In recent years, hashtag marketing has become a powerful branding tool that has made its way into everyday life. You see hashtags in television commercials, music videos, and even on product packaging. It is all about taking a marketable idea and making it simple and shareable for the consumer. Successfully using the hashtag is the tricky part. You do not want to be the next #McDStories hashtag campaign.
The #McDStories disaster was the result of the marketing powers at McDonalds having a poor understanding of social media. The marketing idea was good, but McDonalds got horror stories using the hashtag instead of the heart-warming Happy Meal stories marketers wanted. You must be very careful with how you use a hashtag to advertise and organise an idea, or you could open a door to wasted time and money, as McDonalds did.
Creating a Shareable Hashtag
The more appealing the idea behind a hashtag, the more likely it is going to be shared. Knowing how the most successful hashtags work will help you increase the chances of hitting on a hashtag campaign that will give you the results you are looking for. Here is what goes into an effective hashtag:
- Keep it more informative and less abstract. An abstract hashtag is more along the lines of #HWYD (how was your day). #JumpForHeart in regards to the American Heart Association campaign is a more informative hashtag. People do not like it when they do not understand something.
- If the hashtag does not work out, you need a backup plan. For instance, if your campaign for #HealthInsurancePlans goes awry, you can switch to #ILoveHealthInsurance so people can talk about how health insurance helped them.
- Use your hashtag throughout other channels, such as on other social media accounts, billboards, and other advertising mediums.
- Do not be afraid to allow a hashtag to happen organically. Sometimes an idea that you can use comes about automatically. This can generate the trend you are looking for.
- Try to keep it short because long hashtags are hard for people to keep track of. The hashtag should not be more than three or four words long.
- Make sure you monitor the conversation so you can see what people are saying. You can learn a lot by looking at what people say and may even get ideas for your next campaign.
- Include hashtags in sentences. “Stopped by #BigXYZEvent and it was booming” is an example.
Be the Master
You can master the art of hashtags by keeping these few tips in mind. Other things you can do include capitalizing multiword hashtags; staying consistent; and remembering that social media marketing exists because it enables people who do not know each other to talk about a product, service, or event.