The Hopeful Hashtag

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Written by
John Gamble
So Interactive Copywriter

At So Interactive one of the key tasks we face on a day-to-day basis is the creation of effective hashtags. As social media has matured, so has the general understanding of the different features and processes of each social channel. But, for many people, the hashtag has remained a mysterious, yet necessary requirement for a campaign.

This means that hashtags, for many, still fall into the same category as SEO; another challenging conundrum where creativity, tech requirement and a mini-study in human psychology meet. And, at its absolute core that is really what a hashtag is, it’s SEO for the micro-communication world of social media. Your hashtag is really, in its simplest definition, a keyword or search term that will help your tweets or Instagram posts get found. That’s right, the only places where hashtags are worth using are Twitter and Instagram, studies have shown that hashtags actually negatively impact on Facebook engagement, so keep that in mind when prepping your hashtags and posts.

The central question with regards to creating hashtags is: “Should I come up with something new or do I try and piggy back on something that already exists?” In most cases, for brands, the best policy is to create your own, define your campaign and base the hashtag on the campaign tagline or something inspired by the tagline. Also, be sure you use it through the line, we often see a break between digital and traditional advertising because a brand has different agencies for each environment and so the hashtag is forced to live in the social space only, instead of being properly utilised on television end titles, outdoor and radio.

Piggybacking a trending hashtag only really scores points if the brand is able to comment, real time, on a trending topic which is clearly related to brand, but this is a tricky one and more often than not brands should avoid piggy backing unless there is clear relevance and association. Millennials are unforgiving when the relevance of a tag is low, and they are the ones using Twitter and Instagram actively.

One thing that is making the dissemination of hashtags easier on Twitter is the use of promoted tweets and trends. This allows for quicker ownership and pushing the hashtag into the public domain more visibly. But bottom line is, the creation of hashtags needs to be relevant, short and owned. Here is a great infographic by David Cohen at Adweek, with some excellent insights into creating and using hashtags.

View the Original Article on Adweek

If you are looking to change your social media campaigns from good to great, contact So Interactive and let us help you create that game-changing #hashtag. View our work