Hashtags have slowly become a part of the popular culture, especially the digital culture. Over time they’ve grown to become a central part of an effective social media campaign. However, if you’re just getting started with using hashtags they can be overwhelming, and frankly a bit confusing.
Once you get the hang of using hashtags it will get much easier, but it’s important to know the basics so you have a better chance at running an effective campaign from the start.
What Is A Hashtag?
In a way, hashtags can be seen as keywords. They allow for the aggregation of information that’s all based around a certain topic. Originally, hashtags were used by Twitter as a way to categorize their messages. Since their inception hashtags have grown across other platforms as well, including Instagram, Flickr, Vine, and more recently Facebook.
For instance, if you’re posting a picture of a tasty cup of coffee on Instagram, you may tag that picture with the hashtag #coffeelove. Or, if you’re posting a picture of a beautiful sunset, you could use the hashtag #sunset. Of course, hashtags apply to more than just pictures.
In order to utilize the power of hashtags for your business it’s crucial you create your own. You may be able to reach new followers by hopping on existing hashtags, but to truly create the buzz you’re looking for you’ll want to get creative.
A successful hashtag campaign will help to build awareness for your brand or business, or even promote certain contests or giveaways you might be running.
Rules For An Effective Hashtag Campaign
The most effective hashtags are short, sweet and inspire action. To get to that point it’s going to take a little work, but it’ll be well worth it.
1. Be Unique, But Not Too Unique
When you’re creating your own hashtag you’ll want to make sure it’s unique and memorable. If you already have a company hashtag you’ll want to improvise on this to show association, but still have enough difference so it stands out.
When it comes to length try not to overcomplicate things. Face it, no one will remember a hashtag that’s a sentence long, but it will also be hard to differentiate from other tags if it’s only a few letters long. Finding the right balance is crucial.
Your hashtag also needs to be relevant to the campaign you’re trying to run. For example, if you’re trying to create a hashtag around an event make sure the hashtag alludes to what the event is actually about.
Once you’ve come up with a unique, catchy, easy to remember, and slightly descriptive hashtag, then it’s time to move on.
2. Use It Across Multiple Channels
As was mentioned earlier, hashtags are useful across multiple social media platforms. When you’re executing your campaign you’ll want to have a presence on the social media platforms your audience hangs out at.
People use different social media platforms for different purposes, but your hashtag can help weave a thread back to your business throughout all these seemingly disparate networks.
This will help your hashtag get more exposure across more social channels, which will increase the likelihood of your campaign catching fire. Secondly, this will help people remember your hashtag, as they’ll be exposed to it in multiple settings.
3. Always Research First
You’d hate to tweet your super unique, extremely creative hashtag only to realize that another person has been using the hashtag for an entirely different purpose. This would not only be detrimental to the success of your campaign, but could also result in serious customer backlash.
It’s always worth it to spend time researching potential hashtags to see what comes up. Make sure you check across multiple platforms as well. By doing this beforehand you could avoid a seriously embarrassing incident for your company.
Overall, an effective hashtag campaign is all about using a memorable hashtag at the right time, all in service of your customers. The steps above will get you going in the right direction.
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