In the digital marketing space, using hashtags has emerged as an inexplicable strategy with infinite power. It not only helps you discover new content, communities, and prospects but has also transformed into a means to attract the target audience.
Hashtags are mostly used to identify your product or service through branded hashtags. Businesses use this method of getting noticed through the location or industry hashtags. Moreover, descriptive hashtags help businesses to segment their target audience.
Now, hashtag are in vogue in the online space, and marketing professionals are trying to capitalize on this new opportunity to leverage their business.
In this article, we will discuss the three core hashtag strategies that will get you customers’ attention on social media. However, before jumping into the strategy let’s first have a look at how tags came into play in social media.
History of Hashtags:
Tags were first introduced on Internet Relay Chats. They gained popularity through Twitter, where they were initially used for “tweet chats”. These were open group discussions around a particular topic. The primary essence of the “tweet chats” is still relevant to how marketers use tags today.
Hashtags are a word or group of words, that are preceded by the “#” sign, for example, #localmarketing #buylocal, #marketing.
If you are technical, you may identify them as another form of a meta tag. If you are more marketing inclined, you will know these as money keywords that can keep your target audience engaged.
Three main marketing strategies for hashtags:
- Brand and Campaign specific
1. Brand and Campaign:
These hashtags are used by businesses to promote their brand. Brand hashtags are usually your company’s name or its tagline. Getting people to use them can help in improving your brand visibility.
These are tags that you and your customers can use at any point in time on social sites. When creating a brand hashtag for your company, ensure that it is unique and easily memorized. Do thorough research on the tags that are trending for similar businesses on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and Facebook. Come up with a customized hashtag that best describes your business. If you find a similar hashtag that is trending for another business, brainstorm on other possibilities.
It is ideal to keep your hashtags short and readable. The focus should be to come up with hashtags that can seep into your customers’ memory.
For example, if you are an enterprise web development company, you can use #enterprisewebdeveloper, instead of #webdeveloperforenterprises. You can also use your catchy tagline as a hashtag, for instance, Kit Kat uses #HaveABreak, which helps to engage with the audience. A brand hashtag must be rated based on how it stands out from the crowd and its ability to engage with the target audience.
Build a campaign hashtag around the social media campaign your business is running. The campaign hashtags can be churned out based on the word or phrase that is unique to the promotional campaign. Conduct thorough research based on the idea on which the promotion is being run and check the popularity of the same on Instagram or Twitter. Zero down on the best hashtag based on how it connects with your target audience.
Tips to get the maximum traction for your business and campaign-specific tags:
- a) Keep the hashtag consistent and unique, and ensure that you use it in all your marketing posts
- b) Keep the business tags short and sweet, this way they are easy to remember and spell for the users.
- c) Monitor the hashtag activity so that you can respond effectively.
2. Trending Hashtags:
As the term implies, these are hashtags that are trending across social media platforms. These are usually the most talked about topics, which by online terminology, has gone “viral. Trending hashtags are dynamic, and their rise and drop are unpredictable. The top 10 trends can come and go within minutes or can last for weeks.
It’s important to note that you don’t spam your social media posts with trending hashtags. Posting too is an indication of poor etiquette. Spamming trends can even get your Twitter account suspended.
How can you find trending tags?
Only Twitter and Google+ are open to displaying the trending hashtags on their platforms. Hashtag trends on Twitter can also assimilate to the trends in Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to some extent. On Twitter, you can find trending hashtags on the left side of the Twitter feed. You can change the trends based on your geographic location and based on the specific niche that you follow.
How to use trending tags:
When you see a topic related to your business trending on social media, use them to make your say heard among the target audience. Prepare a content update with the trending hashtags and shoot it across all social media platforms where your audience interacts the most.
How to use niche trending tags:
Using a popular niche-related hashtag can get your post-travel across many like-minded people. So, you have to target the trending hashtags based on the niche. Putting it across with a stellar post on relevant social media platforms can get you founded by a potential target audience.
For example, if you are a musician or doing marketing for musicians, you can promote a tag like #MusicMonday. By using this niche relevant tag, you can spread the reach of your post and further connect with your fans and potential followers.
Tips on using trending tags:
(a) You must have a nose for news. You must be quick to assess the magnitude of reach a trending hashtag can bring. When you make the right choice, you can get the benefit of promoting your content and brand.
(b) Find trending hashtags on Twitter, Google+, and other hashtag monitoring sites like hashtags.org, statigram, and trends map.
(c) Make use of niche trending hashtags to create a connection and develop relationships with the market that you want to target.
3. Content Hashtags:
These are the tags that you include in your content. They are not brand and not used to define your company or business or marketing. They may not be necessarily trending or highly popular, but they can be common hashtags that are related to your posts.
When you include content hashtags, it improves the SEO score of your posts. The tags get your content seen by consumers who are searching for, or using, the words that are in your hashtag.
Here are some categories of common hashtags;
Whenever you post your products on social channels, ensure you put yourself in the shoes of the consumer. Use tags that connect your product with the potential buyers and the market.
For example, if you own a barista, you can post pictures of the best lattes to offer by using “#latte.” You can even use tags like #caffieneFix #Latteart
People love to connect with users who have similar lifestyles. If you want to reach out to your target audience, you need to be aware of their interests and their hobbies. Once you create a blueprint, use the trending tags in a few of your updates.
The event-based hashtag is great to include in content updates. An event can be anything from local community fairs to a global celebration, and can even add a live product launch or a live webinar. If your business involves in any local or global event, then you have to tell your social connections about it and spread the word. You can do this by including the event hashtag in your post.
For example, Williams Sonoma tells their Facebook Fans about a local charity event they are attending. They make use of the tag #FeastPDX to support the event and the cause and promote the content with partners through social websites.
If you have a local business, it is imperative that you build a personal connection with your customers. Use specific geo-targeted tags that will get your business popular and known in the city. For instance, if you’re a local shop owner, use the hashtag of your town and try interacting with your potential customers who also use the town hashtag; local customers will notice your updates.
Tips on how to use common hashtags:
- Find common tags by checking out the ones that use by your follower base, competitors, and products partners.
- Engage with the people who are using related and common tags. Whether it’s a retweet on Twitter, a like on Facebook, a comment on Instagram, and so on.
- Don’t ‘spam’ your posts with too many common tags, and this makes you look sales-like and doesn’t instill trust with your consumer.
In the end, you have to use hashtags to create a brand for your business and marketing campaigns, catch real-time trending tags, and expand the reach of your content.