Though you may not know it, hashtag has become a huge part of the popular culture. In recent years, they have already grown into a non-ignorable element of a successful social media campaign. Though designing and performing an effective social media campaign is not an easy job, you can know the basics to start a solid hashtag campaign from below.
Note that, this article also covers how different social networks take advantage of hashtags. Now, let’s begin with a brief introduction to hashtags.
What Is a Hashtag on Earth?
Simply speaking, a hashtag is a kind of metadata tag that is mostly used by readers to identify and search messages with specific content or theme. The origin of hashtag can be dated back to a tweet created on August 23, 2007, and it has grown across various social media platforms, including Google Plus, Flickr, Instagram, Facebook, Tumblr and Pinterest, etc.
Generally hashtag is more than a simple way to categorize posts and it serves for many purposes like promoting an event or campaigning your brand. Following are the typical uses of hashtags over the popular social networks.
- Pinterest – It’s great to use Pinterest hashtags for branding (especially for cross-promotion). There are no limits to the number of hashtags added to a Pinterest post, and you can use the same set of characters as most social platforms do.
- Google Plus – As Google Plus is auto-hashtagged, your updates will be easily exposed to a wider range of users. Usually the G+ hashtag search results are ranked by popularity, and you can get normal search results and a series of “related” Google+ posts when typing in a hashtag search. The official rule of this platform is “no spaces”.
- Instagram – The most effective way to use hashtags is through engaging in hashtag games and adding location-based tags like “#ga” or “#georgia”. On most circumstances, you can create up to 30 hashtags on a single photo, but special characters like “+” and “!” are disallowed on Instagram.
- Twitter – The best use of hashtags on Twitter is to participate in chats. The common engagement can include favorites, clicks, replies and retweets. Beware that, Twitter hashtags only support numbers, underscore and letters, and event hashtags like festivals and conferences can work well on Twitter.
- Facebook – A reasonable way to generate Facebook hashtag search results is to add your hashtag directly after facebook.com/hashtag (for example, facebook.com/hashtag/chocolates). There are no official limitations to the number of hashtags added to your Facebook update, but frankly its ranking algorithm is quite complicated.
Top Tips to Start a Successful Hashtag Campaign
It’s worthwhile to put serious effort into executing hashtag campaign marketing, and our ultimate guide includes a full list of tips to get you clued up about the best hashtag practices. Just take a quick look at the following checklist.
Set Your Strategic Goals in Advance
As a popular saying goes, failing to plan is planning to fail. The success of a hashtag campaign lies in a foresighted and strategic goal, and you should set both long-term and short-term goals for your social media campaign. Below are some significant factors to consider.
- Can this goal increase brand awareness?
- Are you looking to boost sales and brand mentions?
- Do you want to reduce bounce rates and get more followers?
If you wish to get more people attend an important event, you will start a campaign before it takes place. It’s recommended to plan it two weeks in advance.
Keep It Short, Unique & Relevant
Although there are no hashtag limits on some platforms, a hashtag that is a sentence long is harder to remember. In this sense, try making your hashtag as succinct as possible. Besides, a unique and catchy hashtag is more likely to make your post stand out from the crowd. Keep in mind that this unique hashtag has to be aligned with your campaign goal.
Promote It on Multiple Channels
The proliferation of hashtags is really astonishing, and it so far has been commonplace throughout many different social media platforms. During this hashtag campaign, you’d better integrate a hashtag across multiple channels. Building anticipation among your audiences is also an ideal way to promote a hashtag campaign.
Monitor Engagement & Analyze Social Metrics
Engagement is by all means essential for any social media campaign, and it happens all through the marketing process. It’s great to have a team of marketers who keep monitoring the mentions of your hashtag all the time. In this way, your team member can act right after any of your hashtag is mentioned by others.
Perhaps the best way to check whether your marketing tactics are working or not is by analyzing social metrics. The analytics mentioned in this post will reveal how many times a post is viewed, commented, liked and shared by people inside or outside of your circles. Remember to take note of those findings so as to use a new insight for the next campaign.