#HashtagsIn2013: A Hashtag How-To for Businesses

Tomeeka Farrington
Tomeeka Farrington Principal, Spotlight Communications

Posted on March 21st 2013

#HashtagsIn2013: A Hashtag How-To for Businesses

hashtag strategy

If your company regularly uses Twitter, then you know how crucial hashtagging is to a successful social media campaign. Unfortunately, Twitter’s popular method of interest-driven communication is about to have a contender in the ring it didn’t expect: Facebook. But don’t get too excited just yet; the social media giant is planning to unveil hashtagging capabilities on its site in the not-so-distant future. Coupled with an updated News Feed interface, this could be the push Facebook needed to catapult itself into the advertising go-to for the digital age.

How can your business make the best use of its hashtags? Simple. #Don’t #Hashtag #Every #Word. Every social media maven knows that populating a Tweet or a photo on Instagram with every other word hashtagged is the PR intern mistake of the year. Hashtags should #looklikethis (no spaces!) and if you want to drive your point home, use capital letters to make your tag #EasytoRead.

Starting a hashtagged phrase is a great way to gain new customers.  It also allows companies a way to drive customers to their business through creating unique tags that represent their brand or message. Creating a catchy hashtag campaign, such as Paramount Farm’s use of #CrackinStyle during its ad in the 2013 Superbowl is a great example of unique hashtagging opportunities. This will ensure that your message isn’t lost in the hashtag spam, thus cluttering the commonly used tags for your industry.

Hashtags are a great way for companies to give further insight into an image or product. They allow for categorization, interest honing, and drive targeted consumer purchases. Think of hashtags as warm leads. If a tag is used properly, you will find that clients found it through researching the broad scope of your product or service. (Examples Include: #Tech, #Apparel, #Outdoors, #Gaming, etc.) Using hashtags to draw attention to a particular part of an image, spec of a product or app, or new design is ideal. You can keep hashtags broad spectrum or niche to your industry—the opportunities are endless! Be forewarned that many popular tags are, as we said—overpopulated. This is why creating a unique hashtag specific to your brand, and encouraging your users to use it is crucial to success.

Facebook aims to reportedly group user interests through the use of hashtags, but its ultimate goal is to get them to sell ads. Using hashtags to drive attention to a promoted Facebook post will be a great way to gain attention when hashtags finally roll out on your client’s news feed.

Keeping your hashtag campaign thriving in 2013 is simple if you follow these steps:

  • #KeepItShort – Nobody wants to see a #Hashtagthatlookslikethis. If you must use a longer message, make use of capital letters to separate words and enable readability.
  • Create a message – What do you want your clients to takeaway? Craft a hashtag around a particular message. Make yourself unique.
  • Don’t stay with the popular crowd – It’s easy for your social media post to get lost in the shuffle if you use a well populated hashtag.

What has worked for your business in the world of hashtagging for social media campaigns? What hasn’t? Do you have a hashtag nightmare to share? We’d love to hear your story! Connect with us in the comments below. 

Tomeeka Farrington

Tomeeka Farrington

Principal, Spotlight Communications

Tomeeka Far­ring­ton is prin­ci­pal & founder of Spot­light Com­mu­ni­ca­tions. She has been hailed by The Boston Her­ald as “Boston’s Pub­lic Rela­tions Princess,” awarded the Boston Busi­ness Journal’s pres­ti­gious “40 under 40” award and she was named one of “30 Extra­or­di­nary Bosto­ni­ans” by the Boston Event Guide. Tomeeka fre­quently speaks to groups which have included the fol­low­ing: the Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices; Har­vard Uni­ver­sity; the Boston Globe; Hub­Spot; the Ad Club Foun­da­tion; Boston Col­lege; Bran­deis Uni­ver­sity; Tufts Uni­ver­sity; the Mass Bar Asso­ci­a­tion; and UMass Boston.

As prin­ci­pal, Tomeeka spends much of her time trav­el­ing and edu­cat­ing orga­ni­za­tions how to use social media mar­ket­ing tools to help grow their busi­ness. She has launched sev­eral inno­v­a­tive social media cam­paigns for Spotlight’s clients, includ­ing the Mass­a­chu­setts Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion Aero­nau­tics, Depart­ment of Health and Human Ser­vices Mater­nal and Child Health Bureau, in Wash­ing­ton, DC and the Prostate Health Edu­ca­tion Net­work (PHEN).

Tomeeka is a 2006 grad­u­ate of the UMass Boston Emerg­ing Lead­ers Pro­gram (ELP), and was appointed by Gov­er­nor Deval Patrick to the Board of the Mass­a­chu­setts Children’s Trust Fund. She holds a Bach­e­lor of Arts degree in Com­mu­ni­ca­tions from Boston Col­lege, and a Mas­ter of Arts in Broad­cast Jour­nal­ism and Pub­lic Affairs from Amer­i­can Uni­ver­sity in Wash­ing­ton D.C.

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Comments

SocialSesame
Posted on March 21st 2013 at 6:30PM

This is great. We try and create new #Hastags for all of our clients, usually based on a campaign, USP or something fun people will remember. We'll keep this bit in our toolbox too for future use. 

Tomeeka Farrington
Posted on March 21st 2013 at 8:23PM

David, thanks so much for your feedback! It's great to here that you've already got #hashtags down and actively use them for your client campaigns. We update our blog "Roxie's Corner," on a weekly basis, with similar social media posts and articles. Definitely follow us here too: http://www.spotlightcommunications.net/blog/.

 

Flogiston
Posted on March 22nd 2013 at 6:13PM

This should be spread out over the world, since I've seen hashtags covering the internet without any meaning. People should be aware that this sign means something important, other than to create mayhem on 'quotes'.

Tomeeka Farrington
Posted on March 24th 2013 at 8:40PM

Thanks for your comments, Paul! I completely agree, hashtags should help to connect people with similar interests, as well as guide people through conferences and events. Thanks so much for checking out our article! 

aspilialleli
Posted on March 26th 2013 at 2:39AM

“#Don’t #Hashtag #Every #Word.” – Haha! You got me here, Tomeeka! Despite the fact that people know a lot about the fundamentals of spamming these days, I still can’t understand why there are still posts with hashtags everywhere. Every individual who keeps on doing that must definitely read your post. I do hope this reaches them. They have a lot to learn, even just the basics of social media management.