Hashtags are a great social media marketing tool that many businesses dismiss simply because it reminds them of something that teenage girls use on Instagram. The truth is, hashtags are an underappreciated marketing campaign tool. Using them the right way can bring in traffic and new customers to any business.
#ShortAndSweet, but persistent
Every business has a company catch phrase or motto. But what if we take that simple motto, and create a short and memorable tag? Kit Kat has found a way to connect with hundreds of thousands of people by using their motto “Have a break… have a Kit Kat”, and simply adding posts to social media sites with the #HaveAbreak hashtag. With time people began to tweet, Instagram, and even Facebook tag that same phrase, every time they posted something that might relate to Kit Kat.
Connect to your customers, using a simple, short, and universal enough phrase, for people to associate it with your business and use it themselves. Repeatedly adding that same phrase to pictures or tweets that pertain to some type of campaign, sale, or even change in a business, can start to attract people. The more times the tag is seen, the higher up in Google, Twitter, and Facebook searches it moves.
#GoGlobal and interact
Checking what events are trending can prove to be beneficial. Home Depot used #HDGameDay for a photo contest right before the beginning of a new season for College Football. The objective was to take a picture with something orange (preferably the Home Depot orange bucket) that connected to Home Depot, and post with this tag. The contest promoted a special offer and generated a lot of clicks and views on the Home Depot website.
Know your customers (followers). Spending some time on researching what your competitors are sharing and tagging, what lifestyle and demographics your customers choose, and what events are currently trending can be useful in creating something that will help your business reach out.
Contests, promotions, or sales can easily be intertwined with social media posts. Sharing is important, tagging is crucial. Writing back to customers, interacting with as many shares and repliers is a good habit to have. Interaction creates a dialog, it makes customers see your business as more approachable and up to date. That is what social media marketing is about.
#ToPay or not to pay for this social media marketing
Twitter (btw – you can find PayLane on Twitter too!) is a great social media platform for quick interaction and many updates. It is also the motherland of hashtags. All the above ideas are free and require a bit of research, time, and a dash of creativity. But is there an easier way, one that doesn’t require me doing anything? Of course there is! However, it will require a lot of your money. A promoted tweet (or promoted trend) is the prime real estate of Twitter. Coverage all day long and in any country, network or city you want. However, promoted tweets are expensive and don’t interact, create campaigns, or change to relate to one specific country or demographic. All those you have to do on your own.
All in all, something’s got to give. Paying for tweets to be promoted worldwide may be easier for some, but it doesn’t replace the connection and established contacts with customers that you can get by putting in the time to promote. Hashtags are becoming more and more popular, showing up in virtually every social media site. Instead of spending money to have a singled out tweet promoted, it’s best to take on hashtags on your own.
There are great sites like hashtags.org or trendsmap.com which will help you follow changes in hashtag trends all over the world. Figure out what suits your business, think about a short and catchy phrase, begin sharing. Reply, or favorite a tweet if someone interacts, remember to keep on sharing and using your phrase, and think up campaigns that might relate to ongoing events (however, never use trending topics like death or disasters). Even if only a couple people engage at first, don’t worry! Rome wasn’t built in a day either! From Twitter and Facebook all the way to Tumblr, hashtags are the ultimate free marketing campaign, and they’re worth taking advantage of.
We’d love to hear your thoughts, ideas and opinions! Let us know what you think.