It’s becoming increasingly challenging to get noticed on social media these days, with so many companies and individuals vying for attention, with so many great products and services available. However, as a counter-point to this, the ways in which social media can be used to gain attention are also constantly evolving, with new methods, strategies, tactics, and technologies becoming available seemingly every day.
For many companies, staying on top of these new tips, tricks and technologies can provide a vital edge in achieving audience recognition and brand awareness over their competitors. Those who fail to stay up to date on the latest methods will undoubtedly lose a percentage of their potential audience engagement to those who are using such methods.
Hashtag marketing provides one of the key features of social media that allows businesses to improve their audience engagement and increase their brand awareness. They allow businesses to connect with potential audience members by linking their content with known or new hashtag pages and content. This has become a powerful way for a business to improve its audience engagement.
However, with so many businesses now using hashtag marketing, and with so many potential hashtag options to choose from, it can be difficult for entrepreneurs and digital marketers to choose exactly which hashtags to use for a given post or content release. It’s become apparent that blasting your audience with as many hashtags as possible is not the best method and is now considered “over-tagging”.
How do businesses know which hashtags to use, amongst this hashtag sea?… here are the top 5 hashtag marketing tactics to improve audience engagement…
Research, Research, Research!
The first and arguably most critical tactic for a successful hashtag strategy is to do your research!
Investigate which other hashtags appear to be used most in your industry and viewed by your desired audience. Look through as many hashtags as possible and assess which ones appear to be most successful. Don’t just assess their success on the number of views, but also on the level of audience engagement that each hashtag appears to promote.
As a subset of this hashtag research, you should always carry out a thorough analysis of your competitor’s hashtag approach. Look to see if there are any patterns or commonalities, any repeated or unique. Do they all use the same series of hashtags in many of their posts? Are there any hashtags that one or two competitors are using successfully to gain an edge? By carrying out this competitor research, you’ll have a solid understanding of which hashtags your desired audience is currently expecting, along with any gaps that you may be able to exploit.
It’s essential to carry out thorough and detailed research into the potential hashtags that you could use for a given post, and then use this analysis to select a suitable number of the most efficient hashtags. Otherwise, your hashtag marketing tactics will be far from optimized, and you’ll be failing to maximize your reach and audience engagement.
Mix Brand and Campaign Hashtags
Most businesses and entrepreneurs will already be aware that including your brand hashtag is a must for every content post. However, those that use this approach alone are missing out on another key tactic… campaign hashtags.
By creating a campaign with an associated hashtag that’s unique to your business, products, or services, you can create a buzz around something you do or something you offer, and this can have a powerful attractive force for potential clients.
This has the added benefit of promoting engagement and loyalty from your existing customer base, by giving them something to follow, get involved in, and ultimately to get excited about. By creating a successful hashtag campaign, you can improve your existing audience engagement whilst simultaneously extending your reach and brand awareness.
Hashtag Special Events and Occasions
Another brilliant category of hashtag opportunities, which businesses and entrepreneurs must endeavor to make the most of, are special events and occasions.
These can be international, national, county-wide, or even local. They can be widely recognized or little-known. They can even be special events created by your own brand, such as your brand’s birthday or release of a new product. Any occasion that can be considered special by your chosen audience is an opportunity to celebrate with a hash-tagged post.
It’s important to make sure that your hash-tagged events are related in some way to your specific industry and chosen audience, even if the link is tentative. Sometimes you can even manufacture a link where there would previously have been none, such as releasing a special promotion, giveaway, or competition for an otherwise non-related event.
Making the most out of special occasions is a powerful hashtag marketing tactic for expanding your potential audience and reaching new customers.
Use Social Listening and Analytics Tools
As mentioned in the introduction, there are now a wealth of technologies and tools available to support the improvement of your hashtag marketing strategies. Two of the most useful are social listening tools and analytics tools.
Social listening tools enable businesses to tap into social conversations between consumers and use this data to gain a perspective on what people are currently talking about. These insights can then be used to tailor not only what sort of content and posts to release, but also which hashtags to use for which pieces of content. This ensures that content and hashtags reach the most suitable social media destinations.
Where social listening tools are most advantageous at the front-end of your hashtag marketing campaign, analytics tools are most beneficial at the back-end. They enable entrepreneurs and digital marketers to assess the reach of specific content pieces and hashtag approaches, and gain insight into which of their approaches has had the most impact. This data can then be used to optimize future content releases and hashtag tactics to further enhance their audience engagement.
Create Shared Hashtag Campaigns
The final tactic requires finding another entrepreneur or business who is willing to partner with you.
By finding a partner and creating a shared hashtag campaign, you can extend your reach beyond your own existing followers and potentially gain some of theirs. You may also achieve a wealth of new followers together that you otherwise would neither have found.
Your chosen partner can be anyone that you can create a viable shared hashtag campaign with, including any business that offers the same products and services as you, or one that offers complimentary services. The latter is often preferable, as it prevents any competition for audience engagement between you and your partner.
However, whichever type of partner you choose, a shared hashtag marketing campaign can often significantly improve audience engagement for both you and your partner.
Angelina Murphy is a content editor and currently working with Protein Powder GB, a Health supplement supplier company. She loves working in the ever-changing world of Health management and is fascinated by the role content plays in today’s business era.