Tips for Using Hashtags

Posted on Posted in Social Media, Tips & Tricks

What is a hashtag? For people who don’t know, it is a word of phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign and used to identify messages on specific topics. Twitter transformed the pound sign into a hyperlinked verb. Chris Messina who is considered the hashtag godfather created the first hashtag on Twitter in 2007. His first tweet was “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” I’m not sure what #barcamp is but that was the first hashtag used on Twitter.

I have 3 easy tips that you can follow to successfully use hashtags.

Picture courtesy of inc.com
Picture courtesy of inc.com

The first tip is creating a hashtag. Some people are unsure what to hashtag, I say be creative! Think of something that will stick in people’s heads, corny works at least they will remember it. Next just keep it simple; you don’t need anything that’s too long. You want people to be able to read what it is and be able to use it fast. Lastly, you want to make an impression. Make a hashtag that will create a buzz at your next event and one that defines what your brand or company is. This is a quote that I found on marketingprof.com that I thought described creating a hashtag perfectly! “When creating a hashtag that will represent your brand, your community, or your event, think of it as dating: You want excitement, you want to intrigue, but you also want something that will last, at least for a while. If you’re looking for a one-night hashtag, you’re probably not trying to build a real relationship with your audience.”

The second tip is when to use a hashtag. You want to use a hashtag to help build your brand. Again, you want to create that buzz to get people talking and interacting with your company. Use this to market your business. If you’re running a campaign or hosting event this will generate unique user content. Have people live tweet the event this is great for feedback! Wanting to keep up with the latest trends? Create a hashtag that has to do with something big going on in the world and hopefully your hashtag will get enough people talking about it and it could trend online. Be sure to ask your audience questions! One of the easiest ways to get others engaged on social media is to ask questions. People love to give feedback and their opinion on things.

The third tip is #HashtagEtiquette. When using hashtags you don’t want to use just anything. Hashtag things that go with what you’re saying. You don’t want to confuse your audience. Also don’t be that person who hashtags every word or every other word in a post. This will make your company look childish and new to using hashtags.

While researching this topic online I came across a few statistics on using hashtags. The first statistic was the effect of hashtags on retweets. “Tweets that contain one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than those that do not, according to a recent analysis done by Dan Zarrella of HubSpot.” Using hashtags with posts generates more awareness. It gets the word out quicker. The second statistic I found was done by SocialBreaker, they sampled 200,000 brand posts to see if using more hashtags would help their brand. Their conclusion was “Hashtag overuse (10 or more per post) on Facebook will actually hurt your brand”.

Some examples of successful company hashtags were #EsuranceSave30 and #MayhemSale. If you’re not familiar with #esurancesave30 this was a commercial that aired after the Super Bowl. In their commercial they said with the money they save from not putting a commercial on during the Super Bowl they’re giving a lucky person who tweets #esurancesave30 $1.5 million. Shortly after the commercial aired the hashtag went viral. According to the interview between CEO of Likeable Local Dave Kerpen and Assurance spokesperson Danny Miller, Esurance received 1 billion impressions on Twitter in less then 48 hours following the Super Bowl.

#MayhemSale was another very successful hashtag that was done by All State. During the All State Sugar Bowl they launched Project Share Aware. This campaign aimed to make people more aware of the fact that sharing one’s location on social media could result in a burglary. They made a replica of this couples house and all of their belongs and sold everything for very low prices. The couple was in shock when they saw it playing at the game on the jumbotron. Creating this hashtag brought a lot of traffic to All States website and that’s exactly what they wanted. While everyone was on their site trying to buy the couples belongings they were also promoting their Project Share Aware.

Hopefully these tips will help you when it comes time to creating hashtags for your brand or company. Thanks for reading!

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