Hashtag Campaigns – Do you need them?
January 5, 2021
A B2B guide to maneuvering through social media
Do you recall the last time you were on social media? Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or even the “Gram”? As you may have noticed over the years, all four platforms have been utilizing the hashtag, formerly known as the pound symbol, in their posts.
Have you ever wondered why so many companies, influencers, and regular people post using about 20 or so hashtags?
Keep reading as we dive deep into the social media realm to explain hashtag marketing and how to use it across the most popular platforms for your marketing strategy.
What is a hashtag?
By definition a hashtag is a word or phrase with a # symbol in front of them, making them searchable on social media channels.
Were you on social media when the first hashtag was used? According to Buffer, the hashtag was first used on Twitter on August 23, 2007, by Chris Messina. Ever since then, it has been used all over social media channels to appease viewers who are interested in reading posts about a certain topic.
For example, let’s say you are on Instagram and you are curious to see what images appear for the hashtag “innovation” (#innovation) – you type it into the search bar and the platform then populates the results with a series of popular images with that specific hashtag in its captions.
Hashtags have been used around the world, not only to grab attention for interesting nonsensical topics, but for businesses to promote themselves and interact with their audience as well. I’m sure by now you’ve seen hashtag challenges used by advertisers to get their customers to “promote their gear”. Most of these companies will create a unique hashtag for clients or customers to utilize on their own posts.
These contests or promotions are fairly popular, especially in a B2C industry. However, that doesn’t make it exclusively theirs. B2B companies have been known to utilize hashtag campaigns as well.
Basic Hashtag rules
Here are some basic hashtag rules to consider if you plan on using a few in your next social media posts:
- Always put a # before your chosen keywords – never after the word you want to utilize
- Do not space out keywords or add punctuation or symbols within the hashtag
- Use brief and distinguishable keywords/phrases – don’t use up all your limited characters for the use of one long hashtag
The birthplace of the hashtag.
Hashtags have thrived on this platform for years – Twitter itself even has a feature that promotes the popular or “trending” hashtags being used by the hour. This is important as those who engage in trends can attract a relevant audience who may be interested in what your company has to say.
Remember, Twitter has a limited character space before it automatically turns one tweet into multiple.
As a company here are some tips you can use when it comes to using Twitter and its hashtags:
Use them when tweeting about company related events
If you have an upcoming virtual conference or an event that your company is hosting – this may be a great way to let an audience know of it.
Use keywords like #VirtualConference or #AtlantaTradeShow to let your followers and those who may be following those specific hashtags know that there is an event nearby. This is an easy way to spark curiosity as they may feel prompted to explore your profile and learn about who your company is.
Use them when observing holidays and celebrations
There’s a holiday for almost everything – why not throw your hat into the basket and create fun social media posts with popular relevant hashtags.
While you can use hashtags to commemorate important holidays like #VeteransDays or #NewYears, why not participate in the lesser know holidays like #EntrepreneurDay or #ChocolateChipCookieDay? This can show that your company is not only keeping relevant but also observant to trending cultural festivities. It is also a good way to show off your company culture and encourage engagement.
Promote new products and campaigns with hashtags
The best time to use Twitter hashtags is when your company’s marketing team decides to promote a new product or service. Creating a unique, branded hashtag in your post can drive more visibility to your products and to your company.
Be sure to enlist the help of a graphics designer as a text-alone status update will not cut it. People are attracted to colorful images of what you have to promote.
Use hashtags to show support to your community
Recently many brands on the market have taken to social media to show their stand on public issues and support for non-profit organizations to help better the community. As this is more aligned with company culture rather than sales, it reveals to your target audience that you may not always be about business and that community matters.
Being Twitter savvy may sound tedious but with the right strategies in use, it can prove to be rather fun for you and equally beneficial to your company. Keep these simple rules in mind next time you take to Twitter.
Remember using hashtags allows people outside your friends list to view your post based on the keywords used. This allows your post to receive views, comments and likes.
This increases brand awareness for your company – in some cases, this may be a way for you to meet your next potential lead as well.
Unlike Twitter, LinkedIn does not have a limited character feature on their statuses but keeping posts short and sweet is more likely to keep your readers attention.
Here’s some tips on how to use hashtags on LinkedIn:
Use them in your company’s LinkedIn Profile – In the summary or profile header
This allows for viewers to find your company if they search up this specific keyword. This works well for potential buyers who are looking for people or companies that provide a particular service.
Use them in your status updates and LinkedIn articles – But don’t overdue it, keep a limit of 3-5 per post.
Be sure that when you use them, they look neat and in a structured post. Adding keywords at the end of the article as well allows viewers to be interested in certain keywords to find your work.
Feel free to use hashtags in comments also.
Follow hashtags of personal interest
This may be for your own sake rather than that of the company’s. Following specific hashtags on LinkedIn allows you to stay in the loop of your industry and can help you monitor for any new talent, trends, leads and news of any kind.
Like Twitter and LinkedIn, the use of hashtags allows viewers to search and view your posts based on the keywords utilized. While it does sound simple to copy the same posts across all three platforms, we do not suggest that – take advantage of the platforms that allow you more room for creativity.
