Hashtag campaigns may appear easy to launch, but businesses of all sizes continue to make mistakes with their hashtag campaigns, which in turn makes those campaigns fizzle out and fail. Last year, I questioned whether using hashtags in real-world marketing was effective or not. Today’s post will focus on how to create an effective hashtag, since businesses are increasingly seeking clever and unique hashtags to use for their marketing campaigns.
Keep these five elements (the acronym TEMPS) in mind for your next hashtag campaign to achieve success:
Your hashtag is…
- Timeless. Adding on numbers to your hashtag may be helpful in time-sensitive content, i.e., annual events, contests, but if you want to keep your hashtag around for the long run, leave off the “16” or “2016”. For instance, SXSW uses their #sxsw hashtag, no matter the year.
- Easy to remember. In the past week, the hashtag #Brexit came about due to the United Kingdom voting to leave the European Union. Even people who don’t use social media frequently have remembered the term “Brexit” thanks to the hashtag. Like the #brexit hashtag, you can combine words to create a new word and stand out.
- Makes sense. Will your target audience understand what your hashtag means? Will people outside of your target audience understand what it means? Don’t use internal company terms as part of your hashtag, especially if it will confuse people. Keep your hashtag relevant with your target audience: you could even use your company name as your hashtag, or an abbreviation of your company name, if you want to go the easy route. For instance, Twitter chats generally have easy-to-understand hashtags, such as #createlounge, a weekly chat centered around creative bloggers and entrepreneurs.
- Posted everywhere. Let your friends, family, fans, etc. know about the hashtag by using your hashtag on social media, on your traditional marketing material, around the office, etc. If you don’t promote the hashtag, nobody will know that it exists! Posting your hashtag everywhere also helps to keep your hashtag consistent among your audience, so people won’t start using variations of your hashtag (although you should continue to track variations of your hashtag, just in case).
- Short. Twitter still counts hashtags as part of the 140-character limit, and since hashtags are still widely used on Twitter, shorter hashtags will go farther in reach. Not only are shorter hashtags easier to remember, users will be able to add in their own comments to each post. Keeping hashtags short will also help out Instagram users, since most of them are typing hashtags on-the-go. Hashtags between four to twelve characters appear to have the most success (see the above examples), but there are also exceptions, such as #GrowingUpWithMyName, a campaign created by Wix.com that trended on Twitter in late June 2016.
What Kind of Hashtag Campaign Will YOU Create?
Keeping the TEMPS acronym in mind (see above), what kind of hashtag campaign will you create now? Share in the comments below!