How to #Hashtag Like a #Hero

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Non-profits, individuals and big brands alike rely heavily on hashtags to help play the Twitter-for-business game. Skillfully created and pumped out, hashtags can literally create a brand’s presence on Twitter. This week, we’ve seen hashtags at their most powerful. Since the announcement of her pregnancy on Monday, the hashtag #Kate has dominated Twitter trends worldwide. The charitable answer to Black Friday, #GivingTuesday, also was getting Twitter action way before December 4th even came around. And as always, hotly-discussed reality shows like #TheVoice trended like nobody’s business. So how does a small business get in on the hashtag action? Here are some easy hashtag hints to help make your tweets more fun and memorable.

Hashtags are a great way to get in on whatever conversation is burning up the headlines. Attaching trending hashtags to your tweets can help your brand hop right in on the discussion while serving as a fantastic introduction to this invaluable tweeting tool. To start, peruse the list of trending hashtags and topics and see if any of them work with your brand. Don’t see anything? Think again. Pop culture, like movies, music and television shows, make for great hashtags and as long as they apply to your brand, we say go for it. Same goes for news headlines and current events. If you still don’t find anything, why not create your own hashtag campaign? Recently, Sharpie capitalized on the runaway success of boy band One Direction by using the hashtag #SharpieHELLO. Fans could tweet “hello” to One Direction; random tweeters were selected to be featured on a billboard in Times Square. The result? Thousands of people who weren’t thinking about Sharpie used the hashtag, giving the brand visibility.

But you don’t need to work with a boy band or use flashing billboards to make your own hashtag campaigns work. When starting a new hashtag, make sure you use it consistently. Turn product categories like #HighHeels or specials like #HalfOffSale into hashtags and use them again and again. Specific events or seasonal happenings are perfect for hashtags, too. Tag your event to promote it and then retire the tag once your event is done. If, perchance, you have a witty repartee with your Twitter followers, hashtags can also provide a few laughs. Recent tags like #LesserKnownHolidaySpecials and #WorstIdeasEver are amusing time killers and can be used to introduce yourself to new followers who might be game for playing along.

Regardless of how you use them, it’s important to remember that hashtags,like everything in Twitter marketing, only work if you’re diligent about them. So keep hashtagging until something sticks… and don’t give up. The more you use hashtags, the better you’ll understand how they work — and likely have more successes, too.

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