Blog post by: Kevin Davis, Baer Performance Marketing Intern
If your business uses Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, or YouTube, your company needs to be using hashtags—and using them correctly. This is a very simple way to guarantee more user interactions on social media. A successful hashtag can generate up to 12.6% more engagement in a single post.
What exactly is a hashtag?
Hashtags are the # symbol before a word or phrase and are used to build a discussion page around a related topic. Once a hashtag is used, it generates a connection to all posts or listings with that same tagged phrase. For example, if #JustDoIt was searched, it would most likely pull up a majority of Nike-related posts. Hashtags are a useful marketing tool to get a business’s community to connect online. If used properly, hashtags can significantly increase a company’s social media traffic.
Strategies behind a great hashtag:
Hashtags should be kept between one to three words after the symbol, and only one to two hashtags should be included in a post. The more words used within a hashtag, the less likely it is to be used and trending. And if too many hashtags are posted or the hashtags are too long, the message or brand name can be lost within the post.
Make a hashtag that relates directly to your business. A unique hashtag will generate more specific connections directly to you. Keep this hashtag consistent in all posts and social media platforms. The more consistent the hashtag, the more brand recognition you’ll achieve. Look on all social media platforms before finalizing the hashtag, and create one that has little to no traffic trending with it.
The most successful and useful hashtags are campaign hashtags—still keeping the hashtags short and specific but narrowing the focus down to a limited promotion. For example, Home Depot advertises during college football every Saturday. On opening weekend of the 2018 season, they launched a #HDGAMEDAY promotion. The photo contest ran on both Twitter and Instagram and required participants to wear something Home Depot-related while enjoying college football. The best photo after the conclusion of week one games won a prize. Home Depot also interacted with Fans and participants by posting honorable mentions to Facebook.
- Trending Topics
Another way to find marketing success through hashtags is by formulating posts around trending topics on social media. For example, on Thursdays, a trending hashtag is always #tbt (throwback Thursday). Other examples include #tacoday, #siblingday, etc. The more trending topics and topical discussions a company participates in, the more connections it will make.