By Liz Papagni, Published October 29, 2014
Hashtags are probably nothing new to you, especially if you’ve been using social media for marketing in any way. If you don’t have a serious strategy for branding with hashtags in place, however, you might not get any benefits. Why would you bother with hashtagged phrases if they’re not helping your brand? Besides appearing culturally relevant, of course.
The hashtag is there to set you apart from other brands, to help you craft your brand story, and to help your fans find and follow you. Do you keep these things in mind when you’re posting to social media? If not, you may need a crash course in hashtagging for your brand.
Benefits Of Hashtagging Your Brand
Perhaps the biggest benefit of branding with hashtags is that potential new followers can find mentions of your company across social media platforms. By encouraging your current fans and advocates to tag any mentions of your brand with your own hashtag, you set yourself apart from other similar companies. Any Twitter or Instagram user who is intrigued by a post that mentions your brand can then click the hashtag and read what countless others have said about your business. So, how does it work? Let’s take a look.
Hashtags To Fit Your Brand Story
In some cases, simply choosing to add the hashtag to your brand name is an excellent choice. What if other companies have already claimed that hashtag as their own? You can’t simply adopt the tag anyway and piggyback on another brand’s success.
There’s at least one more case when simply tagging your company name won’t do. When your company name is a group of last names—such as with a law firm or accounting firm—applying the hashtag isn’t the best plan. For one thing, unless your brand is already huge, potential buyers won’t know a thing about your company when they see a bunch of last names tagged. For another, the list of names can get pretty long. What would you think if you saw #wallerlansdendortchanddavis? I mean, after you managed to separate the names and read them.
Instead of trying to cram a hashtag in there with your brand name, consider using them to tell your brand story. KitKat does a great job with this by taking their tagline “Give me a break” and creating #HaveABreak. The brand is still recognizable through their hashtag, still fun, and still conveys the right message.
Hashtags To Fit Your Marketing
Each brand doesn’t get only one hashtag. You should always have one go-to for your brand as a whole, but you can also select hashtags for your marketing campaigns, too. Old Spice has really done a great job with this in the past. Their current social media marketing campaign is Old Spice Advice, where, as you might imagine, irreverent and often irrelevant advice is doled out in the name of comedy. The hashtag #OldSpiceAdvice helps anyone following the conversation and keep up with the latest and greatest advice. They also have a hashtag for their television ad, the Old Spice Robot. Followers who search #OldSpiceRobot can not only see the latest videos, but they can also see what others have to say about the brand.
Hashtags For Social Listening
So far, we’ve talked only of users searching hashtags to find you, but this isn’t the only benefit of the practice. You can also search your own hashtag on social media to see what others are saying about your brand. This is a great practice for keeping up to date on customer service concerns as well as developing a realistic view of your brand in the real world.
In addition to general social listening, you can use your hashtag to start a chat on social media. The tag will help you locate any new questions or comments so you don’t miss a thing. This is a great way to maintain control of your brand story at all times. Not only can you direct the conversation, but you can also discover any comments that voice concern over your brand and make everything right again.
You don’t have to have an expert grasp of social media to use hashtags correctly, but you should have an expert grasp on your brand. If you need some help developing your social media strategy so that you can stay true to your brand story, we can help.