How to create #Winner hashtags? Hashtag fever is getting hooked to the hippie culture of the youth and marketing alike. The heat of hashtag is not just exciting but overwhelming too. From the naive Instagrammers to the seasoned marketer, everybody seems to be handling it, loving it and slaying it like it’s nobody’s /everybody’s business. But this whole thing is way beyond just a casual use of hashtags. It is much more than their random plugging into your tweets and posts. On social media platforms such as Twitter and Instagram, hashtag-marketing can boost impressions, reach, make the content more searchable and importantly, urge the audience to talk about your brand, if it is done in a calculated way. Social listening with hashtags A standard social listening involves keeping track of what consumers say on any digital space that exists virtually. Why social listening with hashtags? You can’t ignore them, if you are a marketer or want to know the air of your brand around your audience. The use of hashtags enhances the repository of data collected on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+ or other social media platforms, wherever they are used. The tracking of data with hashtag is like data mining. And it revolves around identifying posts that bring significant metrics such as influence and engagement. How to use these tagged topics strategically? Here’s a list of six hashtag marketing strategies: 1- #Brand hashtags Brand hashtag is your signature for the digital world. Unique to your business, a brand hashtag should be relevant to your business and should be included when sharing original content. It Benefits all, because: The online community will get to know how to find your brand and its content. Encouraging followers to use them will push your brand into consumer’s lane gradually and positively. It is a way for users to let the community-on-social-media know what they think about your brand/product/services/company. Instead of just a reference to your brand, they’re speaking out to their respective followers and users who are looking for tagged posts content. The normal audience that use them will earn more followers by drawing attention to their posts by use of brand hashtags. The promotional contests dependent and determined on the hashtag-uses are examples that prove how engagement increases, steadily. Example: Kitkat uses it’s tagline Have a break. Here’s how it looks on Instagram: 2- #Trending hashtags What’s trending now? A top 10 trend can come and go within minutes or last for a few days. A lot of users tend to use them in their posts and hence it trends. Trending hashtags are displayed in different ways on different social media platforms. Why you should use them? They successfully engage a large audience base way larger than your contacts and followers. The audience tends to become limitless. Your posts appear for any searches for those trending hashtags. 3- #CallToAction hashtags The last but not the least rule of marketing: Encourage the audience to perform an action. On social media, the end-goal is to have this mandatory CTA aspect in all the sorts of the marketing, good or bad. They start with verbs like Talk, Share or similar words. Ex. #TalkAboutMentalHealth Why they work like magic? Audience feels like they are part of an impactful cause something that solicits their opinion. Sense of participation is injected among the users that tend to lend them a sense of being in charge of something. A fun-fountain is sprinkled in the hearts of the audience. People like something which induces laughter and humour emotions. Example: Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign used the power of a strong CTA and became a wildly-successful hashtag initiative in marketing. 4- #ContentRelated hashtags Hashtags, which speak about the meat-of-the-content, fall under this category. They don’t need to fall under the compulsive club of trending or popular. Your post’s uniqueness will be highlighted by the means of content-related hashtags. Why to go for content-reflecting hashtags? They optimize content for searches. Niche topics are brought to the audience with use of specific hashtags. A new product/service can be sold tactfully. Example: #DigitalMarketing is one such hashtag that can be used for the posts related to digital marketing services spanning across different segments in that. 5- #Campaign hashtags Marketing campaigns that are done on social media needs to be identified uniquely and hence a campaign hashtag will serve the purpose. Promotions of the campaign can be done throughout the campaign-duration with the help of such hashtags. How does it help in promotions? Sponsored events and product launches get a huge boost among the audience with the proper use of the campaign hashtags. One of the most strategic tactics followed by the brands is to make the use of the hashtags as the entry mechanism to the contest or any user-engagement campaign. 6- #Chat hashtags Businesses often host Twitter chats to get the audience talking in affiliation to a particular hashtag. This brings the brand alive by initiating a discussion on a topic into the audience’s attention. If we talk of the outcomes of Chat hashtags used in the past, they have worked great for building relationships & getting fans familiar with a brand. How does it help? Connect with like-minded audience. Establish the brand’s expertise in relevant domains and topics. These six strategies work best for spiking the engagement by making the content searchable, increasing the reach, firing up the consumer conversations and more. Implement them in your next social marketing campaigns to see what works well for you. Let us know your feedback on social media or in the comments with the hashtag #ShareYourFeedback. Hitesh Kothari Has played some key Digital Marketing roles when at IBM-Australia and New Zealand, Infosys, Sonata Software. Also worked with the world's best Digital marketer, Neil Patel as Internet marketing consultant helping startups to billion $ companies with their Digital Marketing. Has worked on 100+ marketing campaigns and a few of them are IBM Australian Open, SAPPHIRE, Oracle Open World, etc. He's currently leading Marketo Labz and giving digital marketing strategies to various companies and individuals alike.