The Arts Of Creative Hashtag Writing

    The age of social media has fundamentally changed how our society functions in terms of receiving and processing information. Marketing has transformed itself completely and being a writer in this new landscape means you have to be very versatile and be able to quickly and creatively navigate this new terrain. One aspect that we will discuss here is the art of hashtag creation. These can be Instagram hashtags, Facebook post hashtags, hashtags in advertising, etc. Although hashtags have not really taken off on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter heavily rely on them. They can help you target a specific audience, generate conversation, and build your brand presence on media websites.  

    Here are a few quick tips for creating hashtags that can boost your brand while accurately representing it.  

    Short Yet Precise

    The first basic rule of hashtags is that they need to be relatively short—just a few words or perhaps a short phrase, but not so long as to form a complex sentence. Of course, there are exceptions, but generally speaking, shorter is better. Let’s not forget that users are sharing their thoughts along with the hashtag, and since Twitter limits the character count, you don’t want your long hashtag to limit the user’s own writing.  

    What’s hard is coming up with something original that can fit into that limited character count requirement (even when there is no limit requirement, like on Instagram, it’s still best to keep it short). When you are creating a hashtag to generate conversation about your brand, you want something that people will use when they reference you or your brand. If it’s original, it will be easy to remember and gain more traction (as well as credit) when it gets picked up. 

    Having your hashtag be unique will keep you and your users on topic and help avoid interference with another topic that uses a similar hashtag (or even the same one). Lancome’s # BareSelfie is a great example of that “brief but unique” balance. What Lancome did was use something topical by jumping on the makeup-free train, while also being easy to engage with and unique. The subliminal marketing was great (our creams and lotions will make it so that you don’t need any make-up to look beautiful). 

    Create an Emotional Response

    If you want to create something worth sharing and leave a lasting impression, you can use your Instagram image or tweet, along with your hashtag, to create an emotional response from your users. This will not only catch their attention but can even be enough to motivate them to share it. You can make them laugh, make them cry, even make them angry (a good example of this was a very effective awareness campaign regarding the abuse of animals with images that stirred both intense sympathy and anger). In general, don’t be afraid to pull at the heartstring. Humans are emotional beings, and we can use this to our advantage when trying to elicit a response and engage your audience.   

    When we were discussing Lancome’s highly successful #bareselfie campaign, we touched upon being topical. Is there something currently happening in the world that you can integrate into your brand representation? If so, that could make for a good hashtag. While this can’t be applied to the majority of hashtags that you conjure up in order to represent your brand, when the chance does present itself, jump on a topic that is already getting a ton of buzz. You can then redirect this attention to yourself and your brand. Of course, one must tread with caution with subjects that are controversial, lest you do some serious damage to your brand due to a misstep (the famous Pepsi/BLM protest commercial comes to mind).   

    Use Humor and be Clever!

    Nothing catches attention and spreads more naturally than wit and humor. Users would be excited to take part in something that they find funny or clever. It’s a great way to showcase the lighter side of your brand. A good example is Charmin’s #tweetfromtheseat hashtag or DiGiorno’s # DigiorNoYouDidn’t.  

    In general, when you are considering a hashtag, think less like a company and more like the human being that you are!  

    Create Hashtags for Specific Events

    If you have a hashtag created specifically for an event your business is hosting, users are then encouraged to live tweet and share their experience on Twitter. They may not be tweeting all the time, but a high number of people tweeting with your hashtag, sharing photos will give your brand instant free promotion to other potential audiences.  

    We hope this helps, and good luck!

     

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