5 Tips For Using Hashtags to take Advantage of Social Media


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social mediaRemember when the symbol ‘#’ used to mean ‘number’? No? Me neither. Hashtags have become so commonplace that it’s difficult to separate hash from tag. You can’t watch TV, pass a billboard or go online without running across at least one Hashtag campaign.

Twitter is a powerful marketing tool. So powerful that nobody bats an eyelid when they see a Hashtag on a billboard promoting trainers. Even though Twitter is a social network with no direct connection to sportswear. Hashtags are a great way to take advantage of social media and leverage some of Twitter’s marketing power. As long as you use them correctly.

#1 Ask Questions, Generate Debate

The goal with a Hashtag campaign is to get people talking, so you need to give them something to talk about. You should try to create a debate around an issue that’s important to your market. The Under Armour #WhatsBeautiful campaign targeted women by talking about the idea of beauty and giving their own slant on the phrase.

The same campaign tied in with another hashtag #IWill. The idea was for people to pledge to complete certain fitness goals like running a triathlon. The combination of the ideas and the encouragement to do something, provided women with compelling reasons to engage.

#2 Make it Relevant

The key to taking advantage of social media is creating engagement. If you’re a household brand, you might be able to generate engagement just by asking for it but not every brand is that powerful. The best way to generate engagement is to talk about something that’s relevant.

The best way to get a lot of chatter quickly is to be topical, create a Hashtag that relates to a current event. The recent London Olympics showed that people love to engage in conversations around big events, if you can get involved in that conversation you get access to a huge market.

#3 Keep It Short and Easy to Understand

The most powerful messages in marketing are short and to the point. This is also true for Hashtags. You only get a few precious seconds to grab the attention of your average Twitter user so you need to use them wisely. If your Hashtag is too long it will become difficult to read or have no impact whatsoever. Nike’s recent #findgreatness campaign had impact because it was short and sharp. The Hashtag #findyourowngreatness carries the same sentiment but it just reads like a string of letters.

Using two or three words is a good rule of thumb and capitalizing the first letter of each word helps with readability too. Taking advantage of social media is about grabbing attention. If someone looks at your Hashtag and thinks #WhatsThatSay, they’re rapidly losing interest.

#4 Offer Something for Engagement

There should always be something on offer for people who engage with your Hashtag. It can’t just be a conversation that exists on twitter alone. A Hashtag campaign should link back to relevant website content that’s worth finding. This may mean written content, video or even some downloadable content. The key is making sure it’s worthwhile; your Hashtag campaign has to be more than just a Hashtag.

#5 Get Involved in the Conversation and Convert

Always remember, no matter what type of social media marketing you engage in, that conversion is the most important thing. Getting thousands of people to respond to your clever, topical and snappy Hashtag is great but if none of them actually make a purchase you’ve got a problem. The way to covert interest is to get involved in the conversation.

Don’t just create the campaign and hope it creates sales. Respond to tweets, build on previous posts and always link back to your website. Encourage people to engage; then lead them to conversion points.

Republished with author's permission from original post.

Eoin Keenan
Media and Content Manager at Silicon Cloud. We help businesses to drive leads and build customer relationships through online marketing and social media. I blog mainly about social media & marketing, with some tech thrown in for good measure. All thoughts come filtered through other lives in finance, ecommerce, customer service and journalism.


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