Who knew the humble hash symbol would one day become an internet-fuelled worldwide sensation? A prominent part of the tech culture of today, it’s hard to find anyone who doesn’t know what hashtags are or how they work.
Though the constant and ponderous use of the hashtag can feel overwhelming at times, they are an integral part of how we communicate online and as a marketer or business owner it’s vital you know how to use them to your brand’s advantage.
Hashtag marketing is currently enjoying a massive peak in popularity, and now is a great time to unlock their potential for your brand – especially to help you engage your target audience, amplify your brand, improve your SEO and more.
Essentially, hashtags are used as a mechanism to group and categorise content based on subject matter. Mostly, you will find hashtags hanging out together on social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and of course Instagram, generally being used as a label to classify what that content is all about. Hashtags can and have been extremely effective for large and small sized businesses looking to extend their reach and grow their online audience.
Ever since their implementation back in 2007, marketers have used hashtags effectively to promote events, ideas or campaigns, build communities for their brands and ultimately sell more products/services.
Many brands leverage the popularity of trending and fashionable hashtags, but some brands go one step further and create their own hashtags. But beware – developing and driving adoption of a unique hashtag for your company can be hard-going.
Seven successful hashtag campaigns you will probably of heard of include:
Coca Cola #Shareacoke
UNICEF Indian #awaazdo
Mercedes Benz #YOUDRIVE
Sport England #ThisGirlCan
Calvin Klein #MyCalvins
So how can you give your hashtag the best possible chance of success?
Step 1 – Brainstorm some ideas. Consider using your company name or a tagline people will already know or a message that makes sense to your customers. Your hashtag needs to be short, appealing and catchy
Step 2 – Make sure you do your research. Once you’ve shortlisted some appealing hashtag options you must make sure its original. Hashtagging is a free social media marketing strategy that is specifically used for boosting content to a more select audience. You want to be sure that your hashtag isn’t already in use for some other purpose.
Step 3 – Promote! Everywhere! Once you’ve got a killer hashtag ready to go, promoting your hashtag can be done in many different ways. You can apply it to your product labels, announce it in presentations or even design flyers and stickers. However, the most effective way is through social media. Use your hashtag in your tweets, Instagram and Facebook posts. It’s vital you are consistent with mentions and that you try to create a recognisable pattern for it’s use.