How to Use Hashtags on Twitter to Build Brand Awareness

By
Mandy Movahhed
June 3, 2015

While the social media scene can be a little daunting (especially if you are trying to increase brand awareness across multiple platforms), hashtags are a great way get your brand recognized on a large scale and tap into niche markets. Whether your goal is B2B marketing, B2C marketing, or a combination of both, the steps below will guide you through the do’s and don’ts of leveraging hashtags.

How to Use Hashtags on Twitter to Build Brand Awareness

1. Get Your Goals Down

This might sound like a no-brainer, but before you go hashtagging away, ask yourself a few questions: What is the purpose of the hashtag you’re creating? Are you looking to promote a particular product? Build general brand awareness? Send a particular message? According to Traci Browne, author of The Social Trade Show, thoroughly outlining your objectives is crucial to social media marketing success.

2. Identify the Target Audience

If your goal is to raise awareness for a new product, and you’ve decided Twitter is the best way to accomplish that, you may start out by aiming to get 100 new Twitter followers. Browne explains, however, that you don’t want 100 random followers. You must instead narrow down your target as much as possible, and set measurable, audience-oriented goals. A great example of an audience-oriented goal would be to get 100 new Twitter followers who are in the specialty food and beverage retail space. With a defined audience, you can tailor your tweets to be more relevant to your target audience. Again, this may seem obvious, but it is a basic rule that is often overlooked.

3. Be Consistent

Another elementary rule is to make sure your hashtags are relevant to your content. One of the great things about hashtags is that they auto-index information so it is easily searchable. Make sure the content you’re sharing will actually be useful to someone searching for a certain hashtag. Stuffing your tweets with random hashtags is ineffective and makes you look unprofessional.

4. Research

Find out which hashtags are popular in your industry. A few great sites to help you with this process include Hashtags.org, Tweetchat, Wefollow, Twubs, and Twitterfall When selecting hashtags, you don’t necessarily want to use the most popular ones out there. Instead, find a few that relate to what you are marketing and spark discussion in that area. Great hashtags are short, to the point, and catchy. Pairing highly followed general hashtags with less-popular, niche-oriented hashtags is another effective way to strengthen your brand awareness across multiple groups.

5. DIY

Making your own branded hashtag is a great way to attract attention from customers and industry professionals. Again, doing your research is essential here as well. Still stick to the basic guidelines above, and make sure your hashtag is relevant, catchy and short. Don’t use unfamiliar acronyms or long difficult hashtags that can be easily misspelled. Once you have chosen a hashtag, get it out there! Include it in your email signature, website, business cards and at your tradeshow booth.

6. Host a Twitter Chat

Hosting a Twitter Chat is a great way to generate interest quickly. Post questions using a unique, branded hashtag and encourage people to jump in to ask/answer questions and post their comments using your branded hashtag. The brand serves as the moderator, re-tweeting posts and engaging participants. This builds a connected conversation that can help you gain loyal followers. There are many ways to create buzz around your branded hashtag. If you’re going to try a more aggressive approach, like running a branded hashtag promotion or contest on Instagram or Twitter, keep a few things in mind:

  • You don’t own the hashtag even if you create it, and though you can help shape the conversation around it, you ultimately can’t control it.
  • Don’t overdo it. Even social media addicts get annoyed when they see a laundry list of hashtags under a photo or tweet.

If you have other great ideas on how to use hashtags to increase B2B or B2C brand awareness, we’d love to hear from you in the comments!