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Creating & Implementing Effective Hashtags

Northsail Sets the Bar for Quality Software Solutions

If there was one thing that we could say that sets Northsail apart from our competitors, it's our unwavering commitment to exceeding our clients' expectations.

We refuse to produce anything less than top-quality, which is why we're known for turning down projects that we don't believe we can deliver to our high standards. We make it our mission to ensure every client is happy, and that their projects are always delivered on-time, on-spec, and on-budget.

We're also invested in helping our clients expand their marketing techniques, as well as learn new and exciting ways to design their marketing strategies.

One technique that's become increasingly popular over the last several years, due to their prevalence in Social Media Marketing, is the use of hashtags.

But what are hashtags? How can creating hashtags be beneficial to your business? #LetsDiscuss

What are Hashtags?

First, let's talk about where the name hashtag comes from:

At their core, hashtags are a fantastic form of Interactive Marketing, which encourages strong customer engagement, because they are both searchable and clickable.

For those who have no experience with hashtags, these useful tools can help your customers discover your brand when they're searching for a certain type of product, service, or content.

They're most prominently found on certain social media platforms: Instagram, Twitter, Tik Tok, and Pinterest. However, they can be used on other platforms, like Facebook, Twitch, and Snapchat, though it can be more difficult finding ways to use hashtags effectively in these spaces.

Think of them as an interactive way for you to share a concept with your customers that connects your business, your brand, and your core values together in a single, concise message.

How are Hashtags Useful?

If you're a newly established brand, hashtags are a great way to get your brand in front of potential customers on social media. It's also a wonderful way to make a large number of clients aware of your promotions quickly, and without incurring additional costs.

Most importantly, they add relevance to whatever your post is pushing; especially when they directly reference or include your products, services, or brand.

Generic, random hashtags will do nothing to help you; unless you create hashtags that can be connected to these, which assists in building a sense of unison within your campaign.

5 Tips for Creating Hashtags

There are tons of different ways that you can try to create hashtags that you can use to your advantage. However, there are some hashtag suggestions that you should always keep in mind, no matter which type of campaign you're trying to run, or what your brand, product, or service might be.

Here are some hashtag tips to help you get off on the right foot, when you're designing your next campaign hashtags:

1.) Keep it Concise

One of the biggest mistakes that you can make when you're trying to create a successful hashtag strategy is designing them too long.

#GoOutsideAndHaveAFunDayWithYourFamily feels lumpy, hard to read, and unnecessarily wordy. Creating hashtags like these are sure to turn customers away, rather than draw them in, because it makes the message feel confusing, disorganized, and amateurish.

#OutdoorFamilyFun is a much smoother, shorter hashtag to share the exact same thought, with far fewer words. Hashtag engagement is much more effective when you keep it short and easy to understand. If you want it to reach a larger audience, it can't be excessively convoluted or wordy.

Regardless of what you're aiming to promote through your hashtag search, be sure to keep things as clear and concise as possible. Otherwise, you could be doing your campaigns more harm than good.

2.) Focus on Your Industry

Don't go adding a ton of different hashtags that have nothing to do with the promotion, product, etc. that you're trying to put on center stage. Relevant hashtags create relevant posts, which are easily the most effective usage of hashtags.

Overloading a post with dozens of hashtags per post only succeeds in muddling the message that you're trying to convey to your target audience. 3-4 tactfully created hashtags are much more effective than 10-12 reused, generic hashtags.

Additional hashtags above your actual event hashtag should always add value to your hashtag strategy - otherwise, it only convolutes your marketing campaigns.

As we mentioned earlier, relevance is also absolutely crucial to a successful hashtag campaign.

#OutdoorFamilyFun that we already discussed would be fitting for lots of industries: camping equipment, outdoor furniture, winter gear, outdoor sporting goods and toys, even accessories for outdoor eating. Yet, it would be really inappropriate to use this hashtag, if you're in the business of selling flooring or ceiling fans.

