11 Dec #Hashtag 101
Almost every ad in the 2015 Superbowl had a hashtag. It’s undeniable that hashtags have found their way into our digital conversations. Before we start, what exactly is a hashtag?
Hashtag “#” is a metadata indicator; unless you are technically literate, it wouldn’t mean anything to you. In layman’s terms, it is a sign placed before a word or a group of words to help communication. Before social media came around, it was used in Internet Relay Chat (IRC). The use of hashtag was later made popular by Twitter and adopted by other major platforms such as Facebook and Instagram.
Whether you are a brand, a community, or an individual, there are many great examples of how hashtags have been used. Let’s take Kit Kat’s #MyBreak campaign as an example – Kit Kat wanted to merge the idea of having a break with consuming a Kit Kat. To do this, they have to consistently use #MyBreak and at the same time encourage their fans to also use #MyBreak.
The results? Fans from all over the world shared pictures of themselves consuming Kit Kat. Of course, this campaign worked because it was paired with an aggressive push on all areas of the Kit Kat marketing team. For one, the words #MyBreak was printed on Kit Kat’s packaging.
The potential of using hashtags is endless. Here are 3 tips to get you started:
- Engagement: This is the most important aspect of social media. On Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram, you may search for hashtags that are relevant to your business or organization. Poeple who use those hashtags are more likely to be interested in the subject matter. That said, be careful not to try to close too early. Always give value first!
- Campaigns: The use of hashtags in a campaign can help keep conversations going after the campaign is over. It can also bridge traditional media and digital media. Going back to Kit Kat’s #MyBreak campaign – not only did users create content for Kit Kat, it also continued the conversation of consuming a Kit Kat while at break. For more examples, check out Coke’s #ShareACoke and Red Bull’s #PutACanOnIt campaigns.
- Trends: Trends are great ways your brand can join a conversation that is popular. We know the usual suspects – on Thursdays we get #ThrowbackThursday, on Fridays we get #TGIF, on Mondays we get #MondayBlues etc… On Facebook and Twitter, you can see what is trending (Pro Tip: you can also see trends based on geographical regions). Trending means a significant amount of people are using the hashtags. This also means that more people are paying attention to it. Be careful though, not all trends are right for your brand.
Remember, social media is about listening! Brands that spend time on listening and talking to their fans are the ones who benefit from social media the most.