In Twitter, hashtags are keywords or phrases that are prefixed with the symbol “#”. If you click on the hashtags, Twitter conducts a search based on it, and give you all the tweets that contain the particular hashtag. When we share content via a tweet, it is visible only to our followers, and to users who we mentioned using their usernames. If we want to make the tweet visible to a wider audience (who are not our followers), we can include a hashtag to our tweet instead. Therefore, in order to be successful on Twitter, we need to apply effective ways to use Twitter hashtags.
1. Use Promotions Together with Hashtags to Encourage Users to Generate Content
Content generated by users is a valuable thing we should leverage on. MCD in Canada understand this, and made it part of their marketing plan to increase their level of engagement with their customers.
To encourage your audience to use your specified hashtags, here are some ways:
- offer incentives or rewards.
- invite feedback, request for opinions via polls or questions
- organize a competition, lucky draw or promotion etc
And when you see all those user generated content streaming in, make use of this opportunity to retweet some of the best tweets you find and put it in front of all your followers and supporters.
2. Use the Same Hashtags for All Marketing Campaigns
To make your marketing efforts concerted, it’s recommended to use the same hashtags for all your online and offline activities. This makes it easy for your consumers to find you, engage with you and strengthen your brand building activities.
3. Hashtag an Event
Giving a suitable hashtag for your event, be it online or offline, helps to connect people together and provide an outlet for attendees to share interesting updates. It is also an excellent source of information for people who are interested and/or not able to attend.
4. Leverage on the Best Hashtag you can Find
Choose a hashtag that can reinforce your marketing message. How far and how many your tweet can reach is highly dependent on your choice of hashtags too. Here are 4 kinds that you can put your thoughts on:
- Using an established hashtag – one fine example is #BlackFriday which is closely associated with discounts, freebies and promotions. Step on this hashtags to make your tweet better during Black Friday sales period.
- Using a popular or commonly used hashtag – this can be a an expression such as #OMG, a #motivation, #jobs, etc. You need to use something that is relevant to your industry or topic though.
- Using a hashtag that is trending – riding on the popularity of a hashtag can quickly increase your reach, and if you do it correct and lucky, it may even go viral. Link to find trending hashtags.
- Using an unique hashtag – use a keyword or phrase. Doing this can bring you superb results overtime as it builds branding, and overtime consumers will associate that hashtag with your brand.
5. Keep your Hashtags Short & Memorable
Keep your hashtags short and sweet. If you use a long hashtag, you run the risk that people may avoid using it as it can exceed the character limitation. A short hashtag makes it memorable and easy to remember, and comes to your audience’s mind naturally when mentioning your event, product or brand.
6. Use Hashtags to Relate to “____________”
Promoting a product and know someone popular using it? He/she can be a TV character, a sports celebrity, an actress, or organization etc. Tap on this opportunity by including related hashtags onto your marketing message. This widens your audience, and put your message in front of another group of Twitter users. Short of saying endorsing, it gives your product/event a positive image, and people are able to connect and relate to your brand better. Below is an example of WWF using kungfu panda as part of their marketing plan.
7. Avoid Using Excessive Hashtags
Although using more hashtags can increase your exposure and reach, it also increase the risks of diluting your efforts to do branding. Using too many hashtags can make your tweet look spammy and annoys people. Therefore stick to a few good ones, and let your audience keep using them to talk about your brand, product or event. In this case, quality is always better than quantity.
8. Use Highly Relevant Hashtags
Effective use of Twitter hashtags also means choosing relevant ones related to your targeted demographics, industry, interest or topic etc. Use keywords or phrases that are commonly used and known in the industry, community, interest group, etc. For example:
- in basketball, that can be #NBA,
- in the interior design industry, hashtags like #homedecor
- for a photography enthusiasts interest group, it can be #nightshot or #fisheyelens.
9. Use Hashtags to Divide and Conquer Geographically
Including a country or place is vital when you want to target geographically or when you intend to have different marketing messages for different countries. It’s useful when you want run unique promotions on different locations, or maybe even using language that is spoken in that country to go closer to the hearts of the audience.
Another advantage is that you can see and measure how engaged the audience are in a particular location and allows you to tailor your online marketing strategy according
What is your Best Way to get the Most out of Hashtags?
Have you encountered any better ways to use hashtags other than the list above, and what do you think is the best way to get the fastest results? Share with us your experience on hashtags on Twitter.
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