You can stretch connections a little between values and industries, but when you begin using hashtags that feel completely out of place with your brand, it can be damaging to the credibility of the image you’re trying to establish for your business.

3.) Pick the Right Platform for Your Campaign

Different social media platforms require different types of thinking when it comes to creating hashtags. The biggest difference between running campaigns on different platforms, are the volume of hashtags that people expect to see.

For instance, Instagram allows up to 30 hashtags. However, maximizing the amount of the hashtags isn't the same as effectively using hashtags. You'll have much better results with 5-10 carefully chosen or created hashtags, than with two dozen less relevant choices.

On the other hand, Twitter posts only allow for 280 characters, and Twitter recommends having no more than two hashtags in any post. This seriously limits your volume, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Taking the time to choose two exciting, appropriate hashtags for your campaign is still better than ten hashtags that are barely relevant.

So, if you have a lot of fitting hashtags you'd like to use, consider a campaign on Instagram or Pinterest. If you've only got a couple of really strong hashtags, consider Twitter or even Facebook; where often, less is more effective.

4.) Make it Exciting

When you're considering ideas forBrand Marketing, creating hashtags are a fantastic way to engage customers, but hashtags only work, if you can make it exciting.

Part of establishing that excitement is following Tip #1. Be short, sweet, and to the point.

Another huge factor in building excitement is the interactive elements of the hashtag. Ideally, a strong hashtag campaign will have clients using the hashtag you created in their own posts.

You can do this by running hashtag contests that encourage direct involvement on behalf of the customer. Here customers show off your product/brand in clever, entertaining photos on their own feeds, and then use your hashtag as an eligibility requirement for entry into the contest.

This exponentially increases the reach of your campaign, and continues expanding, as long as you can keep customers active and participating. Not only that, but as more customers use your hashtags in their own social media, the more Brand Affinity you'll create as well.

5.) Be Unique

Yes, you can reuse hashtags. However, that isn't necessarily the best choice. If you're going to create a hashtag that customers are going to associate directly with your brand, product, or service, you don't want to end up piggybacking on a popular hashtag your competition is already using.

Used effectively, branded hashtags can also work well alongside other catchy hashtags.

Take the time to sit down and think about what makes your brand, and the things you offer, different from your competition. Don't put a potential hashtag into effect, unless you've considered these questions:

Do you provide the best customer service in your industry? Are your prices the most affordable around? Is your business deeply involved in community organizations? What core values does your brand have, which other businesses don't?

All of these factors need to be taken into account when you're creating a new, effective hashtag. If you are having trouble thinking up a new type of hashtag, don't be afraid to turn to social platforms for help.

Don’t be afraid to ask your social media users to suggest some niche hashtags that you can use.

Not only will a social media post bring more attention to your brand, but a single post can reach hundreds or thousands of social media users, if done effectively. That's a massive audience, who could offer some content ideas way outside your normal range of thinking.

If you absolutely must use a hashtag that's been circulating already, try to use campaign hashtags that aren't actively being utilized by your competition, and pair them with the new hashtags you've created as part of your campaign.


Northsail Appreciates the Value of Interactive Social Media Marketing

Planning ahead is one of our specialties. We believe in building strong, open communication with all of our clients. This allows us to build great relationships with our clients, which last long after their project has been delivered.

Part of having good foresight means taking the time to give people an opportunity to test out new features, services, and tools, before they're released into the marketplace. This is exactly what we're doing right now with our new Horizon growth marketing service.

This incredibly helpful service allows you to quickly and easily build high-performance landing pages and microsites, without having to turn to a developer. It also allows you to effortlessly organize and implement contests, giveaways, and sweepstakes.

Sounds pretty amazing, doesn't it? Well, you can try it out for yourself by signing up today. All we ask is that you take a few minutes to let us know what you think once you've had a chance to try it out.

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