Sunday, September 15, 2019
Hashtag Tracking

How to run a hashtag campaign on social media

Can you recall the pound (#) symbol circulating across various social media platforms like Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and so on? Sounds familiar, isn’t it?

Hashtags, whether you love them or hate them, are widely being used today on social media, and hashtag campaigns form one of the key elements of any social media marketing campaign. Nearly all major brands from organizations to celebrities use hashtags to promote themselves on social media as hashtags are used to collect information about a specific topic.

Hashtags have become an extremely powerful and efficient method to initiate, participate, or track a conversation on social media. Before we proceed further to understand how to run a hashtag campaign, let us know the basics first so that you have a better chance to run an effective campaign.

What is a hashtag?

The purpose of using the hashtag to promote yourself is to tie the user’s conversations together so that the people who are not connected can join in the same conversation. In other words, hashtags can be simply seen as keywords enabling aggregation of information that is based around a certain topic. Initially, Twitter had used hashtags to categorize the messages but now its been used universally across all social media platforms.

For example, if you are posting a picture of a beautiful island on Instagram, you may tag the picture with the hashtag #tourism, #island, or #beautifulisland.

 

But, this does not mean that hashtags apply only to photos as it can also be used for text, links, or videos. If you want to utilize the power of hashtags for your brand, then it is very important that you create your own hashtag.  

A successful hashtag campaign will help you to gather social media attention revolving around either your own products and/or services or products and/or services of the related field. An effective hashtag campaign allows you to:

  • Monitor your reputation by keeping a watch on what people are saying about you.
  • Increase customer engagement
  • Build brand awareness and thus increase sales and revenue.
  • Keep track of what is happening in your niche or industry.  For example, if you a chef then you may want to track hashtags like #food, #recipes, and so on. This helps you to know what others are up to, and it also gives you an opportunity to participate in the discussion.

Key Aspects for a Successful Hashtag Campaign

Now that you know why the hashtag campaign is necessary for your brand, let us see some of the key aspects or rules required to be considered while running a hashtag campaign.

#1. The hashtag should be easy to reminisce

A hashtag should be such that it can be easily remembered by the user and not the marketing person who came up with it. It is always essential to know the use of acronyms in your hashtag campaigns as it could mean different things to different people.

#2. It should be spontaneous and significant

It is also necessary that the hashtag you build for your campaign is intuitive for the users themselves.

#3. Hashtags are not just meant to be related to your brand always

Often, it is considered that hashtags are meant to relate to the brand name and thus should help increase its awareness. But this isn’t true always. It is not necessary to always want to have the hashtag talk about the brand only because this would mean Me, me, and me only.

#4. Promote it offline

Though all of the above is true to create and promote a hashtag campaign it is also recommended to also promote it offline. This would mean including the hashtag campaign on the brochures, reception desk, elevators, or on the interactive walls during events and seminars.

#5. Consider the target audience to build a hashtag campaign

Often it is true that your target audience should be one of the most important considerations to build the hashtag campaign. You will need figure out the social media channel that your audience is most likely going to use.

Step-by-step guide on how to set up your hashtag campaign

Now that you know why the hashtag is vital for your brand and why is it important for you to set up a hashtag campaign, let us delve deeper on how to start your hashtag campaign. Before even we dig deep into the steps, it is also important to note that you need to have a clear vision in your mind of what you want to achieve. Here are the steps on how to set up your hashtag campaign:

  1. Investigate about your brand and its competitors
  2. Outline the objective of your campaign
  3. Create a hashtag that pertains to your audience
  4. Implement the campaign
  5. Keep it going
  6. Measure the performance

Let us discuss each of these steps in detail.

#Step 1. Investigate your brand and its competitors

First and foremost, you need to do proper and thorough research about your brand and your competitors. Before you start your hashtag campaign, you will need to answer to few critical questions, such as:

  • Where your brand is positioned on various social media platforms like Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and so on?
  • What people are talking and blogging about your brand?
  • What kind of response you are getting from your users?

You will also need to closely observe your competitors to gain a broader perception of your industry. This will guide you to develop the hashtag campaign as it is unethical to run a similar campaign as that of your competitors.

Here is an exclusive article on how to track twitter account for any of your competitors to track twitter followers and what they are doing on social media.

#Step 2. Outline the objective of your campaign

The second step is to define the goals of your hashtag campaign before you develop the campaign strategy and content. You need to determine the aim of your hashtag campaign, such as increasing awareness for your product or service, growing the number of followers, or advising customers to download the app. Defining the goals for your campaign will help you to develop a useful content strategy. There are various metrics that can help you to define your goals for your hashtag campaign like the number of followers, mentions, retweets, and so on.

#Step 3.  Create a hashtag that pertains to your audience

Now that you have researched about your brand and competitors and also defined objectives for your campaign, then the next step is to create a unique hashtag that is a vital element for any hashtag campaign.  It is important to note that the hashtag you choose needs to be catchy and unique. In addition, it also should be short, relevant to the users, and universal.

#Step 4. Implement the campaign

After you have chosen a hashtag for the campaign, the next step is to execute (or implement) it over social media. When you need to launch your hashtag, you must do it up right by implementing it with a relevant photograph or compelling video. It may also be good to hold a contest and attach it to the hashtag because this draws even more attention to the hashtag users. You may offer a lucrative prize in order to draw more attention. In addition, more and more users would like to participate in your campaign when there is a reward attached to the hashtag.

#Step 5. Keep it going

Once you have implemented the hashtag campaign, the job is done because the rest will be done by the social media channels. Isn’t it? No, this is true as you need to keep it going and use it frequently as much as you can. There are several ways where you can boost the hashtag campaign.

#Step 6. Measure the growth

And finally, you need to analyze, analyze, and analyze. Yes, like all campaigns, the hashtag campaign needs to be closely monitored and analyzed. You need to measure the performance of your campaign to know if you have done well. This helps you to improve your performance in the future hashtag campaigns and make it better. Apart from the metrics listed above that, you can use to analyze the performance, you can also use various third-party tools that capture the metrics and measure the performance. Some of the popular third-party tools are:

  • RebelMouse, is a social media marketing platform that provides various twitter monitoring tools for your social media marketing campaigns. This tool helps track and monitor the hashtag conversations across multiple social media platforms. In addition, this tool also integrates well with other tools like Google Analytics, Social Sharing, and RSS. You can even embed a RebelMouse social widget on your website to engage your visitors.
  • TagBoard, is another amazing tool that helps to track hashtag across multiple social media platforms. It can track all kinds of hashtag conversations, such as text, images, and videos. This tool displays a real-time dashboard that can be displayed on a TV screen in an office, any events, or any conferences to promote the hashtag campaign.
  • Tweetchat, is a simple yet powerful tool to monitor twitter that helps to quickly interact and reply to the tweets across various social media platforms. You can keep track of  tweets once you are connected to the twitter account as it updates and refreshes in real-time.    
  • Socialert, is another powerful tool that allows you to track and analyze hashtag conversations happening across multiple social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. In addition, you can use this tool to track twitter stats of  every keyword related to your brand and helps identify the most influential and active users. This tool also presents various kinds of information, such as hashtag reach and impressions in a visual format. It also generates reports that easier to be read and share and you can showcase the performance of your hashtag campaign to other clients.    

I am sure the above mentioned tips will certainly help you to successfully run a hashtag campaign on social media and win the hearts of the audience with it!

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