Do you use Hashtags on social media? If not, it is time to incorporate in your strategy! Hashtags have become omnipresent in social media and consumers are only using them more (I must mention some of them use 100’s of hashtags in one post), regardless they still have tapped into these tagged topics.
It has multiple benefits – Expands the reach of your content, amplifies your messages, targets your audiences, and many more such perks. Hashtags can be leveraged more strategically than just for simple searches. With the tips mentioned below will help you incorporate them in your social media strategy more effectively.
Make it Smart and Topical
You should create hashtags which are in-tune with the current happenings from your industry and the keywords you use should bring light to your brand. But it is also vital to remember, not to tap all the current happenings; a lot of brands make that mistake in the hopes of increasing their presence online. But that only confuses their audiences and makes them question which direction is this brand catering towards! So remember, to be smart and topical.
Example -During the World Cup 2014, a lot of brands incorporated the hashtag #WorldCup2014 in their promotions/regular posts to bring their brand in the spotlight. Some brands did a good job, and some just followed suit to get noticed. One such brand that rocked this topical was Cafe Coffee Day, with the hashtag #CCDFootballQuiz with their well crafted execution they received great engagement.
It should be Interactive
Getting a topic to trend is a large feat, but if you can’t do that you can still get people interacting with your brand through means of a unique hashtag. Brands can use hashtags for things like contests and events. During your events, you can create a special hashtag and give your audiences the complete low down of everything that is happening in real-time which truly piques the interest of your users and gets them engaging. Contests are a great way to increase engagement, and paired with hashtags is a story of success.
— Quikr (@Quikr) September 24, 2014
Example – Quikr ran a contest on Twitter, with association of Sunburn where they promoted the hashtag #QuikrRouteToSunburn. Followers had to use this hashtag and answer questions, where they stood a chance to win passes to this festival. Due to increased participation and such a unique hashtag it was even trending on Twitter.
Overusing hashtags is almost spam
Like I mentioned earlier, your consumers are using hashtags but not all of them. Brands are following the same suit, #they #hashtag #every #word which will make your brand show in the conversation feed, but chances are most people will skip it as it makes your post look too cluttered and spamy. By overusing hashtags it devalues the strength of the hashtag itself and makes each one of the words meaningless. With this move it may cause you to lose followers/ fans and make your brand look like an amateur.
Pro tip – Follow the thumb rule of no more than 3 hashtags per post, this rule doesn’t apply to Instagram but that doesn’t mean you can hashtag words like #and #the on Instagram.
Example – GAS Jeans on their Facebook page, clearly dint receive the hashtag manual they have so poorly used it in their post that they have hashtagged words like “Look.”
Be Relevant as much as you can
To stand out, create a hashtag specific to your business and make sure to market it along with your social media posts. Keep your hashtag simple and not complicated so that your followers/fans can use it when they are engaging in conversation with you. Remind your audiences every now and then to use this particular hashtag when they are talking about or doing something related to your brand.
You can use Ritetag which is an amazing tool when it comes to identifying hashtags on social media.
Cover multiple Social Media channels
This constitutes the next step after creating a relevant hashtag, which should be in-sync with your brands value. To increase awareness of your hashtag, it is extremely important to cross promote. So users know, when communicating with your brand they can use that hashtag, on any of the social networks and it is exclusively yours!
Example – Luxury vodka brand, Belvedere uses the hashtag #knowthedifference to associate itself with being a true quality brand. And it promotes the same hashtag across their website and multiple networks, namely – Facebook, Twitter & Instagram thus keeping their branding constant.
A lot of times competitors/masses hijack your hashtag and start relaying across their messages, thus diluting the real essence of why your hashtag was created. This in turn only confuses your audiences and leaves them on cross-roads of which messages to consume. During these times, you really need to have a plan of action ready rather than just laughing it off! The quickest thing you can do is get as many users as you can (employees, clients, followers, supporters) talking about the actual matter at that moment.
Example – When McDonalds started tweeting #McDStories regarding their staff. Their audiences started using this hashtag against them and started bashing them rather with less positive stories. Even though this campaign with the hashtag #McDStories was launched in 2012, people are till now bashing the brand with this hashtag.
— A Place In Space (@APISAwpr) September 22, 2014
Measure and Preserve
It is very important to measure the results of your hashtag, make use of various social media tools as with those metrics it truly lets you unleash the power of your hashtags. With those insights it will show a better understanding of how your hashtag is performing.
RebelMouse is a perfect deal to showcase how your hashtag campaign visually and you can preserve the best of tweets as testimonials as well for future use.
Harnessing the power of hashtags is vital for your business today, so you can keep up with the way your consumers are communicating on social media. You can put yourself ahead of your competitors by applying these above mentioned tips in your social media plan.
Have you ever faced trouble using hashtags? Do share your experience with us in the comments section below.