Successful branding is one of the main aims of PR strategy. You’re trying to make your brand known to a larger audience, so more people will turn to it when they need the products or services you offer. All editorial coverage you do, all marketing campaigns you develop… everything is for the sake of branding.
There’s one particular branding trick that’s gaining momentum by the day: the hashtag. A branded hashtag can get you tons of attention on social media—and that’s exactly what you need for increasing brand awareness.
Let’s go through 5 simple ways of effective use of hashtags in your promotional campaign.
Use your brand’s name as a hashtag
Clearly, this is where you’ll start. If you check some popular brands on Instagram, such as Hurom (a brand of juicers) for example, you’ll notice they use the #hurom hashtag on every single post. The hashtag is popular among the target audience, too, so they use it whenever they post photos of their freshly processed juices.
However, you’ll also notice that the brand’s name is included in other hashtags, such as #huromjuice, #huromlovers, and #huromlife. This brings us to another trick: expand the brand name to get different hashtags. They should still be readable and simple, so they will stick to people’s minds.
You don’t want to overdo it. Two or three hashtags with your brand’s name in them should be enough to develop a culture around your product or service.
You’re targeting an audience on a specific location? You should definitely include the location in a hashtag that your brand will own.
Even if you’re targeting a global audience, you may use local hashtags for a more specific branding campaign. We’ll use the Hurom example again: you’ll see hashtags like #huromamerica, #huromindonesia, and #hurompolska. The brand has separate profiles targeted at audiences on various locations. That’s a strategy we can all learn from.
The local hashtag gives you great exposure to an extremely relevant target audience. When they are looking for a product or service in a specified area, the hashtag will launch posts with information they want to get.
Employ the culture hashtag
Think of a specific hashtag that represents the culture that surrounds your brand. If, for example, you’re trying to promote a business that constructs home pools, you can use something like #summerlife or #poolvibes.
OmStars, a brand that offers yoga practice videos, is a nice example of this. Currently, they are basing their posts around the #30DayYogaLiving hashtag. It presents the culture the brand and its audience stands behind. When people use this hashtag, they identify themselves with the brand.
When you turn this type of hashtag into an Instagram or Twitter trend, you’ll connect with a much larger audience.
Put the hashtags in great descriptions
It’s not just about piling a bunch of hashtags in a tweet, Facebook post, or Instagram description. It’s about using those hashtags in content that anyone would love to read. Pick a popular Instagram profile as an example. Read the descriptions. You’ll see that the platform is not just about fancy images. It’s about inspiring people and sharing important moments of life.
Take National Geographic as an example. When the social media team uses hashtags in Instagram photo descriptions, they always do it in context.
If you’re not that great at writing inspiring descriptions that include hashtags, you can turn to professional writers at Rush My Essay.
Make them meaningful
There’s a difference between the brand hashtag and the campaign hashtag. You can use the brand hashtag in all posts, but you’ll change the campaign hashtags as you change campaigns. This is the main rule to keep in mind: don’t put too many hashtags in a single post! If you do that, no one will pay attention to them. If you use them sparingly, however, they will catch people’s attention.
Invite your followers to use those hashtags. That’s how they will expand throughout social media. You can do this by developing a campaign and inviting social media users to become part of it. It may be a contest, giveaway, challenge, or a strong campaign for raising awareness.
So what’s the main lesson we can learn about hashtags? They are definitely useful (and needed!) for the branding process. However, we mustn’t use them too much. We should use the hashtags not to suffocate the message, but to add meaning to our social media posts.