What is a Hashtag?
You have seen it. The pound symbol (#) followed by catchy phrase or keyword. This symbol is utilized to indicate keywords, phrases in a tweet or other social media platforms to categorize messages or topics.
The History of the Hashtag
Originally, the hashtag was created in the Twittersphere in the summer of 2007. People have been using the hashtag on Twitter since to organize conversations, tweet at social gatherings and engage with the masses in conversations. Hashtags have since then also marked topics of conversation that are “trending”. But Twitter is not the only social platform anymore to use hashtags and marketers have caught on to the awareness that hashtags can bring for their brand.
Choosing a Hashtag for Your Brand.
There are a few things to consider when choosing a hashtag to raise brand awareness. Here are a few tips to help you brainstorm for your hashtag campaign.
#1: Why choose a hashtag, which hashtag to choose?
In the development of your brand awareness campaign through the use of hashtags it is important to ask yourself, why a hashtag? Well, brands use hashtags mostly on Twitter and recently Instagram to start a discussion centered around a campaign, event, or product or to get situated into already ongoing conversations. Find out what your goal of the hashtag is and then choose one that is right for your brand. Make sure your hashtag has value and is unique, stay away from simplicity.
#2 Choose Something That is Easy to Remember.
HBO does a great example of using hashtags on Twitter. For example, their hit show Game Of Thrones’ hashtag is #GoT its very short and easy to remember because it is an acronym. ABC networks did the same thing when promoting their show Dancing With the Stars by using #DWTS as their hashtags.
Everything being said in the Twitter atmosphere about Dancing With the Stars was easily catalogued using the four-letter hashtag. When considering a hashtag for your company, brand or campaign, keep in mind that people are constantly being exposed to a plethora of hashtags and it is crucial that yours stands out in the crowd but is also easy to remember.
#3 Go Beyond Twitter.
Although the hashtag trend was born and is still well alive on Twitter, other social media platforms have began to adopt this concept to their networks. For example, Instagram. Instagram has began to catalogue photos in the same way that Twitter catalogs conversations. Not only does Instagram use this to put photos in a category, it engages users to see one another’s photos and discover new people to follow.
This concept is great for Instagram because people are typically very engaged in visual stimuli. Therefore, if your brand can place the effort to use their hashtag not only on Twitter but on Instagram the results can have exponentially greater results. Urban Outfitters has been using hashtags in their campaigns very successfully.
What Urban Outfitters has done is that they will pick an outfit and post it on their Instagram and use hashtags to attract users looking for particular items or trends. Urban Outfitters has also used to hashtags to have contests and giveaways, proving it to be a great marketing tool for their brand.
Hashtags can certainly raise brand awareness and be a great marketing tool in the social media world. However, keep in mind that moderating the use of a brand’s hashtag or what people can say about a company or brand is not entirely in the control of the marketer. These are risks that need to be taken if deciding to go with a hashtag marketing campaign.