It’s not easy for brands to start a hashtag campaign which really kicks off (unless they offer incentives). Often savvy and cynical about social media marketing, many Twitter users are predisposed to ignore overly promotional hashtags and business’s pleas for social interaction. Yet generating interest and interaction is what social media is all about, and creating a hashtag which takes off can really pay off for businesses keen to boost consumer engagement and brand awareness.
Time and time again, hashtag campaigns fall flat. So how can you ensure that your brand’s campaign is a #success and not a #fail? We’ve compiled some helpful pointers and best practice guidelines which will help you get your off the ground.
- Size matters
The length of a hashtag can make a difference to its success. Users are much less likely to remember and retype a lengthy hashtag, but short hashtags can be equally unmemorable or even confusing (if you’ve tried to cram too much in there with acronyms etc.). Find the sweet spot between the two.
- Be obvious
It can be tempting to be too clever with hashtags, but the best tags which people latch onto are crystal clear. From hashtags for events, to hashtags for competitions, make sure the purpose and meaning of your hashtag is obvious to avoid confusion. As you’ll be running lots of words together, also make sure the words themselves are clear and don’t spell other words when stuck together. Capitalising each word is a good way to avoid this problem.
- Do your research
Before you start crafting your perfect hashtag – do your research. Find out what your target audience and followers are already tweeting about, and which hashtags they’re using to do it. Take a look at which of your previous tweets gained the most traction and use all of this information to inform your campaign.
- Set a low barrier to entry
If you’re running your hashtag campaign in order to generate a specific action rather than to build buzz and interaction, it’s important to set a low barrier to entry. When running competitions, for example, don’t ask users to complete a handful of tasks – make it simple for them to participate. Don’t ask them to submit forms or complete more than three actions to join in, and always ensure your instructions are both simple and clear.
- Measure everything
Careful measurement of metrics won’t improve your current hashtag campaign, but it will help you make each new campaign better and better. Take the time to record key data, from likes, retweets and hashtag use, to click throughs, now to run even better campaigns in the future.