8 tips to get hashtags right

Have you branded your hashtag? Have you branded what? For a long time you have been branding names, logos, jingles, coffee cups, t shirts etc. but hashtags? In a digital world where branding is increasingly moving online, hashtags are an important part of your branding collaterals. Hashtags in a way are living brand symbols given that they aggregate all the brand conversations, are seamlessly taken up by your audience and bridge various online platforms and if you are a little creative online and offline too. Here are some tips on using hashtag to drive your brand conversations.

1. Don’t plan your campaign without one – Starting a new campaign? Plan a hashtag. Even when it will straddle the online and offline channels. A hashtag is a visible, branded identifier of your campaign. It encourages and galvanizes conversations – generating a buzz around your brand.

2. Merge the formats – Like Cadbury using #ShubhArambh in print ads in the IPL campaign. You could also have a qr code that scans into your twitter feed

3. Brand Hashtags – While campaign specific hashtags are more common, have branded hashtags on your brand topics. For example #accenturedigital. While it can originate with a campaign, it is likely to survive beyond the life of the campaign and build up Accentures entire positioning in the digital space

4. Have hashtags that are catchy – needless to say. Since you want more people to use the hashtags. So keep it simple. And easy to adopt.

5. Incentivise the use of your hashtags – You want more people to use your hashtags. Give them a reason to. Contests with prizes could be a good way. Or simply great content behind your hashtags. And some really cool conversations.

6. Have solid conversations and content behind the hashtag – Before you start promoting your hashtag actively, build the conversation and content behind it. Since your audience will be looking up your hashtag,tThe story behind your hashtag has to be interesting.

7. Contextualize – Social media trends are very temporal. Tap into these trends. So an end of the year would be good for hashtags around festivities. An insurance company came up with #BeingIndian to coincide with the republic day.

8. Tap into common hashtags – to make your content more discoverable. Or position your offerings or povs leveraging common topics.

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