As mentioned in an earlier blog post, hashtags are important to social media marketing for several reasons. However, I want to focus on Twitter hashtags because the use of hashtags can vary across different social media networks. On Twitter, they are used to mark keywords or topics in a Tweet. As a marketer, hashtags are a way to engage your brand with your market.
Twitter users created Hashtags organically as a way to categorize content. If you’re trying to market your business on Twitter and you’re not using hashtags, shame on you. No sugarcoating this one. In my opinion, hashtags are a necessity to Twitter marketing. Why? Well…
- It makes it easier to find, filter, and engage in targeted discussions. You are instantly linking a post to a group of others.
- You can find likeminded people that you can help and learn from. Hashtags update a group of likeminded users on that topic in real time.
- Helps you organically attract your ideal audience. If someone searches for your hashtag or puts the same hashtag in a tweet, you know they are interested.
- You can measure and analyze performance of social media with hashtags.
- If you use the same hashtags across different social networks, you can cross-market and engage your audience on different channels such as Facebook, Instagram, and Google+.
- Hashtags increase brand awareness and your following.
- By using hashtags on Twitter, you build a community around your brand and industry.
I think I made my point. Hashtags are important for social media marketing, especially on Twitter! Here are a couple strategies to keep in mind when #hashtagging:
- Don’t spam. Over-tagging a tweet with too many hashtags devalues the strength of a hashtag. Twitter recommends using no more than two hashtags per tweet. Spamming hashtags is not good for your business’ reputation.
- Be trendy. In other words, use trending hashtags. Trending hashtags are topics that have become very popular on Twitter, or the most talked about right now. Since these are continuously changing, you should engage in the trend by using the hashtag right away and in real time. These tweets probably won’t be scheduled, but when you use them, your content has the ability to be seen by more than just your followers.
REMEMBER: Only use trending hashtags if they are relevant to you industry or business. SocialTimes has a great article explaining how and when a trending hashtag can help your marketing efforts here.
- Brand your tags. Branding and campaign hashtags are hashtags that are specifically for your business. Using this strategy can differentiate your business on Twitter.
- A branding hashtag can be your company name, tagline or something unique to your product/service. This is unique to your business and it can be used like a signature tag. Once you get people to use them, your brand gets marketed. For example, Nike uses #JustDoIt. Try to choose just one hashtag to speak for your brand. This will strengthen consumer awareness and develop your brand.
Campaign hashtags are used for each marketing campaign. Make a unique hashtag for sales or promotions. Your campaign will get extended reach once people start noticing the hashtag and using it. Once again, Nike is a great example for using campaign hashtags. Recently, they introduced the Nike Tech Book and they are using the hashtag #techpack.
Here are seven examples of brands that successfully used campaign hashtags.
- Use content hashtags. These are just typical hashtags you use in your posts that are not branded and not necessarily trending at the moment. Content hashtags simply just relate to your content. They can improve the SEO of your posts and extend your posts’ reach. Some examples are #socialmedia, #contentmarketing, and #seo.
- Be clear and recognizable. If your hashtag is too hard to remember or too long, no one will use it. Keep the hashtag clear, to the point, and easy to remember. If it’s too complicated and not obvious, your hashtag will not work how you want it to.
It’s a good idea to research hashtags for your niche or industry. Here are some tools to use to find relevant and trending hashtags:
- Hashtagify– you can find and get insight on hashtags
- Twitter search
- Tweetchat – Allows you to be part of a community chat through a hashtag
- Twubs – Follow hashtags and find conversations.
Utilize hashtags wisely. Once you start using them correctly, your brand and business should see positive effects towards awareness and reach!