The reign of social media brought with it the indispensable use of hashtags. It is one thing to inject hashtags into one’s personal posts to make them stand out and easy to find. Using hashtags to drive in leads, increase conversion, and boost brand awareness, on the other hand, is a whole different story.
Hashtags used to be prevalent only on Twitter. Now, it’s all over Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest. More than just a by-product of social networks, hashtags can serve as your leverage to build your brand.
Here are the strategic ways on how to use social media hashtags.
1. Create a Hashtag for Your Brand
A brand hashtag is not just any string of words that you use for a one-time post. This should be the most prominent hashtag that you can use multiple times. If you are aiming to build brand awareness, being persistent is key. Show this persistency through your brand hashtag so that your followers will start associating it to your business.
Tip: Turning your company name into your brand hashtag is the simplest way to do it. Taglines, names of signature products, or keywords are also good picks when selecting the chief hashtags for your brand.
2. Boost Promos through Campaign Hashtags
Do you have upcoming campaigns that you want to trend? Are you conducting a big event for your company? Is there a sale that you’re aiming to promote?
You can boost different kinds of campaigns by hash-tagging the names in your posts. If it is a seasonal event, you can combine the name of the season with your business name. If it is an operation unique to your business, you can formulate your own campaign name. Make sure that the names you select for the campaign are not overused in the social networks where you’re posting them. You can also require your audience to use your campaign hashtags in their posts so they can join the contests you’re conducting or get a special discount when purchasing.
3. Introduce Content Hashtags
These are the sort which do not necessarily define your brand or ongoing campaign. Content hashtags also do not have to be on the list of trending topics.
Here are a few categories which you can use to come up with a content hashtag:
When brainstorming for a content hashtag, keep these categories in mind to ensure your ideas align. Content hashtags should make your followers feel connected to your brand in a way that fosters familiarity and goodwill.
4. Take it Offline
It may sound contradicting since hashtags are designed for online activities, but taking these tools offline is another strategic way to optimize them.
If you are endorsing a campaign, splatter your print ads with your campaign hashtag. If you are promoting a brand hashtag, make sure that your local store displays it. Tying up your online campaigns with your offline marketing efforts makes it easy for customers to recognize your brand in any channel available.
Tip: Make sure that you start off right by hiring a writer to brainstorm, strategize, and boost your hashtag campaigns.
Outsourcing this to a virtual assistant is a worthwhile investment if the result is engaging content, trending hashtags that point to your profiles, and an increased brand awareness.
After all, that is the kind of exposure hashtags are made for.
Image: Author’s Own
Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at communications @20four7va.com.