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Published September 2nd 2015

Marketing: What Brands Can Learn From a Health-conscious Hashtag

What can brands learn from one single hashtag? We took a look.

As summer comes to a close and we hurtle toward the colder, frostier months, we decided to look at the social conversations around some of the main things we did to get ready for our summer holidays.

Unsurprisingly, one of the main topics identified was around the desire to achieve the perfect beach body.

The idea of being ‘beach body ready’ was surrounded in controversy earlier in the year, with over 60,000 people signing a petition calling for Protein World to withdraw an advert due to its alleged promotion of an unhealthy body image.

Taking this into account, we were interested to see, using Brandwatch Analytics, how people actually used the hashtag #beachbody in social media throughout the summer.

While there were some tongue-in-cheek uses of this term we found that this hashtag was used for two main purposes; as a way of promoting products and services designed to help people achieve a perfect beach body, and by people working towards achieving what they see as a perfect beach body.

How, exactly? Let’s find out.

The hashtag as a sales and promotional tool

 We found that the hashtag was used by businesses as a sales tool.

  • As a promotional tool by gym instructors to promote training sessions, and gym classes (particularly the Insanity workout)
  • Promotion of specialist diet, nutrition and slimming programs that offer quick-fix solution.

Using the hashtag to document personal achievement

More importantly, the hashtag was also used by people attempting to lose weight in a healthy way.

It was most often used by people as they documented their own body changes. This was done through the posting of selfies and to discuss weigh-ins and hitting targets.

A further use of the hashtag was to share user-generated content of health and clean eating meals made by people working towards their ‘beach body.’

The many opportunities found in one hashtag

While it is clear that the term ’beachbody’ attracted controversy, there are some interesting learnings to take from this analysis.

Summer holidays and the thought of being seen in swimwear appears to act as both a goal to achieve body and fitness goals, and as a selling tool for fitness instructors, gyms and slimming packages.

For people trying to lose weight, it has been proven that sharing fitness and diet goals makes people more accountable and more likely to achieve these goals.

Many organizations are using the hashtag to promote weight loss equipment that offer quick fix solutions, rather than encouraging gradual lifestyle changes.


For fitness instructors it seems that selling your service, or promoting your own achievements using the hashtag #beachbody implies that your clients will focus on short term goals.

There is an opportunity for health and fitness professionals to change the conversation, focusing on a longer lifestyle change rather than a quick fix.

This would be beneficial in terms of building longer relationships with clients rather than focusing on an immediate benefit.

Tips on engaging and understanding

This hashtag also offers opportunities for engagement from other brands and organizations.

Clothing brands could offer discounts and rewards to those who have met their goals in a safe and healthy way, for example a 10% discount on online holiday clothes shopping, or through offering some sort of ‘surprise and delight’ activity to celebrate their achievements while building positive brand reputation.

Food and health brands also have an opportunity to use social listening to understand what people are consuming as healthy snacks and meals.


Brands can then join the conversation by encouraging people to share their favorite meals and recipes, and offer prizes for the most popular meals.

This offers an opportunity to engage directly with influencers on social media and reward customer advocates.

Finally, the term #beachbody is regularly used to demonstrate the fact that all bodies are perfect, and are beach-ready, and that people should not feel under pressure to achieve a particular shape and size. Sounds good to us.

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Crimson Hexagon has merged with Brandwatch. You’re in the right place!

From May 8th, all Crimson Hexagon products are now on the Brandwatch website. You’ll find them under ‘Products’ in the navigation. If you’re an existing customer and you want to know more, your account manager will be happy to help.