How to Ride on Already Popular Hashtags Without Turning People Off

October 30, 2013
Hashtags are one of the best ways to improve content searches while building social media communities. More marketers are incorporating these in their campaigns because of the many benefits, including targeting thousands of users in a short amount of time and having the ability to communicate directly with customers. Hashtags are also a solid way to introduce events and new products without hurting the budget. There are also techniques you can employ to maximize the use and presence of hashtags without losing (and annoying) current or future followers.

Basic Hashtag Rules

1. Be specific

Begin by doing some research on existing hashtags. Find out if there are others that already existing which refer to the same topic or use the same keywords. Your hashtag will be discovered more easily if you use specifics like the year, name or brand, product name and other unique keywords. For the purpose of this article, let's use the hashtag #Basketball as example and compare it with a more specific hashtag #NBA in the past three days. Avoid using words that are seldom used to funnel more relevant users to the conversation. Also use 2 to 3 keywords maximum that relate well to the content to bring in the right individuals.

2. Use in moderation

Using 2 to 3 hashtags when tweeting is acceptable. Avoid filling your tweet with 5 or more hashtags since these tend to be more confusing and distracting rather than informative. Compare these two tweets and analyse their value to the reader. ride4 ride5 Use hashtags pertaining to similar or related subjects. Also use hashtags in moderation throughout the day. Using a hashtag with each tweet is acceptable, provided that you also tweet sparingly. Online users do not like you flooding their timelines with the same information.

3. Do your research

You can also invest in a social analytics or hashtag analytics tool to determine which hashtag will be best for the purpose or activity. Study how your previous hashtag campaigns worked through analytics tools. Determine the user engagement and reach within a 24-hour or 7-day period. Make the necessary changes based on feedback from clients and read some of the actual tweets and responses. Also check if your total followers on Twitter increased after the hashtag campaign. Gaining more followers is usually an indication of a successful hashtag campaign. Keep the strong points then adjust on your weak areas.

Participate in Social Media Events

Take the time to forge relationships with key social media users. These are generally individuals who are relevant to your type of industry and show enthusiasm and interest in your hashtags and tweets. These key individuals can bring in more people into your network as well as share the content you upload. In the case of the hashtag #NBA, we see below the most prolific users in the past 30 days. Return the favor by participating in their events or providing them with rewards. Acknowledge their participation after hashtag campaigns and communicate regularly through private messaging and other forms online. These key people can provide you with tips and updates on how to ensure the success of the next hashtag. Create hype by coming up with creative and unique hashtags. Tracking feedback should be done without invading people?s privacy. Learn from feedback and respond in a friendly and professional manner. Stay connected with some of the social media experts to get tips on how to improve hashtag campaigns in the future.

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