Is your hashtag strategy wandering aimlessly through the Twitter desert? If your business isn’t using hashtags in daily tweets, you’re missing out on a significant opportunity to expand your reach and make your conversations more relevant. If you want to reach Twitter users outside of your circle of followers, then a hashtag strategy is a must.
Including a popular hashtag in each tweet increases your brand’s exposure to everyone on Twitter who is also talking about or following the topic. But you don’t want to toss just any old hashtag in there. Creating a hashtag strategy involves knowing how to find and capitalize on trending and relevant hashtags. Here are some tools to help you along the way.
Get on the trend bandwagon
When ideas and topics are trending, you can take advantage of real-time marketing by using these trending hashtags. But it has to still be relevant to your brand or the post. For example, Doritos promoted its own product by capitalizing on the release of the Sharknado 3 movie. Here’s a glimpse of the humorous tweet:
— Doritos (@Doritos) July 23, 2015
While the Sharknado 3 movie has almost nothing to do with chips – except perhaps for the fact that people might eat chips while watching it – Doritos was able to use the image to replicate a shark’s bite out of the chip, making the hashtag very relevant. There are several tools you can use to identify trending hashtags that might work for your brand. Try the Twitter platform itself, which offers accurate data; however, it only lists the top 10 hashtags trending at any given moment. Other third-party platforms also help businesses identify trending topics, such as Trendsmap, which features location-based trends, and RiteTag.
Promote popular hashtags
When trending hashtags don’t fit your brand’s promotional plans, consider working with popular hashtags. These are terms that have been popular or perhaps are even scoring high in terms of activity, but aren’t necessarily trending. A few popular hashtags that dominate the Twitterscape now are #TBT (throwback Thursday), #MCM (man crush Monday), #WCW (woman crush Wednesday), or #fangirl. The possibility of connecting your brand’s promotion to a popular hashtag is more likely, and the strategy will still help to expand your reach. Look to tools like Hashtagify, Hashtags.org, and What the Trend to identify popular tags that are relevant for your business.
Create your own hashtags
Can’t find a trending or popular hashtag to use? Sometimes, the best hashtag strategy involves coming up with and spreading your own hashtag. Promotions and contests are great occasions in which to create your own hashtag, generating excitement and energy around them. Mashable, a global media company, started its own hashtag, #MashReads, to promote the various writers that join its monthly social book club.
Tracking your hashtags
With your hashtag strategy in full swing, your team can gather around the engagement that’s taking place on Twitter and watch the magic happen. Of course, there’s a tool for that. Keyhole provides users with a visual display of their most prominent hashtags and then related but less popular topics. Users can click on any of the hashtags on the screen to find out more about that particular topic, and any words related to it. Another hashtag research site, Tagboard provides users with a “board” that tracks a specific hashtag so your team can see all of the activity related to that topic.
Give your Twitter campaign the drink it needs to relieve its thirst for relevancy and engagement. Hashtags provide your business with a distinct edge in Twitter marketing results. Before you set about using hashtags in your campaign, get familiar with the tools available for researching popular and trending topics, create your own hashtags, and then track activity around relevant ideas.