Hashtags are everywhere on social media. You’ll see them tacked on to the end of Instagram posts, incorporated into the body of a tweet, and sparingly used on Facebook. They’re key for discovering and organizing social media posts – they make it easy for you to find additional posts on a related topic so that you can more easily contribute to the conversation on a topic.
But, why should you start your own hashtag(s)? The easy answer is to group your posts together so that people can find more of your content. However, you don’t want to start randomly making hashtags with no rhyme or reason – that will only confuse people and further bury your content.
Let’s dive into the why – and when – you start your own hashtag.
Some hashtags are overused -- meaning they get a lot of reach – but after a while the content associated with them may turn into spam. Piggybacking off already popular hashtags can help get you a lot of reach, but your posts may also get lost in the shuffle.
By creating your own, you can help convert a follower of a more general topic (for example, #marketing), into someone that follows you (#hueandtone). When people discover your content using a general hashtag, the theory is that they’ll want to see more, leading them click on your branded hashtag to see what else you have to offer.
By creating your own hashtag, you’ll be able to:
Stand out from the crowd
Cement credibility and establish authority
Increase your engagement and reach
Create cross-channel awareness (if you use it consistently)
Be able to track posts other people make about your brand
While there should be a solid reason beyond creating a new hashtag, we also suggest you have fun and play around with them. See what sticks before making it part of your brand identity. As an example, #ShareACoke, has become a staple part of Coca Cola’s social strategy. It works well, because it encourages recurring interaction and tagging.
That said, some popular reasons for creating custom hashtags include:
Launching a new product, service, or campaign
Posting live updates from an event
Hosting a live chat or Q&A session
Running a competition
Establishing a general hashtag for your brand
In each of the above instances, using previously and frequently used hashtags can cause havoc. Not only do they make it difficult for you to monitor, but it can confuse your audience. You don’t want to put your followers in the position of having to scroll through irrelevant content just to find what they’re looking for.
How to create a hashtag in 5 simple steps
1. First things first, define your goals. Some fairly common ones include increasing:
Total link clicks
Behavioral patterns vary on different networks, so if you’re using your new hashtag across multiple social channels, you should set goals specific for each one.
2. The fun part - get creative! But make sure your hashtag’s the right balance between engaging and easily understandable -- if people don’t instantly grasp it, the effect’s kind of lost.
Here are some simple tips to start you off:
Keep it short and snappy
Make it easy to remember
Ensure it’s relevant to your brand
Don’t make it too generic
Check it doesn’t have any obscure double meanings -- let’s not forget the #susanalbumparty fail!
3. Do your research. Make sure it’s not already in use on anysocial media networks, and double-check it doesn’t, for whatever reason, have any potentially offensive roots or connotations.
4. Make it actionable. At the end of the day, every marketer’s end goal is to drive revenue. Even if your hashtag’s goal is to increase social follows, the bigger picture is more sales. So, if you can, put an actionable spin on your new hashtag -- ask a question, play on an emotion, encourage engagement, or incite urgency, for example.
5. Last but certainly not least, triple check your hashtag for typos and post it! See what kind of reaction you get, and if you feel like the tag falls flat after a handful of posts, then don’t be afraid to try out a new one.
Hue & Tone Creative: SOCIAL MEDIA Services for Greensboro and beyond
Struggling to keep up with the comments, likes, and mentions on your posts? Can’t come up with a creative hashtag? Stumped for original content ideas? We can handle all of that for you. From multi-channel audits to content generation and social media monitoring, Hue & Tone is the solution for all your social media woes.