Hashtags have been around for a while now. They are used on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. You can also use them on your website.
The # symbol goes in front of a word or words, to group posts about the same topic.
Did you know that this also started on August 23, 2007, with a tweet by San Francisco techie and former Google developer Chris Messina.
He posted the first hashtag on Twitter:
How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups? As in #barcamp [msg]?
— Chris Messina, ("factoryjoe"), August 23, 2007.
Messina’s suggestion to use the hashtag was not adopted by Twitter, but the practice took off after hashtags were widely used in tweets relating to the 2007 San Diego forest fires in Southern California.
So how should your business be using them today?
How do I use them?
Search it! You can use hashtags to search for a topic you might like to post about, or to see what people are saying. This works across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter.
Start a trend. You can use hashtags to create a thread of conversation or trend that you think might catch on.
To promote your products. Create a hashtag for your products and use it every time you mention that product/service.
Connect with potential customers, brand advocates and influencers. It’s a great way of joining, or even starting discussions with influencers and industry experts to raise the profile of your business and build valuable connections.
Top tip: please don’t use more than 3 hashtags! Posts with more than three hashtags are proven not to have any more engagement and in fact this often leads to a decline in engagement.
Note: In China, microblogs Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo use a double-hashtag #HashName# format, since the lack of spacing between Chinese characters necessitates a closing tag.
Your digital marketing plan does not need to be long winded, complicated or technical! These three things will only hold you back from writing your plan or sometimes even procrastinating so much that you end up doing no marketing at all!
So I’ve tailored this marketing plan and focused on keeping it simple and achievable.
The first few headings are simple. Name your project and specify the dates you are looking to run the campaign in.
Most business owners don’t set a goal, so how can you ever know if your campaign was a success? Yes, your post might go viral or get lots of likes but what if your goal was to get people to sign up to your newsletter? Below is a list of likely goals you can set for your Digital Marketing Campaign.
Grow your page likes.
Drive traffic to your website.
Gain sign-ups to your newsletter.
Get customers to book your services.
Promote a new service.
Increase brand awareness.
Now that you have a goal in mind what does success look like to you? For example, if your goal is to increase page likes, then get really specific on this point. Will success mean 10 new page likes or 1000? Write this next to your goal.
This helps you think about which social media channels you are going to use. How do they fit together for your campaign? Are you going to use Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat? Are you going to support your campaign with a blog on your website? It’s completely fine to use one channel or multiple channels depending on what you would like your outcome to be.
This may have come to you first, it often does for me and I then find myself rushing forward, often without thinking through my plan first. This means that I end up spending more time, money and energy than I should have on a particular concept. If creativity doesn’t come to you naturally, have a look at what other similar brands are doing, or reach out to other business owners. Things like community Facebook business pages can be a great source of support and brainstorming.
This can help you to understand what needs to be done. If you are collaborating, who needs to do what. You can jot down key dates of when tasks need to be ticked off by. Don’t forget to check in with each of your campaigns to see if they need some added attention.
This is the most important factor and I’m sure the one that gets missed off most. Reviewing the outcome helps you reflect, figure out what your ROI was and how you can improve for the next campaign. It’s totally fine for it not to have worked. Chalk it up to experience and reflect on it for your next campaign.
Most importantly make a start and have fun with it!
To many businesses, investing time and effort and therefore budget, into Social Media can seem like another pit to spend endless time, energy and money. Leaving you thinking “is it really worth it?” Below are our top five reasons for creating and maintaining a Facebook Business Page.
1. Become Your Brand
What does this mean? This allows you to think about what your brand stands for. You might think,I’m no ‘Coca-Cola’ I’m just a one-man band lawn mowing business, sweating out my days doing a great job for my neighbourhood.
Well little do you know, your brand is a lot more than that. You are always on time, offer reasonable prices, cut tidy edges, and your partner cooks a mean brownie that you leave in your client’s letterbox. This is you and your brand!
Facebook allows you to tell your story and what you stand for in lovely easy to digest bites.
2. Be Recommended and Remembered
Do you know that a huge percentage of people ask their friends and strangers for recommendations? Sure people can still recommend you even if you don’t have a page but next time they go to find you they have often lost the post.
There is a bucket load of noise going on and everyone seems to be increasingly busy. This way they can like your page and there is a good possibility of them finding the best Lawn Mowing business in the Bay of Plenty again. And of course they will always now be able to find your contact details easily in the future.
Facebook has been around since 2004 and has invested heavily in becoming a long term fixture in our lives as well as our businesses. To do this it has had to change and evolve to stay current, relatable and at the forefront of social media capabilities.
This requires you to be up to date and re-evaluate your marketing often, which I think is a great thing. There’s nothing like a stale piece of advertising that you get to update!
4. You can talk back
Not great if you have a teenager but perfect for your clients. You give them a voice and an easy way to keep in touch with you. They can rave about you and your lawn mowing skills, ask when you’re next available and book your services.
5. Easy to measure
A lot of forms of marketing are hard to measure! Here you can clearly see your likes, each post reach and the outcome if you do decide to spend anything on adverts. It is clear and easily read.
Don’t have a page? Open one today! Haven’t been updating your page?
Reinvest your time and efforts back in – it’s a “you reap what you sow” sort of process. Go forth and concur!
Amber has been developing traditional and digital marketing strategies for companies of all sizes for more than a decade. Her expertise are highly sought after and the waiting list to have her take over the management of company's social media pages is growing daily!