Welcome to Marketing Monday, where I give you tips and tricks for being your own content marketer. This week’s post is all about how to get your hashtag trending on social media.
Many people ask about getting a hashtag trending on social media. If you’re still unclear on what a hashtag is and how it works, you might be wondering how a trending hashtag can help you achieve your social media marketing goals.
Why Bother to Get a Hashtag Trending?
The main reason to do social media marketing at all is to gain visibility and establish yourself as an authority in your industry. A trending hashtag can help you achieve that by significantly increasing your visibility. When you start a conversation on a particular topic and a bunch of people join in on that conversation (especially if a significant number of them are influencers in your field), people will notice you because they’ll notice that most of the posts with that hashtag were either published by you, or have tagged you.
Now that we know why we might want to get a hashtag trending, we can get into the tips and tricks you’ll need to accomplish that goal.
Pick a Hashtag
Before you can start anything trending, you have to decide which hashtag you’re going to use. It should be a keyword that’s relevant to your industry, with a fairly high search volume, but not so high that it’s almost impossible to rank for. Make sure it’s a short keyword (keep it to one or two words. If it’s too long your audience will lose interest).
Research the Hashtag
I’ve written before about the importance of researching your hashtags and you definitely want to keep up that habit any time you’re looking to get a hashtag trending. Make sure it isn’t being used to refer to anything or any accounts with which you’d rather not be associated, and (of course) make sure it’s not already trending.
You don’t have to make up a brand new hashtag (although you certainly can). You can pick one that’s already in use, as long as it’s not already popular (and you’re not stealing it from a competitor). If you want to try to get the name of your company trending as a hashtag, that’s certainly a viable option, as long as it’s self explanatory – never keep your audience guessing as to what the hashtag means. That’s why I also I don’t recommend using an acronym, unless it’s a well-known acronym among your target audience.
The next step is to start posting using that hashtag. You don’t have to use it in every post you publish, but you should use it on a regular basis. When you do use it, make sure the post is relevant to the conversation you’re trying to start, which brings me to my next tip…
Start a Conversation
Social media marketing is at its best when you get other people involved. Too many people think social media marketing doesn’t have to consist of anything more than telling people about their product or service (that’s advertising, not marketing).
But people don’t go on social media to see ads (that’s why Facebook has pulled back on the number of ads they show their users). They go on social media to see what’s new and to have conversations with other people. At the same time, they’re increasingly wary of social media marketing because so much of it is done by robots and algorithms. Starting a conversation (and continuing to participate in that conversation) is one of the best ways to convert social media followers to customers.
So start by asking a question, or offering an opinion and see if anyone disagrees. Try to encourage people to use the hashtag you’re trying to get trending in all the posts in which they’re participating in that conversation.
Invite Others to Join the Conversation
Finally, tag other influencers in your industry in posts with your hashtag. Whether you’re promoting a link to their site or just asking for their input in the conversation, it’s a great way to bring their attention both to your site and your hashtag. Give them a reason to repost your post or to participate in the conversation using the hashtag.
By the way, encouraging people to use a particular hashtag can be as easy as saying something like, “I don’t think people should write articles to be published on LinkedIn. To share your thoughts on this topic, include the hashtag, #ownyourcontent.”
Any other tips for getting a hashtag trending? Feel free to let me know in the comments if you think of anything I missed.
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