Adding trending hashtags to your social media and hashtag strategy can be a great way to humanize your brand and inspire ideas for content. As one of the most popular trending hashtags, it's almost guaranteed you’ll see #ThrowbackThursday or #tbt circulate your Twitter or Instagram feeds on any given Thursday of the month. For those of you who have never mustered up the courage to use it, you’re in the right place. Keep reading.
What is Throwback Thursday?
- a hashtag
- used primarily on Twitter and Instagram
- used to share old photos (aka a "throwback" or "throwing it back")
Like the name suggests, Throwback Thursday is a social media phenomenon where people share old pictures of themselves or things to reminisce about the past. It's consistently trending. The hashtag has gained so much attention that Spotify has even made a #ThrowbackThursday playlist that they update weekly. From a business standpoint, companies use the hashtag to highlight important points in their past, their old products or product designs, or something related to their business. Nostalgia-based marketing usually hits big with some brands and audiences, so it's a no-brainer to use this hashtag if you're trying to elicit nostaligia. The hashtag is most commonly spotted on Instagram and Twitter but is also known to make appearances on Facebook, LinkedIn and YouTube all year around.
How to Use it in Your Content Calendar
While adding a trending hashtags is beneficial to your content calendar, there are several things to ask yourself before incorporating Throwback Thursdays into your content calendar. The hashtag might be trendy, but just using it doesn’t guarantee a successful post. If it doesn’t resonate with your audience, then the post has little appeal. Consider the following things before posting:
- Is it picture a true throwback (at least 1 year old)?
- Is the post relevant or relateable to your business?
- Is the post relevant or relateable to your audience?
- Is the post shareable?
- What does your throwback post say about your company?
Nostalgia-Inducing Examples of #ThrowbackThursday
Get some perspective and inspiration. Here are some throwbacks that stuck out to us:
RIP VW Beetle
View this post on Instagram
A post shared by Volkswagen (@volkswagen) on
Volkswagen consistently uses #tbt to showcase the evolution of their automobiles, promote brand loyalty (which they really need after their emissions scandal), and induce nostalgia in their older audiences. In similar posts throughout their Instagram use, viewers commented in multiple languages expressing that they always wanted a VW Microbus, or that they agree that punk's not dead. Great throwback, Volkswagen!
#tbt in a Vintage Tee
Pepsi was pushing the idea of nostalgia in branding before they started focusing on keeping fresh; they partnered with Puma and Cardi B, and introduced their new flavors. From having Cindy Crawford recreate an ad from 1992 for their 2018 Super Bowl ad to featuring throwback swag with #tbt on Instagram, Pepsi's feed has nailed that retro, throwback vibe.
A Very Trekkie Throwback
Even in the new era of Star Trek, their Instagram feed taps into the sentimentality of the earlier days. They've featured their past leading women characters on Women's Equality Day, highlighted their animated series, and paid homage to those who have worked on the show in the past. With over 10k likes and 75 comments on this specific post, they're successfully appeal to that nostalgic emotion for their fans.
A Look Back into History
With over 125 years under its belt, NDSU has seen a lot of change. They frequently incorporate #tbt into their content calendars to show the history of the school over the years, uniquely look into what college life was like in the past, and inspire pride for the university.
Know Your Roots
Bell Bank posted this #ThrowbackThursday to highlight their history in the Fargo area. By invoking nostalgia through a picture of Fargo in 1966, they support their local presence and trust within their city.
Throwback Thursday is one of many day-specific trending hashtags that happen on social media (i.e. #WednesdayWisdom, #MondayMotivation, and #ThursdayThursday). As you get more comfortable with the hashtag landscape, you can also play around with other trending hashtags. If you need help taking the next steps in starting your content calendar or hashtag strategy, let us know. We can help you get started!