In a world of smartphones, social media, and everything your need within your fingertips, the one thing that brings us all together is the hashtag.
Before you start laughing, think about it. If you’re a social media fanatic, you’ve used hashtags at one time or another. When you’re watching your favorite TV show live, you’ve seen the hashtag popup in the corner.
I’ve watched The Voice a handful of times, and they still have the tweets and hashtags flashing through on the screen.
Thursday nights are when Scandal comes on, and since I’m obsessed with that show. I watch and live tweet it, using the hashtag #Scandal to see what others are saying about it.
I frequently pull up the trending hashtags on Twitter to see if there’s a conversation I can contribute to or simply to see what’s going on in the Twitterverse.
- During Thanksgiving of 2015 the hashtag #ThanksgivingWithBlackFamilies was trending with hilarious and surprisingly relatable tweets.
- When the book #HarryPotterAndTheCursedChild came out, the hashtag was the perfect way for fans to share their excitement about the new release.
- Netflix canceled its contract with the BBC and Doctor Who disappeared, fans tweeted their outrage using the hashtag #DoctorWho and #whovians.
Instagram is a different story. Hashtags are the main way to connect with others who are interested in the same things you are, and to discover what they are sharing.
When you search for a hashtag on Instagram, you can see how popular it is by the number of posts it’s been used on.
Several tribes I’m part of have a hashtags which allows all the members to easily find and interact with each others posts.
If you’re considering creating a hashtag for your brand, here are few things to keep in mind.
Your hashtag should be short and memorable, so others can share it in their social media posts. While Instagram doesn’t have a restriction on characters, Twitter does. Your hashtag should be short enough to easily add at the end of 140 characters.
Nike’s tagline #justdoit is catchy, memorable, and brings the Nike fitness community together. Think about the meaning behind your brand and what will resonate with your community. There is also the curiosity element behind a hashtag, such as #MyWana which actually means “you are never alone” but you wouldn’t know that unless you did your research.
How are others going to know to use your hashtag? Some popular ways to spread the word include:
- Hosting a weekly Tweet Chat using your hashtags – invite guests who are experts to talk about a niche topic
- Creating a blog or posting challenge and encouraging all participants to use the hashtag
- Promoting a course and having a hashtag to allow participate to support each other
- Sending an email to your email list announcing the hashtag and include the hashtag in your email signature
If you’re considering whether you should create a hashtag to connect your tribe and community, here are some brands that use hashtags well:
The Twitter account IndieBooksBlast uses the hashtag #IndieBooksBlast to connect with authors and readers. If you tweet using their hashtag, they’ll retweet you.
Every week there are hundreds of Tweet Chats going on. Each chat uses a unique hashtag to bring their followers together. #OWSchat stands for One Woman Shop Chat and is a hub for solopreneurs and freelancers so they don’t feel alone. During the chat, participants get to discuss their personal experiences in the digital nomadic lifestyle.
#IndieBooksBeSeen is a popular hashtag to make indie books visible to bloggers and readers who support the indie community.
Alex Tooby uses the hashtag #immtribe which stands for Instagram Marketing Tribe – to connect with her community. These are all individuals who have taken one or more of her courses and are in her Facebook Group. She’s a pro at monetizing Instagram and runs the account, Men and Coffee, with over 350k followers. If you’re serious about learning how to use hashtags to increase your visibility, take her Hashtag to Hero course (yep, this is an affiliate link).
Rachel Ritlop uses #tcmillennial with her photo a day challenge. It’s a way for her to learn more about millennials in her community and help them grow. This is also a fantastic way for her to learn what her target market needs so she can continue to provide them tools and trainings to live their ideal lifestyle.
#boldbosstribe uses hashtags to feature people in their community that they consider Bold Bosses. They also encourage members to join the conversation by using their hashtag.
Personally, I use the hashtag #TheFiveWarriors to post about my fantasy novel, and find readers and fans on Instagram. From there I can re-share their posts or leave a comment, acknowledging how much I appreciate the share.
Do you have a brand hashtag? If so, what is it, and what’s the meaning behind it?