WHY CREATE A HASHTAG?
Who would have known that the simple key, formerly known as the pound key or number sign, would change the future of social media and marketing? Well it has today!
Born on Twitter on 2007, hashtags today can be found on many social media sites. Just by using one hashtag alongside your post, you can actually double your reach and engagement.
Creating a standalone hashtag for your brand can work like a call-to-action phrase. You give users new ways to get in touch with your brand on social media. For example, Tostitos used the hashtag #GetTogetherAlready to encourage get togethers with their chips and salsa. The brand gives you a source of conversation about what it means to do with “friends + chips,” with a little clever wordplay but also encourages you to use this hashtag the next time you think of a get together.
Businesses can benefit from hashtags on many levels:
- Using hashtags for promotions, conversations, and targeting can improve your reach and engagement with your target market.
- Hashtags will also have the ability to improve brand awareness when you post on relevant conversations and start trending hashtags.
WHEN TO USE HASHTAGS?
Some of the most common hashtag uses include:
- Career Opportunities
- Product Launches
- Cross-Channel Discussions
All these require some sort of conversation. Brand-specific hashtags should aim to entice discussion and ultimately engagement.
HOW DO YOU CREATE YOUR OWN HASHTAG?
1.Develop your end goals first before creating a hashtag as having it tied to a metric is essential for good marketing. Do this before you try coming up with clever words or phrases. Hashtags have a chance to increase traffic, clicks and engagement. So factor it into your social media ROI strategy. You can consider goals like:
- Increase brand conversations
- Measure total reach
- Increase total link clicks
- Increase mentions
- Increase visibility on social media
2. Decide your social network as each network has a different approach to hashtags.
- Twitter – Hashtags started on Twitter so it is the perfect place to use it for conversations, discovery and backpacking on major trends. Tweets with hashtags also have the benefit of adding a link which can send customers to your marketing pages. Also, Twitter’s search features make branded hashtags easily discoverable from other Tweets.
- Instagram – Users tend to engage more with visual content on Instagram, hence this is a good place for contests, promotions and other video-related content. Instagram hashtags are searched often so your chance of getting discovered is high and also you can use up to 30 per post.
- Facebook – While not as popular as above, Facebook hashtags are still effective as they categorize by date and popularity. Unlike Instagram, it’s best to use a few as possible as Facebook posts with 1-2 hashtags receive 177 more interactions on average per post compared to those with 3-5 hashtags (source: Surepayroll infographic).
3. Start getting creative with coming up with ideas for your hashtag, something which is unique and relevant to your brand. Brainstorm ideas with the following tips: Great hashtags are often,
- Consistent with your brand
- Exclusive to your brand
- Focused on a single message.
4. Have a simple message which gets through to people and is consistent with your brand image. Don’t force the hashtag to be catchy, since you can risk losing followers with overly humorous or complicated hashtags. For example, the hashtag #BeatCancer by Livestrong achieved more than 300,000 tweets and 1.67bn impressions and this was in 2010.
5. Make it actionable so that you are likely to get some sort of response. Actionable hashtags are ones which,
- Incite urgency
- Ask questions
- Play on emotions
- Require engagement
For example, Reebok’s #BeMoreHuman campaign urged people to empower women through fitness.
Double Check Your Hashtags
Before unveiling it to the world, make sure your proof your hashtag content. A social media fail is detrimental to your brand, its image and its audience. So before launching a hashtag campaign,
- Check every network by searching your hashtag on it. This will give you information on what content idea associates with your hashtag.
Look for hidden messages, like how it reads when your hashtag is all lowercase or as one word, so that you can spot mistakes.
- Make sure there are no double meanings because if there is, your followers will definitely comment on it.
- Check current events with your hashtag so that you don’t accidentally mean any ill will when there is a major disaster or event occurring.
Track Your Hashtags Performance
Brevity is the key, so avoid posting your hashtag too frequently. A tool like Sprout Social can help you gain valuable insights into specific social media analytics like hashtag usage. Try to plan a number of hashtags over a specific period of time and track their momentum over a course of 3, 6 or 12 months.
So go out there, create, introduce, engage and build traction with your hashtags! If you use it correctly and follow the steps above, you’ll definitely begin to see positive impacts with brand awareness and engagement.
Want a winning social media strategy for your brand? Leave it to us at Winnerbrands. Book a free consultation today.