How to Properly Use #Hashtags in Your #Marketing
Hashtags: they’re everywhere. Television shows dot episodes with a stream of hashtags for viewers to use on their social media accounts. During commercial breaks, everything from political spots, to advertisements, to promos for new episodes come emblazoned with hashtags.
Hashtags can be an excellent interactive marketing tool. Since Twitter began using them to link together topics and concepts on their platform, other social networks have hurried to jump on board. Now, along with Twitter, hashtags can be found on Instagram and Facebook as well.
As a result, the term “hashtag” is now a recognizable call-to-action as well as a self-contained reward system for interactions. (“Hey, if I tweet something with this hashtag, more people will see my thoughts!”) But beware: if misused, hashtags will actually hurt your efforts to draw in interested individuals and instead become an annoyance. So there are considerations to take into account while implementing hashtags into your business’s marketing communications.
The thing about hashtags is that they only link to other hashtags spelled identically, meaning that a typo could cause one or more of your messages to be lost. So while you may have meant to write #ProgrammerDay, you may end up being the only person tweeting #ProgrammerRay-- a different thing in Twitter’s, and your audience’s, eyes.
A handy method of ensuring that your tweeting remains consistent is to establish a few different hashtags to use for each event worth posting to social media. The first should be for the event or occasion as a whole. A company picnic, for instance, might get the hashtag #CompanyPicnicYear, while individual activities might get their own hashtags, like #CompanyPieEating or #CompanyPhotoBooth. Then, by using these predetermined hashtags within your posts, you can create separate categories to organize them into.
Of course, you will not be the only person who could potentially create a post about your company, which means that you should create a hashtag for general use on any posts related to the company. At JoomConnect, for example, we encourage the use of #JoomConnect whenever someone is posting about us!
To get the most potential impact out of a hashtag, there are certain best practices to follow. First off is the infamous KISS rule. As hashtags are meant to be memorable as well as easy to type on any device, the simpler they are, the better. Additionally, when you use hashtags, be careful not to cross the line from "engaging" to "spammy," lest you drive away your audience. After all, #sufficent #plenty is much different than #toomuch #waytoomany #nothingbuthashtags #woahnelly #himom #calmdownthere #LetsGoSEO #morehashtags #evenmorehashtags #somanyhashtags #marketingfail #msp #audiencealienation #unnecessary #finallydone.
See what we mean?
Hashtags can also be inappropriate for certain situations. While they are fine on content like social media posts, company culture blogs, and even some other marketing materials, they should never appear in a serious post or alert. The use of a hashtag isn't even appropriate for all audiences, either, although that will have to be a judgment call on your part.
Yet when all is said and done, if you create a memorable hashtag that people will actually use, you can give your organization marketing benefits that it wouldn't have received otherwise--bringing order to your marketing and leads to your door. While yes, it may require some trial and error, a solid use of hashtags is a worthwhile skill to develop.
For more marketing tips and best practices, the team at JoomConnect is always available for you. Visit http://jmct.io/letstalk for more information.