Facebook is more sociable whereas LinkedIn is more professional. Here you don’t have to be too serious but almost the same rules applied to LinkedIn, work here as well.
Just be aware that most profiles on Facebook are private, unlike that of Twitter and Instagram – that means if someone with a private profile uses that hashtag, it will not appear publicly on the search page. However, don’t let that stop you from promoting your brand and products on this web platform.
Be sure to make your content for Facebook appropriately, you monitor the use of the hashtag keyword of interest, and you keep an organized structure for your post as well.
Again don’t go crazy with hashtags – maintain a limit of three per post.
Unlike the other platforms, this one actually has a limit on the amount of hashtags you can use. Instagram’s limit for hashtags are 30. That gives you plenty of wiggle room to figure out what keywords you should use in each post.
If you have a business account with Instagram, it is important to utilize the tools available on the platform to understand your audience better. This feature allows you to view who your audience is, the demographics that are tied to the users and how far your posts have reached. This information can be important as it allows you to understand what works and what does not in this platform.
Hashtag Campaign 101: Getting Started
Now that you have a basic understanding of how each platform utilizes their hashtags, you can see that they are all similar. It is time to try your hand at creating a hashtag campaign for your own company. #DigitalMarketing
Step 1: Research your brand and competitors
As part of any project you are about to work on, research is the first step you should take before moving forward with any plans. One of the best ways to generate ideas for a hashtag campaign is to research what your competitors are doing and reviewing your own brand voice.
It is best to gather in a team and figure out what you want your social media presence to be like.
There are some that benefit from to keep the follower’s attention. But from a B2B marketing standpoint, you should stick to the professional look, with the occasional social media posts that are humorous and tasteful.
Step 2: Review end goals of this campaign
Time to question why you want to put yourself through all this in the first place. Are you promoting your new product or software? Are you trying to gain more followers?
Understanding what you want as a result will be a determining factor of how much effort and work you need to put into publishing and engagement.
Step 3: Create a hashtag
Now for the fun part! Creating a unique hashtag to use in your campaign. Remember the basic hashtag rules we’ve mentioned above.
SEMRush provided some further tips to consider when creating a hashtag. Be sure the one you create is:
and most importantly…
Creating one hashtag uniquely your own can be difficult if you are unsure where to start. You may need to gather your marketing team to brainstorm ideas and create one that you believe represents your product and company.
Be sure that what you create resonates with your audience in a way it can generate the end goals you desire.
Step 4: Execute Campaign
Time to get to posting.
Once you have already created the hashtag(s) you want to use for this campaign, bring the team together for a joint project. The best part of a hashtag is its ability to bring people together to create a conversation. Have members of your team or any outside influencers you may know post this select hashtag to help it increase traction online.
If you are open with your customers, use those hashtags to ask open-ended questions on your social platforms. Make it fun to drive engagement and participation. Watch the responses as they can heavily influence how you create your future social media and hashtag campaigns as well.
Step 5: Give it a BOOST
While posting amongst friends or family can gain little traction to your posts, one of the best things you can do to attract a wider audience is to boost it.
There are several different ways you can boost a post. In a B2B and B2C market, the strategies are virtually similar and can be used amongst all platforms that track trending posts.
Utilize User Generated Content
Remember when we mentioned certain companies who allow their audience to promote their gear? You can use this same idea in your social media posts. Ask your clients to send in images of some of your products or branded souvenirs in action to repost or promote on your own social media page.
Create a contest
Make it fun for your followers by giving them the chance to win something exclusively through your company. Most large companies try to give away sporting event tickets, a free iPad, or other promotional gear to spread brand awareness.
Let your audience know that you are doing a #FreeGiveaway and watch your audience members grow.
Use other trending hashtags
Give involved in the conversation!
Gaining traffic doesn’t happen overnight from a few social media posts. Social media is seen as a community where you can provide input and voice.
Browse through the trending topics to see tweets or posts from other companies you can like, comment, or retweet about. Be sure that when you do so, you stay away from controversial topics and do not post anything offensive.
Utilize your graphic designer
Bring in your best graphic designer to assist with social media. People love colorful and informative images on their newsfeed. Try having your graphic designer create advertisements, infographics and branded images for you to post on your social media platforms regularly.
Remember to stick to your strategies!
Creating a social media marketing plan is the key to opening new horizons in the virtual world. As much fun as creating, posting and interacting with an audience can be, be sure it is part of your plan to do so. Your end goal is to increase your brand awareness through social means and bring exposure to your service and products so it reaches the right target audience.
Be sure you keep these hashtags in mind next time you are posting to social media.
#business #marketing #ecommerce #b2bmarketing #digitalmarketing #entrepreneur #sales #branding #smallbusiness #technology #wholesale #covid #socialmedia #socialmediamarketing #startup #businessowner #design #leadgeneration #contentmarketing #tech #b2bsales #networking #techno #advertising #love #instagram #marketplace #bhfyp
Ready to step up your hashtag game? Reach out to our team to learn how we can better your social media marketing strategies. #b2bsocialmarketing