For the last one month, Twitter has been abuzz with quizzes organised by a particular soft drink brand using hashtags. The wave of conversations the hashtag generated prompted several other brands to emulate the concept and build fan base. In the past, several other brands have successfully used hashtag campaigns for Twitter marketing, while some (like McDonalds) saw their worst nightmares come true with “bash”tags. So what makes a Twitter campaign using hashtags click?
1. Make it simple silly
When you are deciding on a hashtag, make sure it is new. Using a already used tag will automatically nullify the changes of the hashtag to make it to trending topics. Also, do remember, Twitter comes with a 140 character limit. So, make sure your hashtag is not too big. That will save some space for the users to put in their thoughts.
2. Trendy tags trend
The essence of hashtags is to communicate a message. The hashtag should be able to communicate the message in simple yet bold terms. Suitable keywords representing the brand or the industry would just pep up the buzz around the brand. Mundane tags that only talk about the brand will surely get thumbs down from users. A successful and popular hashtag needs the “X” factor to trend.
3. Caution – Risky road ahead
Good things come with their share of side effects. You need to exercise caution at every level to ensure that your hahstag campaign does not generate the buzz that you were not looking for. McDonalds had to pay for their #McDStories with a tumultuous wave of criticism flying its way on Twitter. Even American president contender Mitt Romney’s PR campaign met with a thud on his birthday when people hijacked the occasion to express their dislike for him.
4. Abuse and you are out
If you think you can cash in on a popular hashtag and use it to promote your own product, think again. The lesson we learnt from the backlash Kenneth Cole received for using a hashtag related to Egypt uprising, was that hashtag abuse has no place on Twitter. Official guidelines make it amply clear.
5. Bull’s Eye
Once you have your unique and original hashtag, all you need to do is to set yourself a target audience. Once you set the tongues waggling, BAZINGA! There’s no stopping your hashtag from emerging on to the trends map.
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