Hashtag campaigns – make it awesome, not silly

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Having gained enormous popularity on Twitter in recent years, hashtag campaigns are now being adopted by virtually all major social media outlets. And in the world of content marketing and promotion, hashtags can be a goldmine for promoting products, events, or even an entire barnd. But beware – your choice of hashtag can very quickly and easily make or break your company’s image. However, when done right, successful hashtag campaigns are well worth the time, effort, and money that you choose to spend. Check out the following tips and tricks for creating a winning hashtag campaign:

The simpler, the better

Are thousands of Twitter users going to remember a hashtag like #comebybigbobsburgersforafreeburgerandshakeeverytuesday, let alone bother to type it into their own posts? Would you? If you said no, you aren’t alone. People are, in general, fairly lazy. So remember to keep the hashtag that you choose for your hashtag campaign short, simple, and logical. If you’ve created a brief but catchy hashtag, but it makes no sense in relation to the product, business, or event that you are trying to promote, it’s time to head back to the old drawing board for another try.

Figure out what already interests them

Is there a certain product that keeps popping up in your audience members’ tweets and conversations? Do many people in your target audience feel strongly about a certain project, issue, or cause? Take these popular ideas and concerns and incorporate them into your hashtag campaign, thus using your audience’s own interests to engage them in a more personal, reciprocal type of communication. For example, do people who tweet favorably about your company’s new dye-free detergent also often tweet about their allergies? If so, find a way to connect their allergy problems to your hashtag campaign.

Encourage audience participation

If there is one thing people love to do on social media, it is voicing their opinions about every topic imaginable. You can use this compulsion to your advantage by inviting and encouraging your audience to voice their relevant opinions and experiences on the topic you have chosen for your hashtag campaign. For instance, if your new product is a device to ensure the safe sleeping position of small infants, encourage audience members to upload photos of their own sleeping babies, along with your chosen hashtag. Just remember to also engage participants in two-way conversation, by commenting on photos and responding to questions or comments about your product within as short a timeframe as possible, in order to keep your campaign’s momentum up.

Break down the barriers

If your hashtag campaign involves some type of contest, make your contest entry process as easy as possible for your audience. However, you should keep in mind that the overall purpose of the contest is to benefit your business or event by extending its reach on social media outlets, resulting in both an increase in exposure and active followers. A very simple way to make everyone happy is by making the conditions for contest entry mutually beneficial. For example, by following you on Twitter, or liking your Facebook page, and then commenting with their own photos or opinions and adding your chosen hashtag, audience members aren’t asked to devote too much time or effort to entering the contest. Likewise, your business or event page/profile, as well as your hashtag campaign, enjoy exponential increases in traffic and audience engagement.

Keep it real

People can generally tell the difference between forced or contrived marketing campaigns and more genuine types of audience engagement. You want your hashtag campaign to be in the latter category. One way to do this is by showcasing real social media users and their personal, unique interactions with your brand and/or hashtag campaign. For instance, say that your business is a car dealership, and you are running a contest to win a new car alongside your hashtag campaign. One way to give your hashtag campaign a genuine feel is to create a social media landing page, which features images of participants in your contest next to their old, broken-down vehicles and challenges new entrants to find even more new and unique ways to incorporate your chosen hashtag into their photos.

Utilize traditional media sources

Perhaps the best way to utilize traditional media sources in the case of hashtag campaigns would be to incorporate information about your campaign, as well as a call to action, into a television commercial or a billboard. How big or small you choose to go is constrained only by your budget, but even small businesses can benefit greatly from this strategy. Like they say, sometimes you have to spend money to make money. By prominently featuring your hashtag, website/social media page address, and campaign details in a way that grabs viewers’ attention, you are sure to boost interest in your campaign and traffic to your page.

Have we left out a great hashtag campaign idea that helped take your business to the next level? We would love for you to share your experience with us!

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