Monthly Archives: April 2015

How to create the right hashtag for your campaign?

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- Prachee Shukla, Program Manager, Trivone Digital

If you are a social media strategist, community manager, or whoever it is that devises hashtags for brands/campaigns, you know that one day you are going to die, just like the rest of the world. Your tombstone in all likelihood may read, ‘Here lies a brave person who dared to hashtag!’ What’s the point, you ask? #Hashtag such that all of digital world remembers; maybe not. Just #Hashtag well!

Before you get to ‘Which #Hashtag?’ you may want to understand ‘Why #Hashtag?’ in the first place. To put it simply, it’s the best way to organize and categorize information on Twitter while also making it easily discoverable in Twitter Search.  Also, if you prepare those dreaded social media reports, hashtags make your life easier.

Here are 5 things you may want to keep in mind, the next time you “brainstorm” for a hashtag:

1.     Start with a word cloud. Write the primary word, you know should be a part of your hashtag. Follow it up by writing down secondary words associated to the campaign / primary word. This will help you understand what you want people to talk about through your hashtag. E.g. are you live tweeting an event or a show, launching a new product in the market, hosting a chat etc.?

2.     Best practices suggest no more than two hashtags per campaign / activity. You don’t want people to get confused about the conversation threads they should be jumping into. If you are running a contest, however, you may want to add keywords like #Contest, #ContestAlert as sub-hashtags so that your tweets reach out to the right people. Don’t overdo it though with #YouCanWin, #YayContest, #GoldDiggers etc. else people might start marking you as #Spam.

3.     K.I.S.S. yes, yes, a 90s joke! But, Keep-It-Simple-Stupid, always! Hashtags that are long and complicated to read or understand or spell require more effort, which basically means, ‘imma-gonna-be-the-only-one-tweeting-about-it’. No seriously, when was the last time you saw a brand tweet with #ARoseByAnyOtherNameWouldSmellSweeter? A hashtag beyond 15-20 characters is a sentence not a keyword! Ideally, entertainment brands that have a movie premiere on their channel can go with something as simple as #<MovieName>On<Channel Name>. If the movie name is long, use its acronym.

4.     Can you come up with tweets that build conversation around the hashtag you just created? No? Stop staring at your feet then, drop that hashtag and create a new one! You should be able to craft at least 10 original tweets with your hashtag before you actually expect people to contribute to it. A typical break-up would be 5 sample tweets and the corresponding replies you would expect from your audience.

5.     Finally, did you look up if the hashtag you painfully crafted does not already exist on Twitter? No? *Fistbump*

There really is no set formula to help you create the perfect hashtags. While you may hit gold more often than not, sometimes it could take you hours if not days to come up with something appealing. I’d like to leave you with something a wise woman once told me, ‘If you’re a brand, do not create a hashtag when in a hurry’ else you might end up with #ShamedInSydney. And you know what happens next… it will not only blow your mind, but also the lid of the internet! #HappyHashtagging.