Social media hashtags are a bit like Marmite – you either love them or you hate them. They were first introduced by Twitter back in 2007 as a way of forming groups and making it easier for people with similar interests to converse with each other.
Since then, almost every social media platform has adopted the hashtag, but the basic purpose of it has stayed the same. Despite this, the overuse of tags resulted in an eventual widespread revulsion, and many people stopped using them.
After a long quiet period, hashtags have slowly started to make a return. Of course, there will always be people who overuse and overkill their posts with tags, but if used correctly, hashtags can have an abundance of business benefits.
Lots of brands come up with their own hashtags unique to their business. This is a really easy way to promote your company, and it’s free. If someone in your marketing team is ‘punny’ or especially witty, utilise their knack for dry humour to your advantage. Good business hashtags don’t usually mention the name of the business itself, for example, Charmin (toilet paper company) came up the hashtag #TweetFromTheSeat. Other memorable campaigns included Cancer Research’s #NoMakeupSelfie and Three’s #HolidaySpam.
These hashtags were unique to each company and gained notoriety very quickly. We know that smaller businesses don’t have as large of a platform as the brands we just mentioned, but the point was that regardless of what your business sells or does, you can always use a hashtag.
At XL Displays, we often use the hashtag #NotJustASale, and this has become synonymous with our #TrustpilotTuesday posts. We use #NotJustASale when we post about the work our customer service, sales and production teams do, specifically during the quality check and test-build stage of our linked pop up displays, retractable banner stands and printed tablecloths. This is where businesses who produce products in-house like we dohave an advantage. In addition, by tagging Trustpilot and using their hashtag #TrustpilotTuesday, we often gain shares and retweets from Trustpilot, further exposing our brand to their audience.
As mentioned previously, the purpose of hashtags was initially to enable people of similar interests to find each other quickly and easily in order to create a conversation. This hasn’t changed. Most people who use hashtags do so in order to either spark or join a conversation about a specific topic. By adding a hashtag relevant to your business to a post - for example #exhibition - you are joining in on that conversation and having your say.
As well as engaging your business in an online discussion, posts with one or two hashtags have been proven to have at least 21% more engagement than posts without tags. This is because when you click on a tag or search for one using the search bar, all of the recent posts using that tag will show up. This enables a larger audience to find your post and therefore your business, boosting your brand awareness and your chance of getting your content shared to an even wider audience.
Social Media Calendar
Any big events that are happening in the world tend to have a complimentary hashtag so that people can get involved. We often send out posts using these tags in order to demonstrate that our brand can be relatable, and also to add a human element to our social media feed. We recently got involved with the #RoyalWedding2018, as well as regular posts such as #WisdomWednesday and #InspirationFriday. By allotting certain posts to certain days, you are able to fill up your social media calendar with more structured content, which also means there is less of a chance you will be flailing for inspiration.
Hashtags are hit and miss and social media campaigns can either take off or totally bomb, but by understanding the way in which tags work and how they can be advantageous, you are increasing your chance of success and potentially boosting your revenue.
At XL Displays we are experts in exhibition stand design and provide everything from custom exhibition stands to portable display solutions such as pop up stands, roller banners and promotional counters. For more information on Twist, or any of our products, contact us or call us on 01733 511030.