Hashtags are the most popular way of categorizing social media updates as they allow users to search for and find relevant content related to the keyword. Hashtags make your own content discoverable and allow you to find relevant content from other brands and people. Moreover, hashtags also allow you to connect and interact with other social media users based on common interest.
Hashtags have now become the prominent part of social media channels and it’s hard to find the one who hasn’t heard about them. In fact, hashtags are so famous as they were added to Oxford dictionary in 2010 as well as in the Scrabble Dictionary in 2014.
There are so many people who understand what hashtags are, but still there are so many who still don’t know how to use them.
Hashtags now have a strong position on almost all social media networks, including Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest and more.
But the question is how to use hashtags? Knowing the trick of using them is the key to your brand’s success on social media. Here are some best ways to help you get the most out of your social media marketing efforts using hashtags.
When it comes to using hashtags, it is important to be specific. It is advised to focus on one dedicated group or community that shares the topics on one specific industry. The more specific hashtags you will use, the more targeted your audience will be. And getting targeted audience means more user engagement. If you still don’t have your brand-oriented hashtag, create the one or two that really fit the products or services you offer.
For example, if your brand offers skin products. Instead of using #skinproducts, opt for #acneprodcuts #flawlessskin. As these hashtags are specific to people who have acne problem – your target customers.
While hashtags have the basic function of content discovery and tagging, the use of hashtags still varies from one social media network to another. Hashtags on the photo and video sharing platforms are often used in description of the content. While this is not the case when it comes to Twitter, the hashtags are more focused on a topic of conversation or group of people that you would like to use.
It is highly advised to do research and discover how to use hashtags for that particular social media network. Many channels have guides for using hashtags, read them carefully. Moreover, discover the most popular and relevant hashtags on a particular topic for every channel. The time and energy you put in will pay off in the form of better engagement.
Creating brands hashtags doesn’t mean to mention your brand name every time, you should represent your brand, its values and what does it stand for. In fact, brand hashtags are also effective for user-generated content and contests.
With the goal to gain user engagement and gather user-generated content, Lay’s launched a brand hashtag campaign #SayItWithASmile.
This made people to grab their favorite packs and share their selfies over social media channels. This campaign not only drive participation and user engagement, it also arranges all the posts that are tagged with the brand hashtag on a hashtag page. It helps the brand when they are using the hashtags to collect all the posts for a promotion or contest.
Brand hashtags can also be used to raise brand awareness or any initiative taken by the brand.
Coca Cola has launched amazing marketing initiatives over the years. The brand always come up with great ideas to interact with customers. Coca Cola launched #ShareACoke campaign, they produce bottles and cans of their products labels “Share a Coke With…” and every bottle has a different name on it.
This campaign gained hundreds of thousands of tweets and given the brand the opportunity to create more sub-campaigns. The brand encourages users to tweet their own stories with the hashtag #ShareACoke
If you are creating a brand oriented hashtag, it is advised to keep it simple, short and sweet. Don’t use too long or complicated hashtags, as no one will going to use the hashtag if it has too many characters. Hashtags are created to make it easier to find the brand and engage with it, using long, clever and complicated hashtags can actually be more difficult. Therefore, come up with something short and interesting.
Social media users use an excessive number of hashtags in their posts, especially Instagram users. They think that more hashtags mean more likes, so they overload their photos with too many hashtags – the maximum limit is 30.
Using too many hashtags on a single post is not a good practice, as it usually dilutes the message you are trying to convey. Try to focus on being specific and to-the-point to gain users’ attention.
Since the main purpose of using hashtags is to make your content discoverable to your target audience. But that doesn’t mean that everything you post should fit into hashtag category. If your post doesn’t need a hashtag, don’t use it. Think carefully what’s the point of using hashtags if you are simply sharing the news story? However, if you share a blog post that defines the details of that news, then using a hashtag makes sense.
Keep in mind that using hashtags will allow you to make an impression on a broad social media audience. Make sure you make the right impression and share the best content.