to create a video showing how they use a product or service from a business.

Even though most consumers (73 percent) are unlikely to create branded videos, businesses looking to implement a user-generated strategy should consider producing video content and social media stories.

Reviews on third-party platforms are most common form of UGC
The survey found that 26 percent of consumers are likely to review a business on a third-party Web site, making reviews the most popular way people contribute to user-generated content.

Consumers trust what their peers say about a brand more than what the brand says about itself, which means that customer reviews are an advantageous user-generated content marketing strategy.

For example, Buzzfeed compiles lists of popular products in different categories along with corresponding positive customer reviews. Businesses can encourage customers to leave reviews by incorporating calls-to-action in marketing emails.

Also, 25 percent of customers have engaged with customer reviews in the last month, making it the third-most common type of online content that they consumed after social media stories and videos.

Most consumers are very unlikely to engage in user-generated content
User-generated content is a valuable option for marketers looking to lower marketing costs.

However, unless executed effectively, a user-generated content strategy is likely to be unsuccessful.

That said, marketers can leverage video channels and incentivize customers to leave reviews to improve their chances of marketing success.