If you’re posting without a hashtag then you’re missing out on the opportunity to increase your exposure.
A hashtag is not just a tool that helps group social conversations, it brings together a vocal community of users by opening posts to be viewed by all accounts. When these users are brought together in the right way, the value of the hashtag increases.
Famously, Cancer Research UK found social users posting pictures of themselves with no makeup along-with the hashtag ‘#NoMakeupSelfie’ in order to raise donations for the charity. Impressively, in just 6 days over £8million had been donated through user generated hashtagging.
It’s not just charities that can benefit from a useful hashtag. Lancôme asked their followers to post ‘bare faced selfies’ for the launch of the DreamTone serum. Not only did they receive positive engagement on social platforms, but remarkably, the selfie gallery on the company’s website generated a 4% conversion rate for the product.
The power of a well thought through and executed hashtag has been proven time and time again. Here are three tips for using hashtags more effectively.
1. Give your hashtag a purpose:
You must be selective about the topics you’re associated with. Make a list of the 4 topics you want to become involved with and do some research into what thought leaders in those areas are already hashtagging. This will give you a baseline understanding of what’s trending in those areas.
2. A brand hashtag that resonates.
Choose one #hashtag that represents your brand’s values and also engages users to click-through or start a conversation. For example toilet paper brand Charmin uses #TweetFromYourSeat to open and encourage engagement from social fans.
3. #Don’t #overuse #the #hashtag.
Using too many hashtags actually devalues their strength. It can even cause further damage by causing a loss of followers and permanently damage your branding. Instead, Twitter officially recommends that you use no more than two #’s per tweet.
Some people use hashtags for fun, others to promote their brand, regardless, you want your posts to be simple and filled with useful content that engages the user to click on your link, visit your website or even buy your product. Hashtags, used correctly, open these posts up to a new audience.
Image: CC/BY/2.0 Ognian Mladenov
With help from the likes of TiVo, social media and ad blockers, we are increasingly able to see what we want, where we want it- how should marketers respond? Professor and passionate advocate of content marketing, Don Schultz, suggests that undifferentiated marketing methods are becoming less relevant in today’s ‘opt-in’ world. He believes that “content marketing is the future for all marketing”.
The logic of content marketing is simple: stop interrupting potential customers with content they don’t want to see, and start engaging customers with content they do. By providing targeted content, firms are able to build relationships with customers with the ultimate goal of generating business. In other words, brands should stop hijacking other content and start creating their own. And nobody has done this better than Red Bull. Last year, the firm generated massive media attention through their space jump that attracted over 8 million live views.
Last week, the CMW (Content Marketing World) gathered in Ohio to talk about the ways in which the effectiveness of content marketing can be measured. In a great summative article, Geraint Holliman takes away 6 key insights from the CMW event:
1. A definition of content marketing
At the CMW event, Jo Pulizzi defined content marketing as “marketing and business process for creating and distributing valuable and compelling content to attract, acquire and engage a clearly defined and understood target audience – with the objective of driving profitable customer action”
2. Know your customers and what they want to know
Marketers must respond to an ‘opt-in’ culture by providing a valuable service that answers customers’ queries without force feeding information.
3. You’ve got to have a content marketing strategy
According to Pulizzi, “…still only around 10% of brands have a defined, written content marketing strategy”.
4. Content Marketing is the only marketing there is
Gone are the days when customers respond to “indiscriminate, undifferentiated broadcast selling messages”.
5. Helping not hyping
Smart marketing must provide customers with a valuable service; it can’t be about merely generating hype. In doing so, content marketing will educate users in ways that allow them to make better decisions.
6. The importance of content to the buyer’s journey
Evidence was showcased that further highlighted the effectiveness of content marketing. According to CMW, customers in both B2C and B2B are undertaking between 60-70% of their purchase decision before they actually come into contact directly with the brand.
Despite the impressive developments in the content marketing arena, it remains difficult to directly tie content marketing strategies to revenue streams. This is a challenge for content marketers who are eager to prove their worth. However will it ever be possible to put a price on building relationships?