Hashtags, ‘#’, were introduced by Twitter over ten years ago as a means of categorizing content by topic to help users find what is interesting or relevant to them.
How do hashtags help businesses?
You can use hashtags to raise awareness about your brand. They help your audiences find you. And you can use hashtags to boost brand engagement. According to Twitter, brands that use them enjoy 50% more engagement than brands that don’t. The more your hashtag is used, the more you’re “trending”.
Hashtags are also of great support when you launch a campaign online. Coming up with a unique hashtag that is specific to your campaign is a great way to get people talking about that new product you’re launching.
So, what can you do to maximize the benefits of hashtags?
Twitter recommends not using more than two hashtags for your tweet. The same goes for Facebook and LinkedIn. Stick to one or two hashtags. However, for Instagram, the more you use, the better (ten to twelve are ideal). Additionally, keep your hashtags short, simple and catchy. Steer clear of hashtags with too many words in them.
As with all marketing, define your audiences first. Find similar businesses, find top influencers in your segment, and see what hashtags they’re using. Next, come up with unique hashtags that are specific to your brand, and specific to your campaign. These help you stand out from the crowd. For instance, check out Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke.
Don’t be afraid to jump on the ‘trending’ or ‘current affairs’ bandwagons. If there’s something everyone’s already talking about, leverage it. Like the image of the blackhole. Or the final season of #gameofthrones. Here’s what Oreo did. They came up with #gameofcookies and won engagement from 2.5 million users across the board within two weeks.
The next step is to figure out what hashtags are right for your business.