By definition, a hashtag is a word or phrase followed by the hash symbol (#) that is written in a social media post or comment to draw attention to it and make it easier to find. Basically, if you use hashtags in your posts, it will be easy for various social media platforms to index it and make it searchable to everyone, even if they aren’t your friends, followers, or fans. Just by adding # sign to your content, you are making it more accessible to all the social media users interested in similar topics& brands while searching with your hashtags. It can be difficult to stand out among the thousands of posts being published every second across all social media and if the targeted audience is not your followers or fans, the chances of your post being seen are very slim. For a basic understanding, hashtags can be categories into three groups.
- Generic Content Hashtags
- Brand Specific Hashtags
- Trending Hashtags
If you’re just getting started with hashtags, start with ones that are relevant to your product, service, or field of expertise. They are referred to as #genericcontenthashtagsas they are related to the family that your content is naturally associated with. As you would expect, they would significantly increase the post’s exposure to potential users and consumers on those social media sites that were not previously aware of it.
To market your specific brand and/or content, the trick to create a popular #brandspecifichashtag, is to make sure that no one else is already using it. It must be one-of-a-kind and unforgettable. Using a short slogan or tagline for specific branding would be helpful. For example, while designing hashtags for a marketing campaign, make sure to give users a justifiable reason to use only your hashtags in their promotional posts.
Using existing hashtags that have become popular with thousands of users, also known as #trendinghashtags is another great way to increase the exposure of your post content. Remember to ask yourself if your social media posts are getting additional weightage, before adding the ‘#’ icon to a trending subject. A unique piece of knowledge, a new perspective about what’s going on, or simply a humorous comment or picture can all be considered valuable. If your post is not getting that add value, it is very likely to be overlooked and lost among many others.
Rules to follow while #hashtaging your content for social media marketing purposes.
According to an analysis done by an American agency of the ‘Interbrand 100 list’ (the world’s top 100 brands) and their behavior on Twitter, the world’s top brands have almost completely adopted the use of hashtags for social media marketing. In the fourth quarter of last year, 97 percent of brands used a hashtag in at least one tweet. 45 percent of the ‘Interbrand 100 companies’ daily tweets are found to contain at least one hashtag, and more than 67 percent included one or more hashtags. Given below are some rules to follow before creating a new or using existing hashtags for your content.
- Enhance your content engagement by adding a link of your product to your hashtags: # + Link = More Engagement.
- Connect your hashtags across multiple platforms. As most social media platforms have embraced hashtags as an identifier, it is the need of the hour to run cross-channel campaigns using a single identifier, thus effectively making hashtags the social web’s global connector.
- Try to create a story with your hashtags. Simply connecting your hashtags to trending topics of current times makes it more engaging and visible to a wider audience. I assume you should know the #hamaripawryhorahihfor that matter (if you are living under a big stone and don’t know about this epic trend, please google it).
- Remember to track results and improvise & improve your hashtags with time. There are numerous online websites (webtools) are available (you can also find free version) which tracks and shows the trending strength for a particular hashtag.
- Don’t overuse and keep it sweet & short. Don’t cram too many words into a single hashtag. Overly long hashtags irritate people more than anything else.
Hashtags have developed into something more than a way to categorize posts or add meaning to your social media content. Now it is widely used as an innovative and cost-effective tool for social media marketing worldwide. Marketers have come up with fresh and inventive ways to use hashtags to spark dialogue, elicit public support, and draw attention to their products. Ask yourself, do you make ingenious use of your #hashtags?