Guest post by Mary Walton
Surprisingly to many marketers and social media entrepreneurs, hashtags have been around for over ten years but have only recently become hugely popular across all the major social media platforms. In short, hashtags exist for two simple reasons.
Firstly, so social media users can easily find the content they are looking for when searching online. Secondly, so users are able to connect with other users who have similar interests with them.
Fast-forward to the present day and you’ll find nearly every single business using social media is using hashtags to promote their pages, their content and to connect with their users and followers. So how does your business use hashtags? Do you simply put tags that are relevant to your posts or do you have an overall plan?
Whichever category you fall under, let’s explore everything you need to know on how to create the perfect hashtag strategy.
Formatting Your Hashtags
To start with, we’ll start with the two main factors that all good hashtags have. These are readability and speed. Internet users are renowned for their short attention spans and need their information, post content and hashtags presented into an easily digestible format.
Of course, one of the most obvious things you can do here is to keep your hashtags short. This makes things easy to read for your users. Also, if you’re using multiple words, using capital letters in your hashtags can increase your readability, ensuring your hashtags are scannable, for example, #LifeofWandering.
Using Specific Hashtags
Nearly every business nowadays will be using hashtags on their posts, so it’s important that you invest time creating and using hashtags that help you stand out from the crowd. The more unique the hashtags you choose to use, the more effective they’ll be in creating your own brand identity.
“When it comes to hashtags, it may be tempting to use extremely popular tags like #insta, #instadaily or #l4l etc. However, these are some of the most commonly used tags, and they’ll simply put your content in front of spam accounts, not real users,” shares Jennifer Riley, a social media manager for Boom Essays.
Implement Calls to Action
Despite the fact we’re talking about hashtags, you can still use this area of your post to implement a clever call to action phrases that can guide your followers and users on a new journey into your business.
One of the most effective examples of this was Coca-Cola’s latest hashtag which read #ShareACoke. This was only one part of the marketing strategy at the time, but it was printed on many cans and bottles of the product.
Joined with the personalised bottles you may have seen several years ago, such as #ShareACoke with so and so, and it’s easy to see why this was such a successful campaign.
Using Your Brand Name or Product
One of the increasingly popular ways to use a hashtag is using your brand name or the name of the specific products that you’re selling, similar to the consideration above.
The chances are that a hashtag of one of these two factors won’t already exist because it’s the name of your brand, meaning you can claim it as your ‘own’. For example, if you go onto Instagram and search your brand name, how many posts are returned? If you’re looking in the 0-50 region, this is ideal as you can ensure your posts are easy to find for your customers.
Using Online Tool
When writing your post content and your hashtags, accuracy is paramount. Since most posts will have a small amount of text, problems in the content will stand out easily, and it can damage your credibility as a business and the effectiveness of your hashtags. Here are some tools to help you with your accuracy;
- Ie vs Eg and Grammarix
These two blogs are full of posts to help you improve your grammar skills.
A writing agency that runs courses to help you improve your writing skills. This type of courses is recommended by The Huffington Post.
- State of Writing and My Writing Way
These two blogs have a tonne of writing guides you can download and follow to write your posts.
- Essay Roo and Assignment Help
These are two services that can help you edit and proofread your posts.
- Cite It In
A tool for adding professionally formatted citations to your posts.
- Paper Fellows
A writing agency that can write your social media posts on your behalf.
- Easy Word Count
A free tool for helping you stick to the word count on social media.
Using Hashtags to Create Competitions
Using a unique hashtag is one of the best ways to hold a competition, which has been proven time and time again to be one of the best ways to expand your reach, your post engagement rate and your overall follower count.
“Running a promotion in your business, especially a digital campaign, must have its own hashtag for people to use and get involved in. For example, getting users to send you pictures of them using your products, tagging you with the #competitionhashtag is a great way to get users to engage with your business” states Amy Walker, a social media manager for UKWritings.
Using Hashtags with Your Influencers
One of the most popular ways to boost your social media campaigns and market your business is using an influencer in which you have a content relationship with. This means you’ve hired, or has some sort of agreement, with an influencer who is now working and talking about your business to their followers.
Whether you’re using one or multiple influencers, getting them to use a hashtag that you’ve created for your campaign is a great way to get your content out there in front of new followers in an easy-to-find way.
One of the best examples of this kind of campaign was carried out by Walmart who worked with seven influencers in order to raise money to #fighthunger. The hashtag was used by Walmart and the contracted influencers who were able to raise over $3 million for charity.
Author bio: Mary Walton is an editor Australian Assignment Writing Service. She blogs on Simple Grad, her educational website. Mary enjoys working with students, for example tutoring at Big Assignment. She likes sharing her knowledge, and getting new ideas from young minds.