5 Types of Hashtags and When To Use Them

SocialEngine - Community Software

Hashtags are fantastic marketing tools and fickle beasts that can destroy a carefully laid plan. As with every community building based marketing strategy, it takes a lot of work to make hashtags appear natural. Plan ahead and create hashtag guidelines for your company with specific tags and a little room to improvise. Here are 5 of our favorite hashtag categories and some ways to use them.
1. Branded
These are specific to your company and products. A simple hashtag of your company name is an easy place to start. Depending on your company you may want to include departmental or product hashtags. (Eg. #COMPANYcustomerservice, #COMPANY_PRODUCTNAME)
Use these every time. Every single time! At least one branded hashtag should be included on your website at all times (and more on specific product pages as needed). Also in every social post, e-communication, and on digital and printed marketing materials.
2. Promotional
Company or product line wide promotions should have their own hashtags. Either expand upon a branded hashtag or build a new one that focuses more on the specific promotion.
Popular examples of promotional hashtags include #ShareACoke and #PutACanOnIt from RedBull.
These should be used through every channel you are using to spread awareness about your promotion.
3. General
Keep track of popular general hashtags in your space. For example, food brands may want to use #food or #yummy on a regular basis. Local companies should pick up city or state based hashtags. With a little searching, local restaurants may find tags like #eatinCITY or #CITYfarmtotable. Instagram is the best place to search for new general hashtags.
These hashtags will be most valuable to you when used on Instagram. Facebook is still a hit-or-miss space when it comes to tags but occasional use can be effective. Peppering in on Twitter when you have space is always a good idea.
4. Trending
These can be tricky to incorporate but it’s important to keep an eye on Twitter wide trending hashtags so you can jump on applicable ones when they appear. Depending on your company voice you may want to join in on hashtag games presented by TV shows or late night talk show hosts.
Stick to solely social use for these and stay away from incorporating them into sales pitches. It’s important to join the trending community without appearing to capitalize on it. Modern customers can be quite sensitive to this.
5. Inspirational/Comical
Have a silly phrase you always use around the office? Posting a fun or beautiful picture? Make a hashtag! Be sure to stay within the structure of your defined company personality, but never forget it’s supposed to be fun!
Use on social and potentially published employee pages where you can help foster relationships between employees and customers.
We hope this quick hashtag overview has got you thinking about ways you can make social tags work for you. Be sure to check your social analytics on a regular basis to see what’s working. Happy tagging!

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