Hashtags can be a powerful part of your marketing strategy. When used correctly, you can contribute to wider conversations, be found, and help people dig deeper into a topic. And they're no longer just a feature to use on Twitter! Hashtags have also become an important way to connect conversations on most of the major social media channels including Instagram, Facebook, Vine, Google+ and Pinterest.
When you think strategically about how you plan to use hashtags, you can create a lot of value in your content. At Onsharp, we recommend creating a simple strategy document that captures the hashtags you plan to use. This way, anyone creating content in your organization can be working from the same list. Here’s why:
- Consistency matters
If you don’t use the same hashtag every time, it doesn’t work. Hashtags are keywords connecting messages. If you vary your hashtags even slightly, some messages get connected with one keyword and some with another.
At Onsharp, we use the hashtag #ONmoments to connect moments where someone made a difference, or to express gratitude. We deliberately used the plural hashtag to represent the collection of all of these moments. But, to keep them connected, it’s important that people remember to include the “s.” It’s too easy to have minor variations, so you need to make it simple for individuals to be consistent.
- Connect your messages
Developing a set of branded hashtags can help connect messaging important to your organization. This can be an effective way to give people a comprehensive sense of what you do. For example, the American Red Cross in North Dakota and South Dakota uses the hashtag #RedCrossDakotas consistently across their messaging for multiple regions. When you search for this hashtag, you'll find a beautiful vision of the important work they do across the region.
Branded hashtags can also connect users to more specific conversations:
- Concordia Language Villages has established hashtags for each village (such as #CLVSupSoguiHosu and #CLVSalolampi).
- Ronald McDonald House of the Red River Valley uses #VolunteerRMHC to recognize volunteers, and #PopTabsforRMHC to promote recycling as a way to raise money for the organization.
- PRX Performance lets visitors follow along on their nation-wide tour with the hashtag #PRxTour.
- Onsharp gives people a sense of what it’s like to work on our team with the hashtag #TeamOnsharp.
- Join industry conversations
Connecting to industry conversations can extend the reach of your messaging. Be on the lookout for industry chats and hashtags that can connect you to a broader conversation.
- Concordia Language Villages identified #langchat as a hashtag that can connect them to a weekly chat of language teachers.
- PRX Performance uses the hashtag #crossfit to connect to a wider industry conversation.
- CareerFM uses employment-specific hashtags such as #HigherEdJobs and #ITJobs to increase reach.
- Get involved in local conversations
Don’t forget to join local conversations to connect with individuals and topics in your area.
- In the city of Fargo, the hashtag #ILoveFargo has quickly gained popularity for people expressing their love for the city and community events.
- American Red Cross Dakotas has captured active hashtags in the communities served (including #DetroitLakes, #Yankton, and #JamestownND).
- CareerFM uses hashtags to connect job postings to their respective cities like #Fargo and #Moorhead.
- Use trends creatively
Trending hashtags connect people around a theme. From #TransformationTuesday to #ThrowbackThursday, thousands of people are posting photos, stories, and other content with trending hashtags. Trending hashtags allow you to add creativity and share some of your culture with your posts.
Implementing a well-crafted hashtag strategy can be a powerful part of your content marketing strategy. Ready to get started? Download our hashtag strategy template and start creating your own hashtag strategy. Not sure how to get started? Get in touch with us and let us help!
And if you want to save this information for later, download the slides below.
This blog was written by Kirsten Jensen, former Director of Digital Marketing at Onsharp.