Using Hashtags to Improve Engagement


Do you include hashtags in your social media campaigns or posts?

What more traction from your hashtag campaigns? Adding hashtags to your campaigns can drive engagement with fans and followers, as well as attract new and prospective customers.

In this blog post, you will see ways to improve your reach and engagement with hashtags.

Why do hashtags matter?

Since social media is social, it is important to participate in conversations on a variety of topics.

However, the virtual world does not give us body language cues and it may be difficult to keep track of everything that is going on. This is especially important when it comes to interacting with hundreds or even thousands of people on social media. Instead of pleasant and engaging conversation, all you hear is noise.

Hashtags help cut through all the noise. They connect your business with your audience and put it at the heart of conversations on social networks like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Google+.

Align hashtags with your brand

Use a hashtag that aligns with your brand to reinforce the message your social, digital and traditional marketing send to your customers. Use a hashtag that is suitable to your wider branding which you can retweet and favourite the social media posts of customers who use the hashtag.

This engagement not only helps develop the relationship between the brand and the customers, but also more broadly extends the reach of the hashtag and company branding.

Choose hashtags carefully

In social media and in life, there is always the chance things would not work out exactly as planned. Your hashtag could possibly be hijacked, either by another brand or by activists with an axe to grind.

You do not want to have disgruntled customers taking over your hashtag which can back fire your plans for the reason of the chosen hashtag. Give each hashtag strong consideration before deploying it in a tweet or a post. Reflect with your team and colleagues, and ask advice from friends active on social networks about potential hashtags.

While you can consider best case scenarios, also be sure to consider potential worst case situations. Choose a hashtag with the least risk of hijacking, so you can avoid a potential social media crisis.

Take your hashtag offline

Do not limit your business hashtags to only social media. It is important to use them as part of a wider branding strategy that includes offline and traditional media.

You the hashtag to your advantage by incorporating it within television and print advertising. Small businesses can make it easy for their customers to share positive reviews and social comments about their experiences by encouraging the use of a hashtag.

If you have brick and mortar location, make sure your hashtag is displayed prominently near the point of sale, on your promotional flyers, print ads and every receipt. Online businesses should create clickable hashtags, encourage visitors to ‘click to tweet’ text including the hashtag and prominently display the hashtag on the company home page.

Whether it is a physical or a digital business, the advice is the same. To gain hashtag traction and develop your brand, take your hashtag offline (or at least off of your social networks and onto your website). It can have real benefits for your business.

Introduce variety with hashtags

While your brand or business name might not change, if you want to remain effective and relevant, the hashtags you use in your business must.

Social media conversations happen in real time, and what is trending today is likely to be forgotten tomorrow. While having a consistent hashtag for your business is a way to keep continuity in your branding, it is also important to assess and refresh your hashtags on a regular basis to maintain the interest of your followers.

You can use temporal hashtags like #MondayMotivation, #FridayFeeling #HumpDay and get involved in trending topics like #NationalWomensDay #Easter or #BankHoliday. The key is balance. Keep some core hashtags that do not change to maintain your brand’s continuity. Plus, regularly incorporate new hashtags into your marketing campaigns to keep things fresh and stay on top of trending topics.

 

Hashtags are more than just markers for your tweets or a way to join a wider conversation. They are identifiers for your company branding that help you cut through the noise, curate conversations and engage your followers. What do you think? Do you use hashtags in your marketing? What campaigns have been successful? Share your thoughts in the comments below.

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