How to use Hashtags as part of your marketing strategy

Originally adopted by Twitter users as a way of categorizing messages, placing the hashtag symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase turns them into searchable links that bring together all posts containing the marked word or phrase.

Hashtags can be used to cover any subject from serious events such as government elections to popular culture and even celebrity scandals. After footage of Solange Knowles attacking sister Beyoncé’s husband, rapper Jay Z trending hashtags included #WhatJayZSaidToSolange with users adopting it to tweet speculation and jokes about the incident.

Hashtags are most effective when used to set the tone and voice of a post and work as a way of adding humorous asides and sarcasm or to give context to a post. For example, ‘Let the weekend begin! #TGIF’ or ‘Just spilt my second drink! #Fail’

Hashtags are also very effective when used as part of a social media marketing strategy and are a brilliant way of promoting products or campaigns. An excellent example of this was Domino’s #LetsDoLunch campaign which ran from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. on March 5. The pizza chain vowed to cut the price of its Pepperoni Passion Pizza by one pence every time someone tweeted the hashtag #letsdolunch. After 85,000 tweets, the price dropped from £15.99 to £7.74, and Domino's offered that price from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. that day. Here are some more hashtags campaigns that worked really well.

Brands can also use relevant hashtags to ensure their posts and marketing materials are positioned in front of the correct audience. By using popular and trending hashtags, businesses can join in conversations and interact with their target audience. is a website that monitors trending hashtags in real time, a useful tool for business marketers.

Supported Platforms

As Twitter was the first platform to use hashtags, the features offered are more advanced than other social networks. The main purpose of hashtags on Twitter is to separate and sort tweets into different categories. A ‘trends’ sidebar also suggests hashtags that the user may be interested in based on their previous tweets.
Hashtags on Twitter can also be filtered using various options. By selecting ‘top’, users can see the most recent and popular tweets that feature the selected hashtag, ‘All’ will show every tweet that has used the hashtag displaying results in real time and ‘People you follow’ will show only tweets using the hashtag from people you follow.

Hashtags are a recent addition to Facebook, becoming available in June 2013. A more simplified version of the Twitter hashtag, clicking onto a Facebook hashtag will display all posts containing that hashtag with no filtering options.

Hashtags on Instagram are used to help users find posts and discover new accounts to follow. When used correctly, relevant hashtags will categorise your pictures with similar posts that have used the same hashtag.

Google+ uses hashtags in the same way as other platforms, to sort and categorise posts. Google+ is unique in that it will show posts containing the original hashtag and also suggest similar hashtags and keywords that may be relevant to the user.

Google+ also has the option to search on Facebook and Twitter for posts containing the selected hashtag.

Posts on Tumblr have a specific ‘tag’ section designed to organise the posts by topic. These will only work when included in the correct section; a hashtag included in the main body of the post will not become a searchable link.

Pinterest uses hashtags to mark content and make it searchable. Clicking on a hashtag on Pinterest will bring up all posts containing that specific hashtag and pins that have the same keyword or phrase in the description.

Do you use hashtags as part of your digital marketing strategy? Tweet us @Evonomie and tell us how!

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