Tips for Picking a Winning Hashtag
Most social media platforms that have a large fan-following now support hashtags, which has placed a new tool in the hands of marketers worldwide. Many businesses are launching Twitter, Instagram and now even Facebook campaigns that centre around specific hashtags. If your company is preparing to begin a hashtag campaign for the first time, here are four tips to help you on your way to achieving maximum impact with your audience.
Simplicity is Key
‘Keep it simple’ is an adage we hear often. And when it comes to hashtags this couldn’t be more true. After all, you need people to understand what your hashtag is trying to convey and what it stands for, with little to no effort on their part.
A good way to make hashtags more readable is to capitalize the first letters of each word so that your viewers don’t have to try various combinations to understand quite how the letters fit together to create a phrase. It’s also a good idea to always make sure you have someone else review the hashtag for clarity or possible hidden miscues prior to sending out your message. When you do that, you can avoid confusing blunders like when the message #Nowthatchersdead, referring to Margaret Thatcher’s passing in April 2013, was mistaken for #NowThatCher’sDead by many readers.
Of course, it is equally important to ensure that your hashtag is in good taste. You don’t want to attract negative attention to your brand, or spark public outrage like Urban Outfitters did when they launched a free shipping option during Hurricane Sandy with the hashtag #ALLSOGGY. Needless to say, the public was less than impressed with UO’s callous insensitivity towards the victims of the storm.
Pick an Inspirational Hashtag That Outlives Your Campaign
If your hashtag is truly inspirational, it has the potential to outlive your campaign quite significantly. Making sure that the hashtag is relevant to your brand and business is important for your campaign to enhance the recall value of your product. However, it is equally important to ensure that the hashtag can stand on its own, and prompt recognition of your brand or business, even when it is not delivered alongside content that leads the reader directly to your company’s doorstep. Making a powerful motivating statement with your hashtag is an excellent way to ensure that it will live on in the minds (and feeds!) of many, as well as associating your brand with encouragement and positivity.
Don’t Make It Obvious
You may think that inserting your brand name into your hashtag is a great way to get some free and easy exposure on Twitter, but rest assured your audience will not share your views. Cram your company name into your hashtag and your readers will most likely display an aversion to the obvious attempt at marketing your brand. Remember the second point above and keep your hashtag meaningful and motivating.
Spread the Word
Spreading the word about your hashtag is a critical aspect of your campaign. After all, what use is it if you have created the perfect hashtag if no one ever gets to see it? Integrating it into all of your marketing content is not just sensible, but also necessary. Wherever and whenever you post content on other social media platforms, weave the hashtag in, so that users learn to associate it with your brand instantly. Think of creative ways that you can build the hashtag into your sales and marketing campaigns, so that your audience becomes familiar with it and links it with your business, both in mind and practice.