September 29, 2021
You’re probably aware of hashtags, but like most people, you may benefit from some pointers on how to make them more effective for your public relations efforts.
Hashtags are ideal for businesses looking to broaden their reach or build a community around a specific topic or event.
They do, however, necessitate a more sophisticated approach than you might expect from your microcontent, much like anything else on social media. Let’s take a look at some of the important advantages hashtags can provide for your online PR efforts:
Hashtags first gained popularity on Twitter as a way to keep track of discussion threads, and this is still a prominent use case for them.
When people or corporations start a conversation, it’s fairly uncommon for them to develop a short hashtag in the hopes that it will catch on and become the focal point of that conversation.
This has become so common that hashtags can now be searched on almost every social media platform that uses them.
Aligning with a movement is an important aspect of the Transparency vs. TMI strategy we outlined in our last post.
Customers now want to support brands that share their values, and brands that speak out about the good causes they support to gain a lot of traction online.
As with trend jacking (see below), the PR professional should act with caution. Before you join in, do your research and make sure the cause resonates with your values and those of your customers.
Hashtags are a fantastic way to broaden a brand’s reach and influence.
You can do this in a variety of ways, including monitoring and participating in conversations about an existing brand slogan, as Nike did in our example above, using a hashtag to connect your visual brand story on Pinterest, Instagram, or Tumblr, or hosting a monthly Twitter chat about your subject matter area of expertise.
As your brief, easy-to-remember hashtag grows in popularity, you’ll create a repository of brand engagement that will continue to grow awareness and reach over time.
This is one of the simplest (and safest) methods for a company to utilize hashtags to promote an event they’re hosting and encourage involvement from attendees, or to publicize their attendance or participation at a major event.
You may use a Twitter Moment or a Storify to turn a collection of posts on a hashtag into a story, much like any of the other hashtag tactics we’ve discussed, but this method of storytelling (embeddable on your blog!) works especially well with events.Above all, if you’re creating a hashtag for an event, keep it brief! For some people, character limits can be a problem.
Twitter, in particular, has evolved into a de facto customer service medium. Even if you aren’t, your customers are probably already using this channel for consumer feedback and help.
If you don’t have the time or resources to maintain a separate account for assistance, you may quickly create a support hashtag and track and respond to it using a monitoring service (engage).
Always remember to restrict yourself to two public responses to a customer’s issue before moving them to a direct message or email.
There are some thorny issues with using hashtags in a specific way, just as there are with anything else on the internet.For instance, “trend jacking” (inserting your brand into a trending hashtag related to a developing news story) is a powerful strategy that can potentially backfire.
Only seasoned PR gurus should do this, as a brand can come to appear as insensitive or gauche when using this method. Inappropriate trend jacking can result in a rapid and widespread backlash, so proceed with caution and perform your research on the hashtag’s purpose and origin beforehand.
read more: 7 Tips to Create Successful Marketing Campaign