Is it possible to create a hashtag that effectively and single-handedly increases the odds of reaching a significantly higher number of fans and followers? Of course, it is! Most of us have been able to witness the power of a well-thought out hashtag.
From the #TBT or "Throwback Thursday", which became incredibly popular among users waiting for the publication of old photos every Thursday, (it worked so well, people use it on days other than Thursdays and without truly knowing what it really means) to the case of the #Foodie tag. That one has been used next to millions of photographs, a number that continues to increase as time goes by. The power of hashtags remains as one of the most simple yet effective elements you can incorporate as part of highly efficient marketing strategies in order to raise the visibility of your business.
It is obvious users adore hashtags but you should be aware that simply typing one off the top of your head next to a post, will not automatically provide you with the best results. It is a fact that the ones that end up becoming viral rely on well thought-out ideas and are deployed with a practical use in mind. This is one of the reasons why so many brands have made efforts to surpass the most popular companies out there but failed trying.
Now, do not be afraid, we have taken the time to discover the reasons why successful hashtags became highly visible and earned the approval of millions of users who adopted them on popular social media networks.
Effective hashtags must rely on definite objectives
Before you sit down to create a hashtag that can be used as part of your online strategy, you should bear in mind the importance of defining the ideal and most persuasive ones. Remember, the idea is not to come up with a simple or meaningless hashtag, the goal is to deliver a set of unique words that generates an excuse to start passionate interactions and sustain meaningful conversations. They will act as a vehicle that lets users share personal experiences and opinions associated to specific themes or topics.
By creating effective hashtags that can be used to your advantage on social networks, you can position your brand around the interactions they will create. As a consequence of that, your customers will associate those simple but powerful phrases with your restaurant, contributing to further the meaning of those special experiences you are striving to offer to clients who hope to visit your restaurant and enjoy the benefits shared by the members of your community.
Hashtags are the best tools you can use to let customers know more about your brand. They enable building public partnerships with other businesses and help create connections which could then be used to connect and bond at deeper levels with your customer base. This relationships facilitate hearing about the opinions of your clientele and let you garner important information that can be incorporated and used on future marketing strategies (all leading to the eventual improvement of the level of service your restaurant will have the potential to deliver).
It is therefore very important to think carefully about the purpose of hashtags before attaching them to photos you are looking forward to publish. Let’s proceed with the most important key points you need to be aware of in order to generate the best ones!
Keep hashtags short and make sure they are easy to remember!
Effective hashtags tend to be brief, should be easy to read and consist of phrases that do not contain numbers or special characters (this makes them feel tiresome to users who notice them for the first time). If you fail to follow this simple but highly important factors, most people who look at your tags will not feel compelled to use or share them at all.
To use a phrase as a hashtag, the first letter of each word must be capitalized, let’s use as an example #ChocolateDay, certainly a very popular label. You must also be careful not to create hashtags that are too long. Some social networks, Twitter comes to mind, limit the number of characters users can enter. This makes it difficult to add opinions or comments next to hashtags, forcing them to delete those labels instead of choosing to edit the words that conveyed the message they intended to publish.
An average of two to five words (or even a number associated with a day on the calendar), are ideal to generate readable hashtags that users will be able to remember just by seeing them once. We also recommend adopting the use of phrases frequently used by your niche of clients, coloquial remarks or expressions they commonly identify with. The familiarity they create is a vital element that can be used in convincing and fruitful marketing strategies that will greatly benefit the process of acquiring new customers.
Established brands like Red Bull have realized the power of hashtags and used them as part of their #TeDa Alas (#It Gives You Wings) campaign, aimed at Spanish-speaking countries.
Create hashtags that link to meaningful experiences
Before creating a hashtag that can be used as part of your digital marketing strategy it is important to make sure the label you intend to use does not already exist and that it relates to information acquired through extensive research of social media trends and behaviors.
If a hashtag we really like has already been used, we must then check what sort of meaning has been assigned to it by other social network users. You should go online, look at the pictures and read the comments related to the label you are interested in and ultimately decide if the purpose you intend to attach to it will work to the advantage of your brand once it is included as part of your promotional efforts.
When we come up with a completely original hashtag, it is important to think about the effect it will have on members of the general public. Hashtags have the potential to condense and summarize the content businesses publish using the virtues of online channels. This creates social experiences where users can adopt the versatility of such labels in order to share essential messages and ideas through images, videos or text files.
Let’s examine what happens when we go on Instagram and enter #FoodLovers in the search field. The results provide us with photos of tempting meals served in restaurants, food trucks or other interesting venues; most of the content will focus on items that are fresh and have been prepared recently. By contrast, searches defined by the #JunkFood hashtag, will return media that shows vacuum sealed products, merchandise that most probably came from factories, seems artificial and obviously does not look as appetizing.
Digital marketing strategies that deliver positive results demand the use of tags that carry defined and substantial meanings. A simple but well thought-out hashtag can easily convey messages that would be difficult to express otherwise (such as letting patrons know that by ordering a specific menu item, they will immediately become eligible to win a prize as part of a special event or promotion).
Plan the use of hashtags according to dates and special occasions
Hashtags that were conceived carefully and carry relevant meanings can become even more effective when used to associate content that is published during special times of the year. Restaurants that offer special menu items during seasonal festivities must take advantage of such occasions and create a hashtag that promotes events users can attend in order to enjoy your best products and benefit from precious and unforgettable experiences.
A simple but very convenient tip: use a grid similar to the one seen on most digital marketing calendars to keep track of the tags you have already used on social media networks. Hashtags can definitely be included as part of your efforts to promote your brand on the Internet by publishing attractive and useful content each day, week and month of the year.
Hashtags that are published during the celebration of special occasions and are delivered during precise times of the day (when members of your target audience will actually be online) have a dramatically higher chance to ultimately become viral. This online marketing technique will facilitate attracting customers in significant numbers due to the proximity of events they enjoy taking part of.
Even though you must be careful with the hashtags you intend to use, try not to dismiss the importance of certain social situations as they come to happen. Taking this into consideration demands a certain degree of tact and sensibility; tragic or conflictive events generate opinions and comments from groups of users who may manifest opposing ideologies. This creates heated arguments that have the potential to become unpleasant very quickly. It is not appropriate to favor the opinion of sectors of your clientele while alienating those who may think differently. We recommend using labels that show respect toward all the members of the general public who are interested in what your brand has to offer.
Hashtags are superb elements that can be set in motion in order to increase the effectiveness of marketing strategies aimed at promoting your business on social networks. They provide you with the opportunity to publish content that can easily become popular (and even viral) thanks to the enthusiasm of your fans, followers and members of your online communities. We hope this article motivates you to create unique hashtags that provide access to useful information potential clients can use to enjoy memorable experiences through the services offered by your restaurant!