Should you mix social media and traditional ad campaigns? Many advertisers already do, but is it a good use of space or just “checking the box” for the consumer’s benefit to let them know that the advertiser is also on the socials. While it’s a great use of ad space to promote social media, it should be done with a purpose other than just checking that proverbial box. In fact, it’s more important that you mark it with a hashtag.

If you’ve already decided that your ad simply must include social media handles for your company, let’s make sure it’s done the right way. And unfortunately, many are doing it wrong.

The first thing to note is that just the social handle, i.e. @KnoodleAgency on Twitter, or, is not enough. You must include a #hashtag related to the ad campaign. The reason being is that people are more likely to follow if they know why they should follow you (do you do promo codes, giveaways, etc. on your page?). They need a call to action, plain and simple.

Your handle and special hashtag do not need to dominate your ad to be effective, but they should play off the theme of the ad. And if you’re paying good money for all that space, why not use a little bit of it to promote your socials, which will live on long after your ad campaign has run its course.

We recommend using them and doing it right.


Case Study


Marks & Spencer, a UK based retailer who does about $10 billion annually in sales used a new handle and hashtag and promoted it through an ad campaign and grassroots marketing on the street. This created a lot of buzz and curiosity and by the time they released their official ad on social media they had 36,000 followers.

To further strengthen the argument for using handles and hashtags in advertising, note that television commercials are most successful went they have a few of these elements:

  • Capitalize on a viral trend
  • Use a social influencer to promote the brand
  • Include a call-to-action
  • Use an aspect of the brand name

TV ads with hashtags in them were 42% more likely to get tweeted about than ads that had no hashtag.

TV ads with a hashtag or handle deliver a 50% greater ROI than ads with neither.

In conclusion, it’s definitely worth the space and effort to promote your social media channels in your tradition print and television advertising as long as you follow the guidelines for using hashtags.