Legend has it the world changed in 2007
With the arrival of the dramatic #hashtag…
In the not-too-distant past, Chris Messsina first used the hashtag #barcamp for social media marketing and it spread like a wild fire. Now, hashtags are an integral part of all social media platforms. These are descriptive and catchy words and phrases used to tag content on social media; categorizing the topic being discussed as well as connecting people with similar interests. Hashtags have moved from the cherry on the top, to the very icing on the cake of social media marketing. We are here to make sure you get the most of this dramatic technic to increase your social media reach. Use these five hashtag strategies to promote your brand.
This is your brand/campaign signature on social. A catchy, original phrase relevant to your business and which will resonate with your audience. Your signature hashtag should accompany ALL social content so your followers on Twitter and those on Instagram know to find you with that hashtag. Encourage followers to use your brand hashtag when they talk about your brand on social media. That way, when they write about your brand, they are not just communicating with you, but with the rest of your audience following your brand hashtag.
This is a great way to expand your reach on social media. Platforms will typically show you top trending hashtags based on your likes, the people you follow, and the topics you are interested in. Engage the trending hashtags relevant to your brand and audience. Remember, it’s not just about increasing your reach, but reaching the right audience. Not every trending hashtag will work for your brand. Including irrelevant hashtags onto your content will make it less likely for you to reach your target audience.
Every brand should build a community from the tons and tons of followers on social media. This community will be made up of followers who share a strong commitment to the brand, and typically people with similar backgrounds, likes and tendencies. Create a community hashtag these loyals can use when sharing their experiences with your brand. This is much like your brand hashtag and could very well work with your unique brand name and ‘community’’for instance #createcommunity. Your consumer base will be glad to be a part of this neat, elite fraternity!
In our recent article on 5 creative branding strategies, we went on and on about the need to interact with your audience. Creating and/or using chat hashtags is a much effective way to do that. This is popular on Twitter with topics for different industries and audiences which you can search and take part in. although these chats are usually held at specific times, there is always the option of leaving your comment later on with the designated hashtag. This introduces you to the discussion audience, lets them know what your thoughts are on what matters to your brand, and eventually increases your followers.
This is the strategy that ensures the most engagement on your content. The aim here is to get your online community engaged in a specific action relating to your brand. This action could be online or offline. This could be as simple as the Coca-Cola #ShareACoke hashtag which, although requiring an offline action, was widely publicized by the Coca-Cola community on social media. Consumers get to feel like they are a part of a global ripple effect, or that they are contributing to a greater good – most effective strategy for social media marketing.
Ideally, these hashtags should be under 11 characters to be catchy and memorable enough to go viral on social media. And we can’t forget this one tip: hashtags cannot be used the same way on all social media platforms. While Instagram will require 10 to 30 hashtags for a rise in engagement, Twitter and Facebook will record more engagement on posts with 2 to 3 relevant hashtags.
Finally, just because we try not to assume anything (or many things, at least), it’s all about content-relevant hashtags. It has got to be relevant to do you good, and if it is relevant it will do you good. It goes without saying, but there – we went ahead and said it!