#ThrowbackThursday–often shorted to #TBT–is a social media trend where users post old images accompanied by (you guessed it) the hashtag TBT.Tony TranJune 4, 2019,
Most likely, you’ve seen #TBT (Throwback Thursday) before.
Perhaps it was an embarrassing photo in the yearbook taken by a friend from high school.
Or it was an Instagram post by your mom about the vacation you took last summer
Or it was just a tweet about an amazing party that took place a few months back.
TBT is an incredibly popular hashtag used by basically everyone–your aunt, influencers, celebrities, and first ladies.
Brands have the opportunity to increase engagement, increase awareness and tell stories through TBT.
We want to explain what TBT is and how it works.
What is TBT?
TBT stands to Throwback Thursday. It is used by people to share old photos and videos with them for nostalgia.
You don’t have to share just photos and videos. You can also share audio or text recordings and memories.
Although #TBT is now quite common, its origins are still a mystery. According to Vox, one of the first uses of the hashtag appeared in 2006 when a blogger named Mark Halfhill used it for his sneaker blog.
The first #TBT post on Instagram, according to TIME, was a shot of Hot Wheels toy cars shared by guy named Bobby in February 2011.
Since then, the hashtag has taken on a life all its own and is now one of the most used hashtags on social media. There are currently 488 million Instagram posts with #TBT at the time of writing.
This is the history of TBT. But why should you care?
#TBT: Why you should use it
#TBT is a very popular hashtag on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook. It means that you can accomplish three crucial things when you use it.
1. Increase engagement
Twitter found that brands that used hashtags more saw a 50% increase in engagement in their tweets when compared to those who did not use hashtags.
2. Increase audience
Many people follow different hashtags, and #TBT is no exception. This means that your post will appear in their feeds when you use it. It can also introduce your brand to a new audience.
3. Increase brand awareness
#TBT allows you to tell the story of your brand and its origins. By sharing old photos or videos, you can tell the story of your brand while also introducing your company to new people.
You can gain a lot from using the hashtag.
What is Throwback Thursday?
You can use Throwback Thursday in many different ways, but they all share one thing in common: They call to mind an event or a moment from the past.
Your content will work as long as it follows this rule.
These are some of the most common formats:
While you can upload any photo or video, and include a #TBT in the post description, there are some best practices to follow when using the hashtag.
Photos must be shared by Thursday
It is obvious, but this is an essential element of #TBT success. Although you can use similar hashtags like #FlashbackFriday (for further information, please see below), #ThrowbackThursday has a much higher following. Let’s face it, #FlashbackFriday exists only because people forgot to take part in #TBT.
You should use the hashtag #TBT or #ThrowbackThursday.
This is hashtag use 101, but it’s important to note that your image won’t show up in #TBT searches if you forget to tag it.
It must be old
You can post a #TBT message from a recent time (e.g., at a party just a few weeks back), but a true #TBT tweet will refer to a different time period. A brand or business should be able to recall a different time period (think decades, not just years). For great #TBT posts, a good rule of thumb is to use images and videos that were popular before the internet.
Limit yourself to one per week
This is not a strict rule. This is a matter of judgment. However, the consensus of the internet says that you should limit your nostalgia-inducing snaps to one per week.
For more on the power of hashtags in your marketing campaigns, be sure to check out our article on daily hashtags and how to use them.
Variations on the TBT hashtag
You can also post #TBT on other days of week – a few of them we’ve already covered!
You can also use the hashtags #Latergram or #OnThisDay, which aren’t limited to one day per week.
#Latergram is a hashtag that is typically used to describe a photo or video of an event, which has been taken within the last few weeks. It is primarily used on Instagram. You could also use it on other social media platforms.
#OnThisDay can be used to commemorate certain events, such as a building opening or product launch.
Although you can use any hashtag, it is best to stick with #TBT for brand awareness and engagement. This is because Throwback Thursday is by far the most popular version of the trend and one of Instagram’s most-loved hashtags.
Ideas for Throwback Thursday
You now know what #TBT is all about. It’s time for you to incorporate it into your social media marketing strategy.
Your brand should have a rich history. It’s a great idea to share it.
It’s fine to run social media for a startup. #TBT is a creative exercise.
Here are some ideas:
The physical location of your business can be a good place to begin #TBT. Perhaps you have archive footage that shows the various forms of your business’ location over the years.
Throwback Thursday photos could include blueprints, construction photos or even shots of the building taken from another point in its past.
A step to increase the content available is to think of your location as the country, city, region or country in which it is located.
You can. You can participate in #TBT even if your business doesn’t have a physical address. Websites had to begin somewhere
Your employees are the heart of your company. Have a lot of fun with your employees by sharing behind-the scenes photos or videos. These could include pictures of them at work or old photos of the founder of the business.
These photos are great as they humanize your brand and help increase engagement. Your followers will see that there are other people involved in this business.
Employees can also submit old baby photos to be shared for #TBT posts. This will increase engagement and allow you to see more adorable baby photos throughout the day.
There is no better way to connect with your customer via #TBT than to showcase the customer. Celebrate them by bringing back customers from the past.
These can be photos or videos of customers engaging with your brand. These customers can visit a business location.
Use your product…
If you can find photos of loyal customers back in the day, even better!
4. Product or services
Your product or service could be a good area for #TBT content. How has your product evolved over time? Do you have photographs of the prototype or blueprint?
You shouldn’t be afraid of thinking outside the box, especially if you have a product that is too new to allow for old photos.
What is an example of a previous, but different version of your product if that’s true? Are you able to create apps for mobile users There are probably many funny photos from people who used vintage phones.
Are you a coach? Look through old photos to see the strange exercises that people used to do.
You can easily find a way to display a throwback photo of your product with a little research.
Vintage marketing materials can make great #TBT material.
They are nostalgically-filled, delightfully kitschy and a great product of their time.
Throwbacks that are ad-oriented could be printed or even video ads materials like old posters.
…and radio or TV commercials.
These are great ways to tap into nostalgia. You can get tons of comments and engagement about #TBT advertisements if you choose the right one.
You can often find great #TBT material at large events.
Consider upcoming events that are connected to your brand. Next, look through the archives to find photos of those events from the past. Bonus points for businesses that have been involved in the past, and can provide visual evidence.
Events are also a good opportunity to combine hashtags by digging through the relevant archives for a specific date and create an #OnThisDay or #ThisDayInHistory-style #TBT (for example: #OnThisDay in X year, X thing happened). Don’t forget your #TBT hashtag!
#TBT can also be a great way to recognize milestones that your company has achieved in the past or present.
The New York Times Magazine released their first VR story, and they celebrated by tweeting the news, along with the first VR story that featured pictures.
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