Mo’ Thoughts…On Hashtags
Feb 11, 2016
Stuff happens and we have thoughts on it. Each month, our very own Monique “Mo” Simpson will bring you her thoughts on everything from social media trends and misses to brands and celebrity influencers. First up, good looking sports officials and hashtags.
This weekend a little event called Super Bowl 50 took place. It was filled with spectacular plays, big hits, dance-offs, commercials and one hot referee.
While hardcore fans were cheering on their teams, Twitter was busy discussing Clete Blakeman (aka the ref in the white hat) and tagging their tweets #hotref to the point of it becoming a trending topic. Clete extended his 15 minutes of fame with an appearance on NBC’s Today Show along with many other media and press mentions.
This is the type of attention brands dream (and pay) for, so how can you get people using and engaging with your hashtags in the same way?
Maintaining your brand’s social channels may already seem like a huge undertaking, but the good news is there are several small actions that can have a big impact on helping to reach your social media goals. Hashtags are the easiest place to get started, so we’ll focus there.
Why are hashtags so great? Well, one tiny addition to your posts can increase reach, engagement levels and introduce new followers to your content. The best thing is it only takes a few seconds once you have a solid hashtag strategy nailed down.
Unfortunately, there are a few common misuse camps that people fall into, causing them to miss out on an easy win.
ASK YOURSELF 3 QUESTIONS:
- Is someone already talking about this? Conduct a search to see what the top posts are and what related hashtags are most used with those conversations. It’s important to really take your time in the beginning, make sure the conversation is truly related to what you are talking about and something you’d want to be associated with.
- What’s trending? See what is happening in real-time and see if there are any conversations your brand would benefit from being part of. If the answer is yes this is an opportunity to communicate a point of view and express your brand voice. Trending topics are great because a lot of people are monitoring the conversation and will engage with relevant, standout content.
- Is this worthy of a new movement? (Will anyone but me care?) Sometimes you really are starting something new — maybe you’re just starting your brand, holding a contest, or hosting an event. These are all good reasons to start a new hashtag. As long as you think things through and identify a potential audience, this is an opportunity to categorize your content and make it easy for people to discover and explore.
A FEW ADDITIONAL TIPS:
- Adjust for the platform. Don’t be afraid to use different hashtags based on what makes sense for the platform. Maintain your core hashtag, but adjust and constantly revisit your approach to make sure there isn’t a new trend that you can be part of.
- Look for reoccurring hashtags. There are general reoccurring hashtags like #TBT and most industries, groups and topics have their own reoccurring hashtag that you should be participating in to reach your core audience.
- Leave room. When using hashtags on Twitter which (for now) limits your character count it is important to leave room to include hashtags. This is also a reason for paying close attention to the length of your brands core hashtag and avoiding anything too long.
With these simple considerations you can be sure to get more eyes on your posts and combined with solid content can result in an engaged community.
What have you found is the best approach for hashtags? What other topics do you want to see a Mo Thoughts on? Let me know on Twitter @mothoughts where I tweet about brands, pop culture (and other randomness).
About Mo: I’m obsessed with pop culture, brands and trendspotting. I’m constantly looking for new places to connect with audiences. I begin each day with a healthy dose of YouTube videos.