Hasthtags are commonly associated with Twitter, as a way of marking keywords or phrases but, they can also be used in other social media platforms (get a great run down here).
They are, however, increasing in power and so if you have not relished the power of the hashtag yet, here are 5 key ways (and one bonus!) that you can use them on Twitter…
(Not on Twitter?! As a marketing platform, and staying in touch with customers, it is a great platform and done that can see you reap huge rewards AND, 2015 could be the year that global wide commerce transactions comes to Twitter…)
Hints and tips on harnessing the power of the #Hashtag…
You can use the hashtag to quite literally spread the word about any campaign you are currently working on as part of a marketing or awareness raising campaign. The great thing about hashtags is you can be as creative as you like and can really bump start a campaign, as well as throwing it in to the spotlight.
A working example – The Scottish referendum
A bitter-sweet campaign that was as hotly debated on Twitter as it was on the media and on the street; statistics highlight the power of the #hashtag with the most-Tweeted related hashtag being:
- #IndyRef 3.75 million
- #VoteYes 1.1 million
- #Scotland 439,000
- #ScotlDecides 272,000
- #BetterTogether 224,000
Hashtags are also monitored by marketers as a way of seeing what interests and trends are currently ongoing around specific topics, and what customer could potentially be interested in. In other words, by Tweeting with a certain hashtag contained in the message, those people who use hashtags to find things or items of interest will pick up of these tweets… and you could have a far greater reach than you ever imagined.
For example, keep an eye on current trends in current affairs etc. within the media and, if you can link it to your business, utilise this hashtag and extend that reach!
#3 Twitter Chats or Hours
Spend the smallest amount of time on Twitter and you will see that on certain evenings or days, the platform is awash with Twitter chats or ‘hours’. In this way, a hashtag becomes a searchable term and so quite useful for local, online businesses looking for customer, support or partnerships in their geographical area.
Likewise, if you are in a certain trade or industry, it pays to make contact and stay in touch. Why not take a look at the local based ‘hours’ such as #worcestershirehour, #smallbusiness or how about #womeninbusiness? Log on to Twitter and in the search box at the top simply type in the # symbol and the term you are looking for and see what pops up!
#4 Promote local
Again, going to back to the emotional decision that drives a purchase, more and more people are realising the importance of sourcing products and services locally, and we are all for that! Hashtags can be a great way of harnessing your local-ness to potential customers, and you will be amazed at how strong any locally-linkde hashtags are.
As well as the local #hours on Twitter, you can also push yourself in local conversations with a # followed by locations close to you. #Woking will place a local business on the map here; people love to shop local so harness this emotional decision people are making every day!
#5 Plan future campaign
You can also harness the power of the hashtag by doing some research as we have suggested above; NOW is a great time to get some products and services on there for the festive rush. If you online website has to great ideas for ‘hard to buy for teenagers’ why not orchestrate a campaign around this emotion or sentiment.
Hashtags are also a great way of suggesting purchases in a Tweet such as
“Christmas only 83 days a way! Great gifts #notlastminute2014”
Don’t forget that purchases as an emotional decision, so once the excess of Christmas has gone, if you are a local gym or spa offering detox and get in shape packages, get Tweeting with your own hashtag and piggy back another. Tweets do not have to stick to using one hashtag; you can use your own and more than one!
#A Bonus: A competitive eye
Marketing is all about being pro-active and it is also partly about keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing too. If they are orchestrating a campaign with a #hashtag and it seems to be doing well, then why not replicate? At the same time, you can learn from the mistakes of others and avoid some common pitfalls.
And again, it is a strategic marathon, not a spring… so take some time to promote #ilovelocally and you will be amazed at where the power of a hashtag (or two) could take your online, local business…
Twitter is built for speed. 140 characters can say so much but it is there in a blink of an eye and then gone. Using a hashtag can keep in the archives and so the next time someone looks for #livingthedream, your Tweet and business may be the one that pops up!
Do your research!
Hashtags, as we said, can also be used on G+ and other platforms as a way of attracting people to your site or engaging people in conversation. Take a look at:
Everything you need to know about the #hashtag in a great infographic https://www.bitrebels.com/social/twitter-hashtag-power-infographic/
Jeff Bullas, known for his views on social media, also recommends taking a look at hashtags https://www.jeffbullas.com/2014/05/07/how-to-use-the-power-of-hashtags-in-your-social-media-marketing/