#Hashtags are a big part of social media! The symbol formerly known as a pound sign (or a sharp for the musicians in the crowd!) is everywhere and seemingly fly-by-the-seat-of-your-pants. Ever see a hashtag that was clearly made up, such as #benandjerrysfordays or #kickedherbrotherbuthegotherback?
Hashtags can be fun to play with and add to your Facebook page or Instagram feed, but did you know that hashtags can be a great marketing strategy for your business? According to Wishpond, hashtags can “expand your content reach, amplify your brand, target your market, get your content found, improve your SEO, and more.” Let’s look at #HowToHashtag effectively!
First step- create a unique hashtag for your business! It should be your company name or a company tagline that is memorable. Also it should relate to what you want people to know about your business. Hashtags should not contain spaces or punctuation. They should consist of no more than 3 or 4 words strung together, and should be written in Title case to avoid confusion. For example, the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead could be read as Now Thatcher is Dead or Now That Cher Is Dead. This was an actual hashtag that caused quite a stir in the Twitterverse!
Writing in Title case helps to avoid confusion (or anyone thinking that Cher is dead!). Be sure your hashtag is easy to spell and inoffensive so that others will want to use it, too! Finally, research any hashtags you’re thinking of using for your brand to be sure that it’s not one that already widely in use.
It’s a great strategy to use slogans or keywords about a specific marketing campaign as hashtags. According to Mention.com, using campaign-specific hashtags can:
- Create brand awareness
- Increase the visibility of your content
- Make it easier to track and quantify your content
- Boost your followers and retweets
- Get your audience involved
- Promote events effectively
- Help in running a contest or launching a product
A prime example of a successful hashtag campaign is Coke’s #shareacoke campaign. This created a lot of buzz about Coke on various social media platforms. Check out this page from Taggbox for more great hashtag campaigns!
More does not necessarily equal better in the world of hashtags! Too many hashtags look spammy and do not encourage people to use them. A good rule of thumb is to focus on using hashtags to describe one element of your product. For example, if Joe’s Catering was hashtagging a post featuring a picture of a Mother’s Day buffet, it would not be in Joe’s best interest to end of the post with #motherday #moms #mothers #buffet #omelettes #coffee #mommyneedscoffee #bacon #mimosas. Instead, Joe would be better off using his brand hashtag #JoesCatering or a campaign hashtag like #TreatMomRight.
Stay tuned for next week’s Part 2 of #HowToHashtag, where we get into keyword analysis, partnering with influencers, and celebrating special days and seasons!