Hashtags are now used and recognised by billions and billions of people around the globe, and they’re part of everyone’s social media strategy, but this wasn’t always the case.
They are Chris Messina’s invention back in 2007 because it wanted to line up similar content to be easily found by others. He actually pitched the idea to Twitter at the time, but it wasn’t until 2009 when Twitter decided the idea wasn’t that “nerdy”.
Today, hashtags are already a subculture of their own and have proven to be effective in driving excellent engagement when launching a campaign, releasing or promoting a product or a service.
The good news is that you don’t have to sail into unknown waters when using them on Twitter.
Let’s see how you can efficiently blend in this marketing tool in your Twitter marketing strategy.
Improving Your Twitter Marketing with Hashtags
- How to use hashtags on Twitter?
- Why use hashtags on Twitter?
- How many hashtags should you use on Twitter?
- What hashtags are popular on Twitter and how can you benefit from using them?
- How to track your Twitter hashtags and improve your hashtag strategy?
The uniqueness of Twitter - its microblogging sphere that unites celebrities, top politicians, institutions, influencers, and brands - have conquered the entire globe under the same umbrella. Anyone can post up to 280 characters, but in the past, it used to be only 140 characters.
This particularity also influences your hashtag strategy because you are limited to your character count.
You can create hashtags by adding the pound sign (#) at the beginning of an unbroken word or a phrase. You can tap on the hashtagged word and this will lead you to a thread with all the messages that contain that tweet.
When added at the beginning at the tweet, they work in a similar way to a hyperlink because they redirect you to another link - a search result of that tag.
There are a few things you should know before starting to encompass them:
- Make them easy to write and spell.
- Use hashtags only when they blend in naturally. Don’t mismatch the content of your writing and the hashtag or hashtags you are using.
- Insert your hashtags in the text or add them at the end;
- If you have a public account and you’re using a hashtag, anyone who is searching or tapping on it will be able to see your content as well;
- Type readable and eye-catching hashtag, maybe play with words. This will attract people’s attention;
- Make sure your tweets won’t look spammy. Stay away from over-tagging a tweet or adding them to almost every word;
- Give people reasons to use your hashtags. Either it’s a prize or attention given on Twitter, your followers will be more enthusiastic to use them when they benefit from it;
- Don’t use caps lock for all letters - it will seem that you’re yelling and it’s not the case.
Easy to use, hashtags can make your tweet easier to relate to. In a way, they are kind of buzz words that attract people interested in the topic discussed.
As soon as you start typing in your hashtag, Twitter gives you suggestions that have a lot of followers. You can use hashtags for your post that have a better engagement.
Check out why you should really consider using them regularly in your tweets.
People who have an interest in a particular topic can develop an interest in your brand if you reach this audience through hashtags.
You can create a discussion around your brand and the products and services you offer, encouraging followers to learn more as you promote them.
Many brands are promoting themselves using hashtags to grow their engagement from their followers.
You can do it too. This is a good way for the brand to get involved in online conversations, in different topics, which allows it to associate with shareable moments of your audience.
A great example of hashtags done right is one of Coca Cola’s campaigns.
On Christmas Eve Coca-Cola decided it’s time to tweet about a “gift you’re allowed to open earlier”. It was of course about a bottle of Coke. The hashtags the company used was #ShareACoke and #ChristmasEve.
Known for its positioning towards family and quality time spent with family or with a friend, the tweet was aligned with the company overall strategy, but also with the occasion.
It was posted on time because people started to retweet it. It was aligned with the Christmas spirit and was just perfect to be shared and be seen by friends and family.
By sharing the content through a trendy hashtag, it will be viewed by a larger group than the users who usually follow you.
So, with this tool, the audience you are targeting can grow substantially because anyone who clicks on the trending topic can see your post. And if this post is original and informative, the actions it generates will further increase impressions and comments.
People want to talk about the topics they are attracted to, so you can get involved in Twitter chats through certain hashtags, by targeting the right audience for you.
With a popular hashtag, you can access a receptive audience that is already established and waiting to be engaged.
Let’s just say that Twitter is less welcoming to a hashtag cluttering. Use hashtags only on tweets relevant to the topic.
If you try to get users' attention by using a mismatch between the content of the tweet and the hashtag it shows a lack of professionalism and this will be punished by most readers who are looking for real information on this topic.
Try to keep the number of hashtags in a tweet to less than three. Most of the time it is enough to use just one, especially if it’s a brand hashtag that is part of a campaign.
According to Twitter itself, it’s recommended not to use more than two hashtags, even though nobody stops you from using more.
Tweets that have a single brand tag and a popular tag are very well received and have a high engagement.
Every successful marketing campaign relies on research done right.
To seize what might work for your company, you need to find out what are the trending topics and to create relevant content for that hashtag.
The native Twitter app lets you find what’s hot right now and what are the most discussed topics on the internet. Nonetheless, Twitter has its limits because it only shows snapshots of the top trending topics and not related ones.
No matter the niche you’re in, there is a list of hashtags that can work to better engage with your audience.
According to a Hubspot study recently conducted, the following hashtags get the most likes on a tweet:
And if you’ve wondered what are the ones who spark conversations and attract people, they are the following:
Some of them might overlap with the ones from the previous list, but there are many new ones. If you want to get creative, you can add some questions in your tweets like: “What are your favourite #StephenKingBooks ?”
Note! The hashtags from the lists above might be changing in time as new ones appear, but as a general rule, they tend to give you good results when added in your tweets. Make sure you use the one that fit your purpose.
The trick is to pay attention to the popular hashtags from your industry. For example, here are some of the best travel hashtags.
When setting up your marketing strategy on Twitter, creating your own branded hashtag might seem like a great idea.
Don’t worry if the engagement driven by this hashtag won’t be very encouraging at first. It will have to take some time for people to start using the hashtag.
Branded hashtags can be built communities, differentiate your products from others and add a twist and personality to your posts.
There are two types of hashtags you can create for your brand:
- Always-on hashtags - they are used in all tweets and are mostly associated with a brand mini slogan or even the slogan. They are mainly added to all the tweets. It helps brands to keep tabs of their posts;
- Campaign specific hashtags - have a brief lifespan and are used only for a campaign or promotions.
Before setting up your branded hashtag, make sure nobody else is using it. Look for it in the Twitter search bar.
If anybody else it’s already added it in its campaign, you’ll have trouble explaining your followers which one is actually your message.
Posting tweets and adding relevant hashtags is only the first step. For a slang presence on Twitter, start monitoring your hashtags.
With Socialinsider, you can discover what hashtags are the most engaging on Twitter and which are trending topics you can approach.
When it comes to detangling hashtags engagement, you can track your top hashtags. This is a great opportunity because you’ll know what to use in the future and what works for the brand.
Also, you can measure your hashtag reach on Twitter by getting the number of social media accounts that use your hashtags on Twitter.
Here are a few scenarios on what hashtags to start analyze on Twitter:
- Launching a hashtag campaign:
- Tracking an event on Twitter:
- Measure your brand awareness:
Hashtags are an important marketing tool and their success won’t fade away anytime soon. Use them wisely, and they can propel your Twitter account to new heights.
Make sure you’re using relevant hashtags to get the best results for your brand. Be creative and use hashtags you’ve created, but don’t forget to include some of the trending hashtags as well.
Got any hashtag tricks we haven’t mentioned? Share them with us in the comment section.