Boost Your Video Campaigns with Hashtags
Hashtags have become part of the American culture. With celebrities leading the charge, hashtags have found their way into the news, business campaigns, and everyday life. It’s become a source for breaking news and a creative way to gain attention to your product or service. As you continue to push your videos on social media it’s time to start looking at ways hashtags can boost your campaigns.
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Before we jump into the best way to market your next video with hashtags, let’s go over some ground rules so you don’t alienate your social media fans before you get started.
Here are the 3 Laws of Hashtaging
1. Don’t Over Do It – there is a limit of two hashtags per tweet, maximum of three on Pinterest, and zero on Facebook. The moment you allow hashtags to overtake your posts your audience will start feel like they are being spammed.
2. Keep ‘Em Short and Sweet – #hashtagsarenotintendedforfullsentences. Contain your hashtags, they should add value to your post—not consume it.
3. Stay Relevant – It’s no secret when a company is only interested in views; they start using hashtags that are popular but not relevant to their posts. It’s easy to slip into this pattern when you are starting out and desperate for interaction but this not a tactic that converts. There may be more eyes viewing your status or post but this will likely turn off the reader as they were searching for something else.
Marketing with Hashtags
Hashtags originated on Twitter and can now be found on Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram. If you are posting on these social mediums without leveraging hashtags you are limiting visibility to your posts. Whether your goal is to create a hashtag campaign or use popular hashtags to reach a larger audience they can be very effective in marketing campaigns.
Stay Up-to-Date on Trending Hashtags
Begin by finding popular hashtags. http://whatthetrend.com/ is great place to stay up-to-date on what hashtags are trending on Twitter. When you get ready to launch your next video check to see if there are any applicable trending hashtags you can include in your posts.
I like to use http://top-hashtags.com/instagram/ to get live updates on trending Instagram hashtags. It’s the one social medium that allows for the use of many hashtags without backlash from fans. Instagram allows fifteen hashtags in every post. Use them wisely, the more applicable the hashtag the more likely you’ll see interaction from your fans and users on instagram.
Hashtag Campaigns on Twitter
Pushing a new product or service through a hashtag campaign on Twitter can be a very effective way to gain interaction. However, not every hashtag campaign is made equal. Some campaigns can be a huge boost for companies while others can actually hurt a company’s image.
Edge Shave Gel launched a hashtag campaign called #soirritating. Knowing that Twitter is popular place to complain, they offered a hashtag for tweeters to do just that. To encourage interaction, Edge’s social media team responded with solutions to the problems irritating their fans. This campaign resulted in 6,800 tweets and gained attention from many media outlets.
This campaign was successful because Edge played into the culture that is already present on Twitter—people like to complain. By leveraging this knowledge they created a platform for people to vent to them and receive interaction back. Any mid level tweeter finds excitement communicating with celebrities or well-known companies. Fans ability to directly communicate with their celebrity crush or interact with large scale companies is one reason Twitter is such a unique social medium. If you can provide this for your fans you will personify your business and create a relationship with them. Real fans will buy just about anything you put out.
Taco Bell is great example of a company who takes the time to interact with fans directly.
When two social media giants meet on Twitter you can always expect great things.
So what happens when a hashtag campaign goes wrong?
McDonald’s launched a Twitter campaign called #McDstories that did not go as planned. The campaign was intended for fans of the restaurant to share fun stories about eating at McDonald’s. As the hashtag was promoted it attracted an onslaught of negative stories about McDonald’s food. Some shared stories of finger nails being found in their food, others talked about receiving food poisoning, and others joked at the low quality meat. This was certainly something McDonald’s wasn’t intending. They were able to stop the campaign in just two hours but the responses were retweeted throughout the day. This will go down as one of the worst campaigns in Twitter history.
So why did things go sour for McDonald’s? One of the campaigns biggest pitfalls was a broad hashtag. It allowed for both negative and positive stories about McDonald’s. They failed to focus on a giveaway or new product. Successful campaigns have a clear purpose but are creative enough to draw the attention of fans.
As you begin to push out your next video look for ways to integrate hashtags into your campaign. Video is one of the best ways to receive interaction on social media and can be very useful when aligned with the right hashtag