Smoking Hashtags: How To Use Hashtags Effectively For Your Marketing Campaigns

The first hashtag was brought forth as a novel idea by Chris Messina in 2007. As most initial good ideas go – it was rejected by Twitter. #Fail

No worries – Chris is doing just fine with a new company.

  • So what makes this symbol so special and why is everyone obsessed with it? 
  • Why are marketers hopping on the hashtag bandwagon?
  • Lets look at how they work for marketers and then review some easy tips for planning.

 What’s a Hashtag you ask? (Newbies please read. Oldies move on.)

A hashtag is a pound sign (#), but it’s also used on Twitter to categorize messages.
According to Twitter, hashtag is defined as follows:
 
hashtag definition
 
 
Marketers are using hashtags for all kinds of campaigns. The main reason is it is inexpensive and it becomes a unique identifier in a world of chaos on the web.  Hashtags categorize your subject or topic you want searched on Twitter.

“Hashtags can localize your campaigns”

If you want people to search for a digital event in New York you might put #DigitalEventNY or #DigitalNY. Hashtags can localize your campaigns by attracting people in a geographic area.
 
Being unique with at #topic is critical for people to find your specific topic. Then they can have a conversation just on that topic. If the term is to broad like “Digital” see what the results result in.
But if you add #DigitalmobileNY the results are different. You can see my result as I had tweeted earlier.

Some great #Hashtag campaigns

  • Currently Oscar Meyer is running a campaign driven by Twitter hashtag campaign called #awakentobacon  I wrote about this in a past blog and it is one of the funniest and creative campaigns.
  • Hashtag games, those invitations to wordplay that proliferate the Twitterverse and keep Twitter users obsessed for hours, may well be Hollywood’s next idea factory. As hashtag gamers know, the drive to outdo one’s friends by coming up with the most undeniably clever twist on an element of pop culture can become an intellectually exhilarating obsession. Now, the fast-moving smart aleck virtual repartee has led to the green light on three new movie properties. V for Vasectomy and Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Kidney Stone are 2 favorites
  • Jimmy Fallon has changed marketing campaigns over the past couple years. His hashtag Game is an excellent example. He puts a term out there in the beginning of the week, people tweet about it using the hashtag and then he picks a winner. For example he might say #firstkiss and people wrote in about past “Kisses” Brilliant

 Few tips when setting up your campaign

#1: Choose Something Unique

As a marketer, you want to be able to reach your community with the use of hashtags, especially during events, webinars or Twitter chats.

#2: Choose Something Easy to Remember

When choosing a hashtag, it’s important to make sure that your hashtag is easy for users to remember. With thousands of hashtags roaming the social media universe, the last thing a business wants to do is create a hashtag that is hard to spell or pronounce. 

#3: Use the Hashtag on Multiple Social Media Channels

As you work toward using hashtags try to adopt it on multiple channels.
Although the use of hashtags may have started on Twitter, they are now used across multiple social media channels including Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest. 

#4: Search for the Hashtag Before You Use It

The worst thing that can happen when using a hashtag is to realize after it’s tweeted that the same hashtag is used for an entirely different topic.

Funny video of Jimmy Fallon and Jonah Hill using hashtags in normal conversation

 
Go forth and Tweet your #Hashtagsbypaulkaiser

About the author

An experienced and innovative digital marketer that has an outstanding background in all facets of multi-channel marketing that ranges from strategic planning, brand marketing, social media enthusiast to digital consulting for business.