If social media marketing is a part of your brand’s marketing strategy, as it should be, then you no doubt know about hashtags. While most marketers know that these symbols that were once referred to as the “pound sign” turn your hashtagged word or words into clickable links, you may not know that there are a right ways and ineffective approaches to leveraging them.
We’ve gathered the best tips for successful hashtag campaigns to help you use them in a way that gets your brand increase awareness, generate engagement, and build relationships. Here are 4 questions you should be asking yourself about hashtags to make your campaigns successful:
What Are My Campaign Goals?
It starts with finding your focus. Do you want to generate more buzz around a specific product or event or increase your social media followers? Ask yourself what your campaign wishes to accomplish. Your business goals will determine the types of hashtags you will use.
Creating your own hashtag makes sense for campaigns that want to highlight a new product or an event that’s coming up while trending hashtags get your brand noticed for being involved in whatever is relevant at the moment, potentially bringing in more followers.
What Is My Target Audience Already Talking About?
Do your research and find out what your target audience is already talking about and which hashtags they may be using to connect with other people like-minded people. Using the same hashtag is a way for you to include yourself in their conversations and introduce yourself as someone who can find solutions to their problems as an authority in that niche.
Am I Limiting My Hashtags’ Potential to Online?
When thinking of hashtags for your campaigns, think outside of the digital space. A catchy hashtag doesn’t need to exist entirely on social media. In fact, your hashtag can appear on TV, print advertising, promotional flyers or even on your storefront.
Coca Cola’s #MakeItHappy hashtag was seen everywhere – beyond Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. A powerful hashtag can serve as an extension of your brand name and logo by being memorable enough.
Am I Committing Common Hashtag Mistakes?
As mentioned, there is an effective way to use hashtags, and there are ways that you may be using them incorrectly. Here are 7 mistakes you may be committing, not realizing that they’re hurting your campaign:
Using only popular hashtags – You’re likely to be overlooked when you use generic hashtags like #photooftheday or #cute. While they’re popular, they won’t do anything for your brand. Instead, complement your special or promotional hashtags with industry-specific keywords that your target audience are using.
Hashtag overkill – Loading your Instagram caption or Tweet with captions could potentially turn off your audience. Too many hashtags can make your caption or Tweet look messy and almost unreadable. But how many is too many?
Ignoring local hashtags – Local hashtags are powerful because they speak directly to a specific demographic. If your business is located in a particular city that caters mostly to the people in your neighborhood, using a hashtag that lets your audience know where you are will literally lead them right to you.
The most successful hashtag campaigns all have something in common – they all sparked interest and invited engagement for being unique and interactive. Red Bull’s #PunACanOnIt inspired people to create their own quirky images of Red Bull cans positioned creatively. Coke’s #ShareACoke inspired people to share their unique stories.
Ultimately, the success of your hashtag campaigns relies on how well you know your target audience and how you leverage that to create a hashtag that speaks directly to them.