Hashtag Marketing Strategies Have Been Around for Years, and A Lot Has Changed Over the Years
What was once called “the pound symbol” is now known by nearly everyone with internet access as a hashtag. The term was first introduced by Twitter and used as a way to categorize topics people were posting about online and allowing others to search for posts based on a topic on the platform they are using.
Hashtags used to be a unique feature only used on Twitter, but now they are used on almost every popular social media platform out there. In fact, digital marketing agencies like us use hashtags as part of our marketing strategies for social media campaigns to boost brand awareness, engage with the community, and even give a brand its own personality.
Are Hashtag Marketing Strategies an Actual Thing?
Even though hashtag marketing strategies still exist and are still used today, businesses may do wonder if hashtags still play a relevant role in building an effective social media campaign. I mean, the trend of using hashtags has been going on for over a decade, and popular online trends do eventually have an expiration date, right?
And we all know how annoying it can be to see posts flooded with hashtags when social media platforms have improved their search optimization to make the texts in posts also show up on the social platform’s results page.
But hashtags do still carry a lot of weight. The reason hashtags haven’t lost their effectiveness yet is that there hasn’t been anything new to compete with hashtags and what they bring to the table. Although we can say with certainty that there have been hashtag marketing strategies that haven’t worked, there have also been some that worked spectacularly.
To truly understand the effectiveness of using hashtags as part of your social media campaign, we’ll need to go a little more in-depth into the importance behind them.
All Social Media Platforms Use Hashtags the Same Way, Which Can be Used to Your Advantage
Different social media platforms each serve their own purpose in helping brands achieve their overall marketing goals (read which social media platform works best for your business), but they all have one common benefit that your brand can take advantage of: hashtag marketing strategies. Even though some hashtag marketing strategies work better on certain social media platforms like Twitter or Instagram, hashtags still provide free exposure for your brand to people that don’t follow your brand. Your company can be found by people who may not have even been aware of your brand until they searched through the posts using a hashtag that one of your posts incorporated.
Hypothetically, a brand could get more exposure to its target audience using effective hashtag marketing strategies than a billboard on the interstate could. That is why hashtags can be a powerful marketing tool that you simply can’t ignore.
So, Let’s Talk Strategy- Hashtag Marketing Strategies to Be Exact
Okay, so we can now agree that hashtags are something you could really take advantage of when creating your business’s social media plan. Now you just need to know how to use hashtags correctly.
Start with the Purpose of Your Profile and Its Goal
Let’s start from the very beginning: when you first create your business’ social media account, it’s important to build a brand identity that will give your account the exposure it needs to increase in followers and customer engagement.What sort of posts do you plan to post? Are they business-related or aesthetic based? What are the goals you hope to achieve on the social media platform?
Have the goals and purpose of your social media profile written down so that you can have a reminder of your social media goals.
Research What Sort of Posts use the Hashtags You Have in Mind
Before you post with a hashtag you think will work, do some quick research on what sort of posts use the same hashtag and how many people use that hashtag. The last thing you want to do is use a hashtag that may sound relevant to your post that turns out to be entirely something different.
Nothing is more embarrassing than using a hashtag that’s being used for a social or political movement online for a post about your delicious new menu.
When creating your hashtag marketing strategy, consider:
- The purpose of the post
- Who your target audience is
- The hashtags that you could use
- Hashtags relevant to your post
- The posts that also use the hashtags
Look for Hashtag Challenge Opportunities
There are always temporary trends with hashtags. One of the best ways to get in front of an audience is to participate in #30dayfitnesschallenge #healthyeatingchallenge #stayathomechallenge. Look at the hashtag challenges that people are participating in and join in on the fun!
Try Location-Based Hashtags
For local businesses, look into the hashtags that are trending in your area. If there’s a local football game happening (#GeauxTigers), show your support and create a post to support your city’s team. This is a great way to connect with the community and allow others to discover your brand
Now, Think About Your Social Media Post
Keep your online brand laser focused to get the most exposure from the audience that will like, relate, or enjoy seeing your post. There’s a niche for everyone on social media, and your business can be the perfect provider of a particular niche that is relevant to your brand.
But how do you get in front of that audience?
The easiest way to do this is by using hashtags that are relevant to your post, brand identity, and your target market.
What to Avoid with Your Hashtag Strategy
One mistake common mistake businesses make is when they cram as many hashtags as possible in one post to cover as much ground as possible. While your post is more likely to be seen by someone, your post will appear to look like they are from a spam account. Instead, use only a couple of hashtags that people would likely search for and are relevant to what you are posting.
For example, a hashtag to use when sharing this article would be #socialmediamarketing or #digitalmarketingtips. That is because it is relevant to the topic of the blog and also hashtags that users would search if they were looking for information. That is called search intent, which will be a whole other blog to discuss on another day.
By using a few specific hashtags that are relevant to the post that someone would search for, you may gain followers by providing information they are interested in reading (hopefully this blog post lived up to your expectations).
Put What You’ve Learned About Hashtag Strategies and Put it into Action
You can now see how developing the right hashtag marketing strategies for social media campaigns actually requires a lot more work than people think. There’s a lot of research and planning that is done behind the scenes of all successful social media campaigns and hashtag marketing strategies.
Fortunately for business owners, there are digital marketing agencies that are highly experienced and trained to create effective hashtag marketing strategies so brands can thrive online.
To increase your brand’s exposure on social media and use hashtags the right way, trust the digital marketing experts at Catapult Creative Media and contact us at 225-590-3310.
Ashley Boudreaux is a Digital Analyst for Catapult Creative Media. She is an LSU graduate with a B.A. in Mass Communication and a minor in French. In her free time, she enjoys visiting petting zoos and climbing trees.
Work with Catapult Creative Media Inc. Catapult Creative Media Inc. is a digital marketing and design agency serving clients over the United States but is proud to call Baton Rouge, Louisiana home. Founded in 2007, Catapult provides digital, social and mobile marketing solutions backed by relevant strategy and measurable results. Catapult works the web to their clients’ advantage, launching them to their next level of success.