Hashtags (#) puzzle a lot of people on social media networks. People who use it aimlessly add to the confusion. When used properly, hashtags can become effective marketing tools for any brand. The operative word here is “properly”.
Here are some tips on using hashtags the right way particularly in multi-channel marketing platforms:
1. There should be a hashtag for the brand. Imagine the brand name is “Winner Label”. Now, imagine the product is organic soap. In this case, a good hashtag would be #winnerlabelsoap. Another good idea would be #winnerlabelorganicsoap. This would work well in social media channels because there is a sense of quick recall and easy brand association. People would know that if they click on this hashtag, they would see a lot of related posts on the same topic. This way, the virtual word of mouth would fuel a company’s marketing efforts, too.
2. Make the brand’s hashtag official. Through social media posts and media content, let the public know that the company will consistently use the same hashtag for all posts related to the particular hashtag.
3. Encourage consumers to use the brand’s hashtag. Prompt them to post selfies with the product and use the official hashtag in their caption. In this case, the product can be the organic soap, as mentioned in the example above, or a holiday destination, or a restaurant. It can apply to all sorts of things. It is important to stay consistent.
4. Launch social promos. It could be a raffle promo for money or gift items, a photography competition, or any other activity that would encourage consumers to participate through online posts. To qualify for the promo, participants should caption their posts using a product’s official hashtag. For the purpose of isolating the hashtags for promos, companies can use an event-specific hashtag. For example, back to Winner Label’s organic soap, the additional hashtag for the promo could be #winnerlabelcontest. This way, data analysts or promo managers can easily filter the participating posts by clicking on the promo-specific hashtag.
5. Combine official hashtags with generic terms. For example, if a hotel’s marketing team wants to capture the attention of travel enthusiasts on various social media channels, they should use the most popular generic hashtags relevant to accommodations. In fact, accommodations itself could be a good hashtag. Travel, wanderlust, staycation, and several other terminologies can be used alongside official hashtags. This way, the hotel’s posts can be easily searchable on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and others.
If there is one thing to remember about hashtags, it is this: never use a hashtag that will never be used more than once. The purpose of hashtags is to group social media posts together so that clicking it would take users to a compilation of same-subject discussions or posts.
The next time you get ready to post a marketing material through a multi-channel marketing platform, be sure to review all the possible generic hashtags that your target audience are likely to click on any social media network.