Top 10 Ways to Use Hashtags for Effective Social Media Marketing
Hashtags are the elixir of social media. Research has shown that Instagram and Twitter posts that implement hashtags have engagement levels that are 12.6% higher than posts without hashtags. That’s a huge number.
Businesses follow many ways to implement hashtags on social media. Some create their own hashtags, while others search for existing ones. If however, these techniques don’t work for you, you can use social media account management tools like DrumUp which suggest relevant hashtags and mentions before scheduling the post.
Hashtag tips and tricks for a successful social media campaign
To help you have a hassle-free hashtag journey, we have listed out a few tips that you can use to effectively implement hashtags in your social media marketing:
1. Use a campaign hashtag to introduce a new product
Companies who are at the cusp of launching a new product or service can benefit greatly by using a campaign hashtag. These hashtags can contain anything from the company/product name to a cool catchphrase.
Coca-Cola re-introduced their iconic beverage globally with a new customized label and their new hashtag #shareacoke.
The hashtag was a huge hit, with audiences posting images of themselves with loved ones sharing a coke.
2. Include industry-specific hashtags to get the conversation flowing
If all you want is likes, follows and re-tweets, then we suggest using industry-specific hashtags. For example, you’re a ballet shoe manufacturing company and you want to increase your brand’s visibility. Using hashtags related to ballet would be a good start; for example #ballet and #dance.
3. Piggyback on trending hashtags to be in the limelight
When it comes to hashtags and trends, there are two ways you could play it:
- Use all-time favorite trending hashtags like #lovewins or #photooftheday to interact with users. These are evergreen and can be used for absolutely anything. Take a look at how Harley-Davidson used a trending hashtag.
- Leverage the current trends and change the hashtag when the trend changes; like how master marketer Starbucks Coffee does. Autumn saw the company using #starbucksfallcup and in preparation for Christmas, they have their new #givegood.
4. Use a niche hashtag to find specific clients
Say you’re a gym looking to promote your fitness training sessions. Using specific hashtags such as #wateraerobics, #zumbadancer or #trx can help you find people who are actively interested in the sport you’re offering.
These hashtags will increase the chances of social media users actively searching for your business, while eliminating your expenses of marketing to a group who have a marginal chance of conversion.
5. Use locations as hashtags to connect with audiences
Posts with locations have a 79% higher engagement than others. So, if you have a business in New York, using #newyork is a great way to turn up in the feed of users who reside in or around NYC.
You can also use location hashtags to inform your followers of any events you’re hosting or supporting. Check out how Little Mix supported a toy donation camp in Vegas.
6. Restrict to 2 hashtags in a single post
Contradictory to popular belief, using too many hashtags doesn’t help you reach your target audience. Instead, they display your marketing to audiences who aren’t interested in your brand or your offering.
Oftentimes, an effective social media marketing campaign is one that is highly focused. Take a look at how UK cosmetics brand The Body Shop handles its hashtags.
7. Use the same hashtags across platforms
Using the same hashtags across social media platforms has some obvious benefits. For one, you allow audiences to find you easily across platforms, and two; common hashtags allow you to measure the cumulative benefits of your social media marketing campaign across channels.
By using the same hashtag on all social media accounts, you also increase the likelihood of turning your plain-Jane hashtag into a trending force. KFC is a great example of this strategy.
8. Create your own hashtag and start a trend
When Oreo Cookie wanted the world to talk about its Oreos, it introduced its self-created #oreohorrorstories, an absolute gem of a hashtag. The hashtag picked up momentum so fast, it almost broke social media.
9. Avoid making hashtag mistakes
Isn’t your hashtag brining in the desired results? Maybe you’re doing something wrong. Some common hashtag mistakes are:
- Adding the # symbol both before and after the keyword
- Punctuating hashtags
- Using numbers or adding spaces between keywords
- Using words that sound wrong when added together
- Implementing negative hashtags
Susan Boyle’s failed media strategy is what comes to mind here. What Susan intended was ‘Susan Album Party’, but the hashtag #susanalbumparty was construed as something entirely different.
Another hashtag fail to avoid – banned hashtags.
10. Skip the tag if it’s unnecessary
The reality is, not all posts need a hashtag. Sometimes, hashtags just look forced and unnatural, detracting from the quality of your social media post. In these cases, it’s best to just skip over the hashtag.
Take a look at how the National Geographic Channel showcased their photo of the day, without the hashtag. Still looks good, doesn’t it?
Tying it all together
Hashtags are a great way to interact with your audiences. Follow these tips to make your social media marketing strategy more fruitful. Happy tagging!