It has been 12 years since Silicon Valley regular Chris Messina suggested the use of Hashtags on Twitter. Since then, the phenomena has transcended beyond Twitter and casual use. Now, you can find it being used on all types of social media platforms. Apart from people looking to be part of a given trend, hashtags are also used by companies to boost their engagement rates on social media platforms.
Using hashtags in your social media posts can double your engagement rate! In Instagram alone, posts with hashtags witness an engagement rate boost of 12.6 percent. But, does merely having hashtags in your post enough? Not anymore.
Now, your hashtag game needs to be strong. Here are five tips that will help you be better at it than all your other competitors.
Have your hashtag reflect your brand
A business should be more than an entity that delivers goods and services to a given target audience. After all, for every niche and industry, there are hundreds (If not thousands) of players providing the exact same product. At such times, how can a company distinguish itself from the sea of competitors? It does so through its brand voice and promise.
People don’t just invest in products. They invest in brands. And a quality brand is one which offers a consistent yet relevant brand identity. And communication plays an integral role in ensuring this consistency. This holds for your hashtags too.
It doesn’t matter whether you are creating a given hashtag for a single campaign or wish to integrate it to your overall brand image, you need to make sure that the phrases or words you use in your hashtag are aligned with your brand image. For instance, if your brand personality is formal, using a phrase that reflects a fun image might not be suitable for your brand. Think through and use the right tone in your hashtags. Only then will customers think of your brand as being authentic and real.
Decide whether a hashtag is for a campaign or a single post
There are two types of marketing campaigns- short-term and long-term campaigns. For instance, Dove has a Real Beauty campaign that has been going on for over 15 years. Within the campaign, various small campaigns are launched. For instance, #ChooseBeautiful, and #InMyOwnSkin were two separate campaigns aimed to empower customers. The latter redefined the way people should be seen on their social media platforms.
The two types of campaigns require starkly different types of hashtags. This is why it is essential to decide early on whether you wish to create a hashtag for a short-term project or a long-run campaign. Why is it important? Well, long-term projects require hashtags that are timeless. They must remain relevant to the brand promise for years. On the other hand, short-term projects require hashtags that are specific to the marketing objective at hand. The brainstorming process for the two types of hashtags will be completely different. Hence, it is essential to decide the duration at the start to ensure that the hashtag created serves the purpose effectively.
Being pithy is key
Content is king. This doesn’t just hold true for long-form blog posts. Every piece of communication you relay to your target audience should feature the right words. This is why it is often advised that you seek help from quality digital agencies.
This way, you can know which high performing words to include in your hashtag phrases. While you are at it, you must also ensure that your hashtags are pithy.
Long hashtags are a pain to read. After all, there are no spaces between the words. The longer your hashtag is, the less likely people will read it. Just like a short and pithy tagline is impactful, hashtags serve the same purpose.
Make it contextual and conversational
There was a time when hashtags were only included at the end of an Instagram or Twitter post. This was done in isolation to the rest of the content placed. However, now that people don’t read through entire communications, the chance that they will notice your hashtag if it is at the end is quite low.
The best way to include your hashtag in your content is by making it a part of a sentence! Include it in your blog posts as well as ad copy. This way, your hashtag becomes part of the conversation. Hence, it is likely to be retained and converted into a part of your brand. To create a hashtag that can be added to any communication, you must choose a phrase which is contextually appropriate and conversational in tone.
Don’t use words which are hard to spell
There is a clear trade-off between appearing posh and being relevant to the masses. If you have created your brand persona too sophisticated, you might be tempted to use hard and heavy words to look authentic. While particular words may make your brand look regal and refined, but they are best avoided if they are hard to pronounce and spell.
Unless a word is commonly used by your consumers, there is a high chance that it will be misspelled by them. And the last thing you would want is to use words in your hashtag that are generally misspelled. This is because if you use words that are often misspelled by people, they won’t be directed to your content when they search for the hashtag. Similarly, there will be people who would want to be part of your trending hashtag but would add the wrong spelling and hence won’t help you in creating the chain effect you wish to create.
Hashtags have the power to put your brand on the map. But, when not used properly, they cannot affect your brand equity whatsoever. This is why you must use the right hashtag. Do so, and your business will surely benefit!
Alma Causey is a Freelance writer by day and sports fan by night. She writes about tech education and health related issues. Live simply, give generously, watch football and a technology lover.