10 Dec Hashtag strategy and why you need it
A natural part of today’s communication.Hashtag strategy and why you need it
Hashtags becomes a natural part of our communication. Therefore the more important it is for companies and organizations to consider the strategical use of it. It’s far too “expensive” to just make up a hashtag without further thinking of its purpose. On the contrary the importance of goals and purposes for your hashtag cannot be underestimated.
What you should consider when setting up a strategy for your hashtags are:
- What do you want with the hashtag? Setting up goals and purposes is an essential part as we create our hashtags. The questions to answer are, do you want to create greater reach? Mark your presence? Create interaction? Your choices of goals and purposes should steer what kind of tags and which hashtag you choose.
- Who are the user of the hashtag? If it’s employees and yourself: create a hashtag that you can all apply to. If your targets are customers and other stakeholders, put yourself “in their head”, and create one that can be used by them. See below.
- What if the hashtag already exists – could there be a problem using it? If not, can it be used by others in ways that may harm our campaign or reputation of our brand?
- How are we going to interact with those using the hashtag? On this matter we have to monitor our hashtag, but we should also consider whether to pay attention to those who use our “hashtag” by asking for permission for re-posting or simply a positive comment.
When you today set up a social media strategy for your company, hashtags are of course only a part of the strategy. Just like today we need to know what channel to choose, the target we want to reach through that channel and what to do in a channel. The hashtag though, is an important piece for successful social media campaigns.
But, isn’t a hashtag simply a hashtag? The answer is no. As you already figured out, depending on how you “build” hashtags, they will work differently for different goals and purposes and for different audiences/targets.
Payoff, Identifier and Social items Hashtag strategy and why you need it
Hashtags are often divided into three different segments/ areas of use. This is because the conditions for how to use / they can be used are different depending on the role for the hashtag. All three formats are correct and there is nothing that says one is better than the other. It all comes back to what is the purpose and goal that govern what to choose.
Payoff Hashtag strategy and why you need it
A “payoff hashtag” is closely associated with your brand and your company as a sender, thus it is “hard” for other to use it. The hashtag itself may not necessarily contain the brand name or company name, but it is almost always the brand or company that is the sender.
Identifier Hashtag strategy and why you need it
A hashtag formatted as an identifier has its purpose in monitoring and search function.
It is used to strengthen a topic, a place, a brand or an interest and usually consists of just one word. You may include a brand name, where the hashtag consists of the brand name itself. The objective is that everyone should be able to use the tag. Then you should then search for it to understand who else tagged content with the same hashtag.
Social Objects Hashtag strategy and why you need it
The perhaps most difficult hashtag to think out, and which requires most finesse and planning are the hashtags that are formatted social objects. Formatted as a social object means that a company, organization or brand simply creates a hashtag that gives users conditions/ incentives to spread a story through the hashtag, it simply works as a catalysator for a continuing storytelling.
Use hashtags for widening range and to increase the number of followers
By utilizing general (meme-hashtags) you can create greater reach. Technically this applies to both Twitter and Instagram, but as today, it works most functionally on Instagram. Therefore, an important part strategically, will be to find also a number of general hashtags. These should you then use continuously. You should also use “contextual” hashtags for your choice of action. For example, you use them on specific dates or occasions such us seasons, holidays and the etc. The important thing when choosing to “borrow” such hashtags is the relevance. The hashtag #picoftheweek can you use once a week – and for an image that suits, #mybeard can be used if the picture shows a beard. In the same way, you can of course work with utilize festivals if the picture or the content of the mailings shows relevance. Not being relevant will surely reduce the impact.
On Twitter, the same matters apply to the event-hashtags that exist or the cross-sectional hashtags used. Trying to run a simple advertising campaign is meaningless, but highlighting an issue that concerns one’s organization can be useful. Using the hashtag without content related to the event is seen as something negative, but using it to add value or talk about topics discussed during the event gives more interest.
Of course, it is important to ensure that other content on the channel is interesting and relevant so that any new followers feel that you have chosen the right one. Feeling cheated due to a hashtag is really negative.
Create hashtags for activities and events Hashtag strategy and why you need it
One of the most common uses of hash tags is at events. If you as an organization are to organize a conference, an open house or something similar, you should always think about hashtaggar for this. Secondly, an overall hash tag for the event and then add any payoff and identifier hashtags. Of course, the most important thing is also to make sure to communicate the hashtag in time. Do not forget it in invitations, use it in marketing for the event and make sure it is visible during the event itself.
If you have a recurring event, it’s easy to choose to add a year to a hash tag. It makes sense if you make events that are self-supporting in the year. The Skid World Cup 2015 is an identifier in itself. In general, however, years are usually the most confusing, as it is easy to get three or more, instead of a hash tag: the year before, the year after, no year, four-digit or two-digit. The difficulty in getting an overview and utilizing people’s content is increasing widely.
Create hashtags for competitions Hashtag strategy and why you need it
In addition to events, hashtags are also common in connection with contests. Today, it is virtually impossible to do a competition online without working with hashtags. When you work with a competition, you need to be extra careful about what hashtag that will be the one that actually identifies the contest participation. There has to be a balance between on hand, creating a hashtag that is simple, understandable and relevant – and on the other hand is unique enough that it is not previously used or may appear with others.