How Custom Hashtags Can Boost Your Social Media Marketing

David Whitaker
Boston MA

Hashtags are used by social media users to help organise and categorise messages and other content, but they can also be extremely effective for building your brand, promoting your products and running advertising campaigns.

Businesses can create custom hashtags as part of their marketing strategy, enabling social media users to find, follow and share relevant content. Here’s how custom hashtags can boost your social media strategy.


Create Discussion and Debate


Hashtags can be used to organise your marketing and other activities into self-contained conversations that other social media users can follow. Encouraging discussion and debate enables other users to contribute and engage with your business through your hashtags, increasing the effectiveness of your promotional campaigns. If you can draw your customers and potential customers into the conversation, they may also share your messages with their followers, increasing your audience and helping to publicise your hashtag. Asking for opinions and posing interesting questions are simple ways to start a conversation.


Target a Specific Audience


As with advertising campaigns and other promotions, social media marketing works best when targeting a specific audience. One of the best ways to find your ideal audience is by using hashtags that are already established and popular with other users, as these will have the largest following and are likely to be widely shared. When creating your marketing messages and social media updates, try adding one or two popular hashtags, along with your own custom tag, as this will help to draw new people into the conversation.


Learn the Rules


All social media platforms have different rules, both official and unofficial. While it’s easy to learn the official rules by reading through the terms and conditions of the platform, unofficial rules can be more difficult. Unofficial rules are those followed by the majority of a platform’s users. Businesses breaking these unwritten rules can easily provoke a negative reaction from other people, so it’s important to learn how each platform works. If you are new to social media, try setting up an anonymous test account to practice and learn how things work.


Leave Space for Sharing


Social media websites allow users to share content with their friends and followers, which gives you access to a much wider audience. However, some platforms limit the amount of words or characters in each message. For example, Twitter allows only 140 characters per tweet. Users often like to add their own message when sharing content with their followers, so it’s best to leave some free space. When posting marketing messages on Twitter, try to use 100 characters or less. Remember that hashtags will also count towards your total character count.


Encourage Sharing


The best way to encourage sharing is to add interesting media items, such as images, videos or infographics. Choose striking images that will catch the eye and make your content stand out. Images in social media timelines will often appear much smaller than the original image file, so captions and slogans may not display clearly. If you want to embed videos into your messages, remember to add some text to explain what the video is about and why your audience should watch it.


Custom hashtags can be extremely useful for businesses looking to build their brand, market their products and increase their audience. Using a separate custom hashtag for each advertising campaign can help to create a dialogue with your intended customers. Targeting a specific audience, creating discussion or debate around your products and encouraging sharing of your messages will also boost social media engagement. In addition, learning the rules of each platform helps to prevent potential problems.


Last modified: June 21, 2018