In Part 1, we reviewed steps for creating hashtag campaigns and provided a guide to hashtag usage on the most popular platforms. In Part 2, we’ll help you achieve tactical success in your campaigns.
When creating a hashtag campaign, here are best practices and also some to avoid.
- Create a brand hashtag. This can be items like a brand’s name, motto, product line, founder or mission statement. For example, some of Nike’s hashtags include #Nike, #JustDoIt, #NikePlus, #NikeShoes, #BillBowerman and #PhilKnight.
- Use direct and easy-to-read keywords and phrases. Hashtags tend to be a single word, but 1-3 short-word hashtags are common.
- Use capitalization to separate words and make it easier to read. (Capitalization does not change a hashtag).
- Use alliteration, acronyms, and applicability.
- Create excessively long hashtags. Try to stay within 8 to 12 characters.
- Overthink or add deep hidden meaning. Hashtags need to be obvious, searchable, natural, memorable, easily typed and relatable to the majority.
- Use special characters anywhere but at the end. Special characters end the hashtag (i.e. commas, apostrophes, spaces, periods and exclamation points).
HOW MANY HASHTAGS SHOULD I USE PER POST?
Amounts of hashtags per post have varying platform success rates. For example Twitter and Facebook engagement results are best with 1-2. However, Instagram users tend to experiment and seek out new visuals and followers, not just specific friends and things they know they like. Therefore, on Instagram, 5-10 is a safe and beneficial range. An overall sweet spot for any platform is 2-5 per post.
WHEN SHOULD I USE A HASHTAG?
Not every post should have a hashtag. Consider the following:
- Is the post “on brand” or is the content more about community building?
- Will your post generate wide relatability, likes, benefits or interactions (comments, shares, participation)?
- Are there time restraints and could your post’s hashtags serve as timely notifications, reminders, and/or ideas?
- Can your brand and/or product(s) relate to countrywide or worldwide events/holidays?
DOES HASHTAG POSITION MATTER?
Hashtag position can determine whether or not your post is legible, eye-catching and cast in a positive light. Avoid too many hashtags next to each other. Make sure your post flows won’t be considered not spam. Putting hashtags at the very end is considered best practice unless you can make the hashtag part of the copy.
HOW CAN MY HASHTAG HAVE CONTINUOUS SUCCESS?
To ensure stability and meaningfulness for your brand:
- Use the same hashtags. If you want your hashtag to be known and used, you need to use it regularly.
- Promote hashtags outside of posts, such as on posters, signs, newsletters, videos, commercials and other advertisements, promotional items and products.
- Engage with your audience on your posts with hashtags. Interaction builds relationships and stabilizes memory.
- Keep in mind that your campaign and company drive the message, not the hashtag. Don’t rely on the hashtag to grab attention, keep it or expand it.
In sum, when you’re building campaigns, remember the “3 Ps for Hashtags”: Purpose, Process and Placement. Define your Purpose for hashtags; Develop a Process to create and manage them; Place them appropriately in the posts on the various platforms.
Good luck and happy hashtagging!
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