How many of you are using hashtags in every post that you push out on social media? And how many times have you seen posts with several hashtags after them?
Now you may have asked yourself the question, why?
What are these hashtags doing for the people who post them?
Yes hashtags, they can be extremely effective in gaining more views of your posts. But you’ll probably feel most of the time, are they working? Are they doing much to push out your posts further and content further?
Most of the time, the answer is, probably, no they’re not.
However, that isn’t meant to be a statement on the effectiveness of hashtags in general. Now, hashtag usage can be extremely effective, but only when it’s done in a smart way.
Now in this video, I will explain what hashtags are, why they work with audiences. I will also cover some of the typical strategies used in hashtag marketing to grow the reach of your posts and your audience.
It was Twitter that first debuted hashtags a while ago, and at the time, they probably didn’t think how widespread their usage would become.
Initially, hashtags were created just for tagging content. And the idea was that when you shared a piece of content, you could tag it with a relevant hashtag, which would make it easier for people to search for this keyword or subject.
This is still true today, despite the ballooning number of ways that users now use hashtags. Today, hashtags are used in several completely different ways.
Now community hashtags often pop up to bring communities together.
There may be a hashtag for your favorite football or soccer team, for example, or your favorite band, and any discussions will often include the hashtags. And actually, this leads us quite nicely onto events.
Large events usually will have their own hashtag, the Superbowl, the football or soccer World Cup, for example, where you’ll see conversations using this hashtag, throughout the live games or events.
Conversational hashtags sometimes pop up around a specific topic, for a more in-depth conversation. You see it all the time on Twitter, where discussions arise around topics that sometimes influencers push to their audience.
Studies have shown that tweets and Facebook posts, that include one or two hashtags, typically receive more engagement than those with zero or no hashtags at all.
Now hashtags work because they are really helpful. Of course, social networks are inherently very messy. There is a lot of noise with thousands of users sharing their thoughts on different topics at any given second. So let’s look at some of the different hashtag marketing strategies, that are most commonly used to grow your following.
Trending hashtags are perhaps the most common hashtag marketing strategy, and, arguably, the most impactful when done well.
Trending hashtags that show up on Twitter and Facebook drive a lot of eyeballs to the posts that are performing well and use those hashtags.
For most companies, however, the trending hashtag will rarely align with their business or the service they offer. But you really should keep a close eye on them. They can yield creative opportunities to tie your brand to a current trending topic if one arises.
So lets at community hashtags. Community hashtags can be a great way to connect with a very specific audience.
People are always sharing their opinion on many social media platforms.
For example, if you took an example of a band or a pop star, there’ll be plenty of discussions around, say, Pink Floyd, one of my favorite bands,
Fans will be talking about Pink Floyd using this particular hashtag.
Now for brands, not bands, you should be looking at tagging all of your own content with your brand in all of your posts. For example, at The Nicest Guys in Marketing, we use the hashtag, #thenicestguysinmarketing across all of our social media posts.
Many brands will use specific campaign hashtags which are often shorter and more focused. Campaign hashtags are used as part of a social media marketing campaign or a contest and they typically have a start and an end date – they run for however long the campaign runs for.
Coca Cola, thinking back, #shareacoke campaign, is a classic example, as is the ALS ice bucket challenge. Who remembers the #icebucketchallenge?
This went viral a few years ago, of course. This leads us on to hashtags such as products or service hashtags. As well as events, as we have already mentioned before.
Now smart hashtag usage isn’t about spamming as many hashtags as you can into each update. It’s about finding smart strategic ways to get your social media updates in front of your ideal audience. So please feel free to ask us any questions in the comments below, or please pop over to our Facebook group, where we do a weekly question and answer session, and we’ll answer all your marketing and sales questions. See you all there.