7 Tips for Launching Hashtag Challenges on TikTok

A branded hashtag challenge is one where a brand asks people to perform a certain task and tag them using a specific hashtag. Challenges like these are very popular on social media platforms, including TikTok.

While hashtag challenges do have a tendency to go viral, not all challenges actually do. That is why we have compiled a list of tips to help you create a successful hashtag challenge. In this post, we will discuss seven tips that can help you create and launch a successful branded hashtag challenge on TikTok. 

7 Tips for Launching Hashtag Challenges on TikTok:


1. Do Your Research

When planning to create your own hashtag challenge, the first thing you need to do is to do some research. Look at the successful hashtag challenges in the past that went viral.

Analyze them and identify patterns and commonalities in those successful challenges that made them viral. Does it always have to be funny or will anything that people find interesting do? Do cause-based challenges work better? 

Also, look at those for inspiration to find the idea for your own challenge. Understand how brands used TikTok hashtag challenges to their advantage. How can you keep the focus on the brand and yet not make it seem promotional?

These are just some questions that you need to answer before you move on to planning your branded hashtag challenge.

Moreover, if you really want to give it a push then you should also think about influencer collaborations. For that, you also should have a list of influencers who would be a good fit for your brand. Do your influencer search and identify a few influencers that you would like to reach out to.


2. Create a Share worthy Hashtag

One common element between all social media challenges is that each had a specific hashtag. These hashtags are what help make a challenge go viral.

How it works is that you challenge people to do something and then post it on social media using a hashtag specific to that challenge. People start participating in the challenge and use the hashtag. The hashtag trends on the social media platform, attracting even more participants.

That, in fact, is how a social media challenge goes viral. An added benefit of using a hashtag is that it makes it easy to track all the posts from people who participated in the challenge.

So, if you want to create a successful TikTok challenge, you need a hashtag. But, it can’t be any random hashtag, you need to put some effort into creating one that sticks.

Here are some qualities of a hashtag that has the potential to make your challenge viral:

  • It should have a simple spelling and should be easy to remember so that people can easily search for it, share it, and use it. Basically, it should be share worthy.
  • The hashtag should be directly related to your challenge as this helps people remember and recall it. This makes it memorable.
  • Some challenges work well if they have the brand name. So, if possible, add your brand name or part of it in your challenge hashtag. This fosters a positive brand association.

The first two points are necessary, while the third one can be incorporated, if possible. 

A good example of this would be the #pepsicanbalance challenge. The challenge was literally about balancing a Pepsi can, so the hashtag is relevant and memorable. It is easy to remember and share. And, it also has the Pepsi brand name and thus meets all of our criteria.

But, if your brand name does not fit well, then don’t use it in the hashtag. Alternatively, you can use more than one TikTok hashtags for your challenge. One could be the primary hashtag that identifies the challenge, while the other could be a branded hashtag.


3. Keep the Focus on Your Brand or Product

While the hashtag for your challenge needs to be relevant to it, the challenge itself should be focussed on your product, brand, or niche. A lot of TikTok challenges come and go, but only few can be associated with the respective brands.

There is no value for you in creating a challenge that goes viral if no one associates it with your brand. Therefore, you need to make it clear that it is a branded hashtag challenge.

One way to do it is to add the brand name in the hashtag itself, but that’s not always the best option. The second is to create a challenge that either uses your product as a prop or is directly related to your brand.

The #pepsicanbalance challenge cited above is a good example of this. The brand challenged people to create TikTok videos with a  bent, yet balanced, Pepsi can at the forefront. A lot of creators made their own videos and participated in this challenge. The total views for all such posts were about 6.2 million.

Here’s an example of a TikTok creator participating in this challenge.

@sofyaplotnikovaCreate your own version of ##pepsicanbalance 🙆🏼‍♀️❤️💙 @nowunited♬ Woah - KRYPTO9095


4. Make it Memorable

If you look at the most successful social media challenges of the past, you will immediately recall some of them right away, but forget the others. The Ice Bucket Challenge, Ten Year Challenge, and Mannequin Challenge are few that come to mind.

What is it that makes these challenges so memorable, while others just come and go?

The first factor, of course, is the popularity. The more popular a challenge is, the more people remember it. But, that’s not all.

Another important factor here is relatability. If your challenge appeals to a large number of people, then there are higher chances that they will remember it.

Are you wondering why it is important? Well, the goal of the challenge is to create brand awareness and to engage your audience. While the challenge itself takes care of the engagement part, the memorability makes the impact last longer. This makes people remember your brand in a positive context of the fun challenge that you created.


5. Select the Right Audio

Another important component of a viral hashtag challenge is the audio. Most successful hashtag challenges have distinctive audio that plays as you undertake the challenge.

The audio should be relevant to your challenge and also engaging for your audience.

The #inmydenim challenge by Guess uses the song I’m a Mess by Bebe Rexha in their official videos and the participants follow the lead and use the same in their videos. The song is apt for the challenge that shows people dressed shabbily at first but then transform by sporting Guess denim.

@ourfireDon’t you wish getting ready was this easy? 😂❤️🔥 ##inmydenim ##sponsored @guess♬ #inmydenim I’m a Mess - Bebe Rexha


6. Lay Down Clear Rules

Now, coming to the actual challenge, you need to lay down the rules of exactly what the challenge is and how to participate. Do you want people to perform a certain task? Can they give it their own creative twist? If so, then what should remain constant in all the challenge videos?

You need to think about these questions and then set clear rules for your branded hashtag challenge. If it requires some form of dance then you should choreograph it well and use easy-to-copy, simple steps. If it is a process, then provide clear steps. And, if it simply needs participants to use your product in a certain way, then show them how.

Doing this will make sure that all the user-generated content that you receive is consistent with your challenge guidelines. It also makes it simpler for people to participate in the challenge when they know exactly what to do.


7. Promote Your Challenge

A lot of people think that challenges automatically, or rather magically, go viral without any push from the creator of the challenge. However, that’s not true. 

You need to promote your challenge and make sure that it gains popularity, instead of just waiting for it to happen by itself. One way that you can do it is by posting about it on all your social media feeds and inviting people to participate in it. 

Another way to promote your challenge is to collaborate with relevant TikTok influencers in your niche. You can ask them to participate in the challenge and share it on their respective TikTok accounts. This will introduce the challenge to their followers, some of whom will participate in the challenge.

Influencers can also cross-promote on other platforms and get more people to participate in your challenge.

If you want to take things a notch higher, you can always invest in TikTok’s Hashtag Challenge Plus. This allows users to shop products related to a branded hashtag challenge, directly from the app. 


Ready to Launch Your TikTok Hashtag Challenge?

Hashtag challenges are powerful marketing tools that can promote your brand, create brand awareness, and even get conversions. Use these tips while designing your next TikTok hashtag challenge to improve the chances of your challenge going viral.

Now that you know what to do, all that is left is to implement it. So, go on and launch your hashtag challenge. All the best!

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