How to promote your business with hashtags?
These days Hashtags are everywhere! Even the simplest of products or even just images have hashtags to go with them. This trend of #hashtags has made promoting as well as searching much-2 easier for both the product/service providers and the customers.
As a marketer you can’t ignore them. It’s important to know how to strategically place these tagged topics such that they gain maximum reach. The most advantageous and interesting thing about hashtags is that once they catch on with the targeted public, your product or service will market itself!
For example, KitKat has a simple tag line “Have a Break”. They encouraged the public to use the hashtag #haveabreak in all the pictures they upload with their product to get featured on their official pages on social media. If you now follow this hashtag, you’ll find millions and millions of people promoting the product with this hashtag than the company itself! Its quite intelligent actually.
The whole #hashtagthis #hashtagthat fiasco was started on Internet Relay Chats (IRC’s
were live chats and messaging – kind of a precursor to the social sites we use today). For more technically inclined people, you might know this as metadata tags.
There are 3 key aspects to hashtags that needs to be kept in mind while using them for marketing purposes specifically.
- Brand and campaign specific
Brand and Campaign Specific
Brand and campaign specific hashtags are something that you create or start for your own business. Use them to market your brand and promotions.
The hashtags that you choose should reflect your product/service in it. Keep it simple so that it can be used widely but also be careful not to use existing hashtags or hashtags that are similar to any others that are already trending.
Brand Hashtags are what represent your brand as a whole and can be used at any time to promote your brand.
Campaign Hashtags can be used when you have something special going on in your brand. For example, when you have a sale or offer within your brand you can use a campaign hashtag that’ll be used only until the sale or offer exists.
Also try to keep your brand and campaign hashtags small and that’s easy to spell. For example, if you have discounts going on use #discountsonall and not #wegetthebestdiscountsforyou. It can get quite confusing.
Hashtags that contribute to a particular topic and is on the rise to be on top of the list for the most talked about subjects are called “trending hashtags”. Trending hashtags keep changing constantly based on the subject that everyone’s talking about. They can come and go within a matter of minutes.
It’s not considered good social presence etiquette to spam trending hashtags, especially when those hashtags are not related to your business/product/service. You can find the top trending hashtags on Twitter or Google+. These hashtags can then be used across various social media platforms.
Using the most trending hashtag while it’s not related to your product can actually affect negatively. It’s always advisable to stick to hashtags that are related to your product/service. If the trending hashtag is related, then use it cleverly as much as you can but don’t spam or over-use hashtag. Spamming of trending hashtags can get your social media accounts suspended!
The trending hashtags change not only based on the target group, topics and number of users but also on your physical geographical location. For example, #miamimadness may be a trending hashtag in Miami but not where you’re currently located.
Content hashtags are not brand specific or trend specific. They are hashtags that you use in your posts and are related to your post content. These types of hashtags can improve your SEO and will also reach customers that are searching not only for the hashtags that you used for your brand or the trend hashtags but also how are searching for the hashtags that are used in your post. For example, you can including hashtags such as #facebook, #mondayblues, #socialmedia in your posts to increase its reach.
Some of the common categories of content hashtags are location hashtags, product hashtags, event hashtags or lifestyle hashtags. These hashtags are self explanatory. They do exactly what their name says.
Location hashtags are hashtags that are used to trend a particular location of a person or business. This will be most useful for locally based business. Use the hashtag for the location of your business to interact with the local customer base and increase your reach in the market locally.
For example, if you are a local bakery in Brooklyn you could use hashtags like #brooklynbakery, #bakedinbrooklyn, #brooklyncookies, etc.
Product hashtags are used to mark a certain product and when people search for these hashtags, all the results related to it will appear. Product hashtags need to be related to your product, your brand, the industry of sale of the product or at least the targeted audience.
For example, if you post a picture of a Starbucks Latte, the hashtags used can be #latte #starbucks and so on.
Event hashtags are usually used to promote a specific event. It could be anything from a concert to a community service event. Including these hashtags in your content will definitely prove beneficial.
For example, if your brand or company is attending a book signing, let your social connections know about it by hashtagging the event like #blossomsbookhouse #booksigningatblossoms, etc.
Lifestyle hashtags can be used to connect to your social connections based on their daily behavioural aspects or hobbies. In your space of market, think what are the common activities that your targeted audience would indulge in and use that to subtly promote your marketing.
For example, if your market space is into art and collectibles you can use hashtags like #antiquebooks, #collectorslife, #collectablyavailable, etc.
These are the three core topics when it comes to marketing your business on the social space through hashtags. Adding in a little more thought to these basic concepts, you can the game of social media marketing to a whole new level!