Just because you post something on social media, doesn’t mean your friends, fans, and followers are going to see it. Since 2012, the organic reach on social media platforms has been declining under the guise of providing a more pleasant user experience.
In reality, it’s because platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are free to use; they make their money on paid advertisements. Knowing many companies use social media for business, reducing organic reach to about 6.5% forces them to purchase ads to remain top of mind to the customer base they’ve cultivated on the platform. There is another way to make your brand, products, services, and content discoverable, however, and it’s why your business needs a hashtag.
In short, hashtags are topics made searchable on social media.
If you’re on Twitter and search the hashtag #dogs you’ll instantly be shown all the Tweets relating to dogs, if the author used the hashtag. This means if your business sells pizza, and you include #pizza in all of your social posts and ads, people searching for the pizza hashtag will find your content even if they’ve never heard of your company! Check out these hashtag stats by platform:
- Twitter – the lifespan of a Tweet is only about 15 minutes. Using hashtags keeps your posts relevant and can connect your business with timely events and trends.
- Facebook – while less prevalent on this platform, using one well place hashtag in your post will result in 177 more interactions, on average.
- Instagram – this platform uses hashtags as a sorting process and will net your post 6% more engagement than those without.
The average person is exposed to more than 5,000 ads per day! As a business, it’s easy to understand how your message could get swept away in a sea of billboards, TV ads, radio commercials, and social media marketing. To stand out, you need a bright beacon that cuts through the clutter, illuminating a path that leads your target audience straight to your products and services! What you need is a branded hashtag.
Whether you use your company name, the name of your product, a catchphrase, or a call-to-action - the purpose of your hashtag is to increase brand awareness and customer engagement:
- Discovery – Use your hashtag along with other industry keywords in your content, and potential clients will find you organically.
- Traffic – When found in a social media search, your hashtag will automatically increase traffic to your posts, pages, and website.
- Advocates – Use your hashtag and @mention a brand advocate and you might strike social-proof gold. 92% of people trust brand advocates’ recommendations.
The point of your hashtag is to get people talking about your brand and to your company about your products, as such, be sure to use your hashtag as much as possible:
- Images and Videos
- Job Openings
- Original Content
- Product Launches
Create Your Hashtag
Being cute and clever with your hashtag is awesome, but keep in mind the objective is to increase your social media ROI. Start by defining your goals, do you want more brand recognition on a certain platform? Are you hoping to increase click-throughs to your website? Once you know the goal, create your tag in alignment.
You might think that using your company name is the best choice for your hashtag, and it may be, but remember that people don’t necessarily know the name of your business yet, so it may not lead to the desired results. Instead, consider a play on words, a memorable CTA, something easy to remember, and – most importantly – stay on brand. Here are some examples of highly effective branded hashtags:
- ALS Association - #IceBucketChallenge
- Calvin Klein - #MyCalvins
- Charmin - #TweetFromTheSeat
- Coca-Cola - #ShareACoke
- Purina - #PetsAtWork
Once you’ve chosen your hashtag, make sure it’s not already being used and that there’s no inappropriate double-entendre at play.
Register Your Hashtag
Now that you’ve done all the brainstorming, research, and marketing strategy around your shiny new hashtag – make sure you own it!
Hashtags can be registered and doing so provides a record of your claim that can be used in any trademark or legal challenge. Registering your hashtag also automatically provides optimized information for search engines and allows you to block others from using – or misusing – your hashtag.
We’d love to help you create, register, and use your hashtag to grow your business. Let’s Talk!