If you’ve used any kind of social media in the last few years, you’ve been inundated with hashtags. From social movements to community involvement, from celebrity endorsements to online games, these simple tags have been connecting people across the world with relatively little effort on the part of those who have created them. If you want to use a hashtag for business purposes, though, you have to start by figuring out how to use them more effectively. A good hashtag can raise your brand awareness, while a poor hashtag is the marketing equivalent to spitting into the wind.
Crafting an effective hashtag starts with making sure that you’ve got an effective product or service connected to the campaign. Your hashtag needs to be relevant to what you are selling, but not so specialized that people won’t jump on the bandwagon to use it. The hashtag needs to be carefully tailored so that it promotes the message that you want without falling prey to hidden meanings that can make it trend for all of the wrong reasons. In short, a good hashtag is like the tag line for a traditional advertising campaign – albeit one that spreads through user engagement rather than simple market saturation.
If you want to make use of a good hashtag, make sure to workshop the phrase before you put it into use. If it doesn’t have some connection with your business, it isn’t going to work. It doesn’t matter how many retweets you get, nor does it matter how many people use it – you need to remember that this isn’t a popularity contest, but rather a strategic marketing move that’s designed to help extend your reach while keeping track of how often a tweet associated with the hashtag is used. If you are willing to put in the effort to do the right kind of research – or to hire a social media agency that has experience with this type of brand marketing, you should be able to make use of a hashtag in an effective manner that won’t alienate your client base, but that will help to bring in new customers based on word of mouth and your internet presence.