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The Unofficial Guide to Hashtags

The Unofficial Guide to Hashtags

“We want something more not just nasty and bitter.
We want something real not just hashtags and Twitter”

— Passenger

Well, the lines really sound nice but the problem is imagining a world without hashtags is just impossible. How can we possibly stay connected with the outside world if we are not harnessing the power of hashtags? Hashtags are amazing. Really they are. But hashtags are double edged swords.  Failure to use it properly and it might come haunting you and your brand back.

We have seen so many hashtags campaigns go rouge as the brands failed to channel it properly. Poor understanding of audience psychology and social media in general can turn an otherwise impressive hashtag marketing strategy to your worst nightmare.

Here in this article, we are going to help you understand the ‘science’ behind the ‘art’ of hashtag marketing –

Monitor Everything

You should not be resting on the laurels after creating a hashtag. At the initial stage, everything may seem perfect but as time goes on things might take a different turn altogether. It just needs one or two tweets criticizing the campaign or the message and everything will start going downhill from there. Therefore, it is imperative for a brand to monitor the conversations and intervene when it seems necessary. Keep a close watch on how customers are reacting to the hashtag.

Concrete VS Abstract Hashtags

Remember this hashtag – ‘#IceBucketChallenge’? Of course you do and the reason is obvious why you still remember this hashtag. Yes you got it right, because this hashtag is easy to understand. It says the hashtag has something to do with the Ice. So, the secret of a successful hashtag marketing strategy is to make sure that the Hashtag is easy to comprehend. Use of abstract words will only confuse the readers.

Try Live Tweeting

Live Tweeting is the ‘in’ thing at present. You will be able to garner a lot of attention on social circles by using hashtags to report a live event. Major music brands and concert organizers are now employing this method to grab more attention and it seems it is working for them.

Use Camel case

#SusanAlbumParty – this hashtag may seem quite logical but take a careful look what happens when we use it like this – #susanalbumparty. Yup this is a total disaster and believe it or not, this hashtag was chosen by Scottish singer Susan Boyle to promote his upcoming album. This PR stunt did not go down well with his followers and this hashtag got lampooned by people on social media. Therefore, it makes sense that you should be using Camel Case while writing hashtags for your marketing campaign to avoid such embarrassing situation.

Don’t Use Cuss Words

Use of Cuss words is a big no no especially when it comes to hashtags. Always remember that you are managing the brand image of a corporate organization online and therefore, you need to use proper words while tweeting. One bad tweet is enough to ruin the reputation of the brand and therefore, you need to be extra careful while tweeting.

Don’t Use Generic Terms

You simply can’t use generic terms like #iPhone, #MacbookPro while tweeting because this will not lead you to anywhere. People are not going to notice it because it is not anything interesting or unique. Some social networking sites like Instagram even filters out such generic hashtags, making it impossible for marketers to reach out to people. Be creative while writing hashtags for your social media marketing campaign.

Hashtags Don’t Have Copyright

That is right. Just because a guy in the remote corner of Alaska has used a hashtag does not necessarily mean that you can’t use it again. There is no rule to stop you from doing it. However, this has a flipside too. Your competitors can use this rule against your marketing campaigns. Even the most honest and sincere hashtag can become a subject of mimicry and ridicule. So, while coming up with an interesting hashtag, you need to make sure that you have chosen one that competitors might find it hard to use in a different context.

So, these are some factors that you should be keeping in mind while starting a hashtag campaign for your website.