Hashtags are the purpose of my blog post today. With social media’s increasing focus on our lives (the topic of my last blog post) we, as consumers, are being asked to mention hashtags in everything we do online. But when the hashtag is a vague word #movies or way too many words #SeeingtheBestMovieEverMade , does it actually help? When companies ask their audience to tweet or mention their brand, it can provide them with a lot of free PR and advertising, without any of the work!
The reason I chose this as my post for today is because I’ve been seeing my social media friends post more hashtags. So it caused me to start thinking about how companies choose what word or phrase can work best for them. Since history has shown hashtags can harm a company’s image. Most recently, McDonalds tried their campaign with #McDStories and well that went pretty bad and they had to do major damage control.
So I came up with my own checklist to use when creating a hashtag campaign.
1.Relate to Your Brand
Make sure the hashtag relates to the company. For instance PNC Bank shouldn’t have a hashtag that only says #1Banking because how would anyone be able to relate that phrase to any specific bank. Instead the company could try #PncHappiness. That phrase relates directly to PNC Bank and encourages their clients to post positive words and stories.
2.Keep it Simple
Try not to add too many words for your hashtag campaign. People shouldn’t have to type out a story in order to post the hashtag. For instance, the Sleep Number Company wouldn’t want to ask their customers to post #BestNightSleepOfMyLife. Although that phrase relates to their brand, it contains six words and in my opinion a hashtag shouldn’t have more than three or four words. So instead the company could use #PerfectSleepNumber. Now the phrase is not only shorter, but it also mentions the company so when others see the hashtag they are aware of the brand!
If you are trying to only use one word, try to keep that word unique to the brand. An abbreviation of the company’s name could help to create brand awareness! Also, a one word slogan that directly relates to the company can help make that brand more recognizable. An example could be for McDonalds; instead of their phrase #McDStories they could have used #McDSmiles. Now that word could encourage their public to post more positive words about this restaurant.
4.Research, Research, Research
Research 1: Before determining your hashtag phrase, research and make sure that it hasn’t been used anywhere else online. Research 2: Try to find out if the phrase has many negative remarks recently. Research 3: It is possible to register your hashtag online! It could be a good idea to trademark it to help other companies from using a similar idea for their campaign. If you’re interested, check out this website to find out if your hashtag is eligible to be trademarked.
Finally, a quick summary of my checklist is this: choose a simple word or phrase that can be related to the company and is unique enough to help the public remember the phrase and if possible consider trade marking the hashtag.If you’re interested in learning more about a hashtag campaign, check out this article!
To end my post I want to share my favorite hashtag campaign! My favorite one currently in effect is for Dairy Queen. I think their hashtag #LoveMyDQ is a cute and simple phrase that directly relates with the company, so whenever I visit the restaurant I like tweeting their hashtag!