What Makes Hashtags Trend? 5 Ways To Get Attention

August 29, 2013
campaignMaking successful hashtags will require more than just crafting the right keywords. Thinking of the right terms that will be easy to search while also sparking interest is the first step. Coming up with quality content will guarantee that social media users will flock to the conversation and provide their own feedback. There are 5 main things that you can talk about to ensure that your hashtag enjoys a high level of engagement.

5 Hashtag Topics That Build Trends

1. Funny hashtags

There are several social media users who are simply looking for ways to stay entertained online. Coming up with funny hashtags is one effective way of grabbing people?s interest and keeping them excited for several days. The hashtag can start out with something funny then you can gradually introduce more relevant details pertaining to your brand or company. See the engagement numbers on funny hashtag #SadGoogleSearches.

2. Controversial hashtags

Controversy and intrigue will drive a hashtag to trending status. You can discuss political anomalies, celebrity gossip or other matters that spark public curiosity immediately. Some of the controversial hashtags can also talk about religion, racial discrimination and other untoward practices. For example, the hashtag #MuslimRage was supposed to be made in lieu of Time Magazine?s recent issue. However, online users immediately responded in a variety of ways, poking fun at Muslim practices or sharing more serious details about ongoing conflicts in the Middle East. The debates that go on among users will ensure that the hashtag trends well.

3. Call to Action

There are also hashtags that invite users to participate in an event, petition or whatever social experiment. People are more inclined to engage and follow up on their responses if there is a call to action. Many social media users are also interested to know about the reaction of others to their tweets and opinion. Singer Katy Perry came up with the hashtag #DarkHorseNow together with #WalkingonAirNow where fans got to pick which of the two songs she will be releasing first before her big new album launch. This becomes a very effective form of advertising to boost sales and anticipation. Looking at how the hashtags fared against each other, we can see that Dark Horse now won.

4. Current events

Hashtags can also revolve around the latest news. Think of global events that are considered matters of public interest, such as Obama?s recent trips to Africa and his plans of donating billions of dollars to third world countries. You can also discuss recent crimes and other shocking events in other parts of the world to bring in more people to share their insight and views. Recent events are always interesting upon release and you can expect the hashtag to trend well for a few days. Good examples of current events hashtags that shot up to trending status are disaster-related #Sandy and politics-related #Obamacare, which continue to generate high engagement to this day.

5. Star power

Thousands of social media users are also more likely to engage in a hashtag if it is created by someone very influential. Seek the help of social media experts who have thousands or millions of followers online. When you tag the person, the hashtag instantly becomes visible to his multitude of followers too, increasing the likelihood of bringing in more relevant users to join the conversation. Make use of other informative content like links, blogs and photos to increase engagement and encourage people to learn more. Using social analytics tools will also indicate how well your hashtags trended in a span of several hours or days (or even as far back as one year). You can check the actual responses of social media users and see the rise or fall of the trend via graphs or tables. Improve on your strategy each time, in response to analytics results, to have successful hashtag campaigns.  

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