Hashtag became more than just taxonomy, but as the most often used sensational language within the last few years. It creates a type of label or metadata tag within social network and microblogs, allowing people to find messages with a specific theme or content (Definition from wikipedia). Hashtag is one of the most online effective tools if you want to: track and participate in important discussion in social media.
While many hashtags such as – #PrayforParis #BlackLivesMatters – are born organically from social and cultural events, many companies and brands take more strategic approach to using hashtags in their social media campaigns.
In the recent years, hashtags have become a standard call to action in advertising campaigns and are often visible within TV advertisements. (See below for an example screen shot from Coca-Cola #MakeItHappy https://youtu.be/ibgvkXm9Qkc)
By utilizing the #hashtag #MakeItHappy, the brand most likely wants people to get involved and share the experience using the #MakeItHappy CocaCola. With more than 4 million views, this video became viral and #MakeItHappy spread across Twitter, Vines and Instagram.
Therefore, hashtags can be very useful for many brands and companies that want to:
- Spark and track a conversation online and social media
- Listen into and capitalize on a timely and relevant conversation already taking place
- Create a call to action that combines offline and online campaigns
REMEMBER THESE TWO THINGS ABOVE ALL:
1. Be deliberate about your intention
2. Create organic #hashtag conversation
In order to accomplish an effective hashtag campaign, you would need to know 4 Do’s and 4 Don’ts in using #Hashtags.
4DO’s of #Hashtags
1st DO’s: Choose the Right Channel
Although many social media uses #hashtags, the most frequent and highly effective social media channels are Twitter, Vines, and Instagram, where the hashtags are most often followed. Within Facebook, the hashtags are often more visible within public posts and posts from your friends list. Facebook Ads #hashtags are still limited in certain areas.
2nd DO’s: Get Involved in the Community
Hashtags are often the best ways to create sensational followers within the Twitter and Vines. Hashtags helps pull twitter users get involved into a conversation with the brand, as well as the most current social events (including #PrayForParis #BlackLivesMatters). Rather than just pushing out the #hashtags, have a plan of actions to measure and follow-up on the #hashtags.
3rd DO’s: Analyze the Twits & Hashtags
The most effective way to build successful social media #hashtag campaign is to follow through the hashtags, and analyze its growth. Several online social media tools can be utilized and you can learn about these tools in my marketing analytics article.
By analyzing the #hashtags, you can know how the #hashtage are creating positive sentiments, desired brand image, high reach, strong relevance, and number of retweets.
4th DO’s: Integrate the #Hashtags
As mentioned in above, #hashtags can be a great way to create integrated campaigns. However, the integrated marketing campaigns won’t succeed if you fail to include the #hashtags in all of your materials – including TV commercials, print ads and other marketing materials. #dontforeget to integrate #hashtags!
4 Don’ts of #Hashtags
1st Don’ts: Overuse for the Brand
The most important don’ts is overemphasizing the hashtags for brand usage. If the hashtags are natural and comfortable to people, then the hashtags will create organic conversation within various social media (Twitter, Vines, Facebook, and Instagram).
2nd Don’ts: Concise is the Key
Don’t ever make the #hashtags complex. The hashtag needs to be concise – two or three words – so it will capture the essence of #hashtag campaign. And be consistent in using the same content based #hashtags (ex: #PrayForParis #ParisPray #PrayingforParis #PrayforParis2015).
3rd Don’ts: Ignore the Social Factors
Jumping into the #hashtags without knowing the relevance is almost #bad #branding. Always look for seasonal, topical or appropriate social conversation that has relevance and ride the hashtags already being use. For example, during the summer between April and August, when people are going for picnics, utilize #hashtag such as #GetOffYourGas by Kingsford Characoal TV ads to promote sales of #characoalgrill #grilling.
4th Don’ts: Expect the Hashtags do All the Work
Without the core concept, any #hashtag campaign can get lost among the various other related #hashtags. Try to create a theme and base the #hashtags around the core concept. Evaluate what you want to emphasize, and what you want others to share using your brand #hashtags before jumping the #hashtags out into social media.
If you enjoyed reading this article, then please feel to share with others.
Don’t be selfish, #Hashtags 🙂
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