Things to Keep in Mind While Using Hashtags in Social Media Marketing
If you look around the social media sites more closely, you would find that they are teeming with hashtags. And these are pretty effective for marketing purposes. The three key areas that the hashtags cater to are:
Hashtag owes its popularity to Twitter. Recently, it has spread its wings to other social media sites including Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and Tumblr.
If used correctly, hashtags can:
increase brand exposure
help businesses to communicate with their audience
build effective networks
monitor brand popularity
In fact, it has been found that tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement than those without.
Who would've thought that the tiny character on the keyboard could unleash so much power?
However, hashtags can backfire if not implemented properly in your business's social media marketing strategy. Following are a few effective ways to use hashtags to spruce up your marketing campaign.
Keep It Simple and Relevant
With hashtags, you definitely do not want them to:
be difficult to remember
take up enough real estate of the post space
be something that does not represent your brand or the post
That being said, you would need to be particular about the hashtag you use.
For example, let's say your business revolves around food. You put up a hashtag like this: #Food. Sure that is simple, but it would pull up a number of results that might not align with either yours or the user's objective. However, #FoodforSoul could make an impression. It is simple, relevant, impressionable, and more focused, all these with a hint of creativity tagging along.
However, you should also make sure that it has not been already used.
Use Customized Hashtags
On a rigorous attempt at social media marketing, businesses tend to employ customized hashtags to make their brands more prominent. This is mostly popular in Twitter and is a powerful strategy. Using the brand name can draw attention and effectuate your campaign.
For example, Coca-Cola has been seeking to trademark two Twitter hashtags: #cokecanpics and #smilewithacoke.
Do Not Overuse Hashtags
Hashtags are effective when used once, more so when used in twice, but quite degrading when used more than that. It has been found that tweets that use hashtags more than twice exhibit a 17% decrease in engagement.
In addition, an over-usage of hashtags makes your brand seem too eager to promote itself. And that does not spell good with social media users. Therefore, no matter how much irresistible they might seem, make sure to keep the usage under a leash for positive brand promotion.
Make It More of a Call to Action
While using hashtags, keep in mind that you are also connecting with people other than your fans and followers. They will be using your hashtag. When you are promoting a hashtag campaign, your primary aim is to drive engagement. And people connect best with a simple, yet effective call to action that resonates with your brand.
For example, Coca-Cola's #MakeItHappy hashtag grabbed the 8th spot in the USA Today AdMeter since it captured the essence of the brand along with a message that everyone could connect to.
Put it to Test
Hashtags can serve their purpose best when they are tested. This is because you do not want your hashtag to be ridiculed or made infamous by people out there blessed with a knack for sarcasm. Think of a bunch and test them out.
For example, last year's State of the Union (SOTU) saw the White House media buried knee deep in hashtags. They tested out 26 different possibilities! They eventually settled on only seven that resonated well with the audience.
Keep in mind that every platform has separate demands and one hashtag will not do well across all platforms. Therefore, create separate hashtags for every platform before putting them to test.
While you get busy marveling at the engagement your unique hashtags draw, do not forget to keep a track of the response. This would help you come up with better versions the next time around.
The last piece of advice would be to use it wisely, because it is like a magic wand. One swish in the right direction and your web traffic can shoot right through the roof.