Feeling weighted down by the ton of hashtags online? #JoinTheClub.
A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase prefixed with the hash character. Until six years ago, to most of us, the symbol # denoted “number” or “pound.” In 2009 the hashtag entered widespread use first on Twitter as a way to identify and group messages on a certain topic. Its use quickly spread across other social media platforms. Hashtag overload was #inevitable.
So, do we give it any weight as a tool in marketing building products? Yes.
Used well, a hashtag is a great tool to get your message to more prospects, customers, media, influencers and peers. How? The symbol places your message in a communication topic channel making it easier for others to find and share. r
What’s a good place to start? Use hashtags to brand your company and boost the reach of your Internet content.
For branding purposes, your company tag can be as simple as your name, #HomeDepot. Encourage your followers to use it when writing about you. Beyond branding, hashtags may also be used for a campaign (Budweiser used #BestBuds in conjunction with its Super Bowl commercial), project, contest or cause (#FeedingAmerica). Yet another use is to designate a content category; consider #DIYRemodeling.
Think of hashtags as keywords. Just as you would for search engine optimization, choose targeted words that align with your company, industry, product and customer in creating hashtags. To uncover additional, new possibilities, we suggest loading you key word list into Wordle.net to create a word cloud.
Details to think about:
Be specific but not verbose. #Sustainability is general enough to encompass travel adventures, fuel efficient cars, green eyeglass wear, environmental regulations and … yes, building materials and practices. On the other hand, #workandliveinenviromentalfriendlyconstruction will stall at the starting line.
Make it memorable. Creative and catchy word combinations can be memorable but get too clever and you lose people. Always be sure spelling is simple and use a combination of upper and lower case letters to make the hashtag more readable.
Don’t overdo it. Hashtags don’t belong in each post. Put them to use to organize and share quality, relevant information with targeted, interested audiences. Limit yourself to one to three hashtags per post. Use more and it begins to look like SPAM. It’s not difficult to tell which of the following we consider a good example. Pro Skill Construction also get points for using a hashtag in a sentence: “One of the most important rooms to prepare for #AgingInPlace…”
If you follow these tips will your content go viral? Most likely not. Trending topics are generally about news or celebrities but if you monitor them you might catch a wave and watch your reach swell using the popular hashtag in your content. Before you dive in, however, look beyond the tag itself; research the actual content. Baked goods giant, Entenmann’s used #notguilty to talk of sinful desserts only later to find the #notguilty conversation thread about a murder trail verdict.
Useful sites to view what’s trending, how tags rate and how to optimize posts are RiteTag.com WhatTHeTrend.com.
We’ve touched on a few good tips to for using hashtags. Now #GetStarted!
Images: DollarPhotoClub. Facebook.