Rocking the Hashtag – Things to Consider
Facebook and Instagram are without a doubt some of the most powerful and prolific marketing tools out there and a lot of online entrepreneurs have already begun to take the full range of advantages. You’ve probably noticed that almost everyone is using the Hashtag (#) symbol in front of specific words and they instantly become clickable. Not to mention using appropriate hashtags is without a doubt one of the most potent ways to conduct incredibly targeted and extensive social media marketing (people looking for your keywords can find your posts, tweets, and updates) without investing a dime out of your pocket. However, there are things that you might want to take into consideration if you want to take things to a more professional way because there are issues that might come up. For instance, your competitor might be using the same hashtag for one of his/her products. You need to differentiate. With this in mind, let’s take a look at some helpful uses and tips that you might implement to properly drive your hashtag marketing campaign on Facebook and Instagram.
Research the words that you want to use a hashtag for and make sure that they aren’t used by the competition. For instance, if your business focuses on online marketing, typing down #marketing is going to provide you with thousands of messages. However, if you narrow down this particular field to, let’s say, #onlinemarketing or #SMMarketing (social-media marketing) this is a whole different story. You need to be more detailed and specific if you want to create a unique hashtag that’s going to set you apart. You can try using your company’s name like I do – #allistongroup . Furthermore, make sure that the words you are using wouldn’t be used for describing something else.
Short story – I was recently in Chicago to attend the Sage Summit 2016. It was an incredible “one-of-a-kind learning and networking event” showcasing Sage accounting and payroll software and their partners, customers and guests using their system. Also each day, the attendees were treated to celebrities and thought leaders like Sir Richard Branson, Stephen Kelly, Robert Herjavec, Daymond John, Gwyneth Paltrow, Zooey Deschanel, Aston Kutcher and many others speaking to a live audience sharing their advice on starting, growing or expanding your business. The main stage was packed each day. There were also several huge monitors that showcased pictures from attendees. In fact, I posted a picture I took with a friend of mine, Brian Sly with the keyword #SageSummit on my Instagram and was featured immediately on the enormous screen. Sage did a great job creating an opportunity for social interactions and engagements.
Choose something catchy. Start thinking out-of-the-box. An incredibly advanced usage of hashtags would be to draw specific people to your business through target marketing. For instance, you can use some abbreviations. Instead of going for the #socialmediamarketing hashtag, you can easily go for #SMM. This way, people who are familiar with the target hashtag are going to be attracted, and this is going to generate incredibly qualified traffic.
Tips on creating and marketing a ‘catchy’ hashtag –
- Think of your keyword/hashtag and put it in ‘action idea’ (ex: Having a blast at #SageSummit event).
- Keep it short (suggestion of 8-10 characters long) when using Twitter.
- Keep it relevant and meaningful.
- Put your Hashtags in all marketing materials (flyers, events, or even at other social media networks).
- Have a CTA for people (share this # with your followers; Tweet this #, etc.).
- Last but not least, monitor your hashtags and respond to people’s comments, replies and questions. Don’t just ‘push’ your hashtags but also engage with people.
Research, Research, Research
If real estate is all about location, location, location, then social media marketing is definitely all about research. Prepare a list of potentially great hashtag words and research them. Make sure that they aren’t associated with something negative or repulsive. Some abbreviations carry mixed meanings so you must make sure that you’ve properly explored all of your target words. Hashtags can be incredibly helpful, but you need to be careful. So identify the right hashtags for your brand (product or service) and add value to the conversation.
Here are some links to help you market your business using hashtags (both fee and free based) –
- Tweetbinder.com – find new hashtags or generate them using this tool.
- Hashtags.org – “analytics for your brand, business, product, service, event or blog”
- SproutSocial.com – find trending Twitter hashtags
- Twitonomy.com – provides the top 10 hashtags using Twitter
- Hastagify.me – lists top 10 hashtags related to certain keywords.
- Tagboard.com – provides relevant hashtags for Facebook, Instagram, Google+ and many other social networks.
- TrendMap.com – find trending hashtags by location. (Such a cool tool, I may add!).
- Twitter Search – search hashtags and follow ongoing conversations, news or other interests.