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Overview of this one-hour webinar on
Hashtag Marketing for Social Mavens
• A short history of hashtags
• How to use # on Twitter to gain
followers / get business
• How to use # on Instagram to
gain followers / get business
• How to use hashtags on other
• Hashtag strategies
• Best and worst practices of
• Tracking hashtags and traffic
• A Twitter hashtag case study
• An Instagram hashtag case study
The history of hashtags is short; the
idea of using # (pound) is 7 years old
• On Aug. 23, 2007, Chris Messina
tweeted the idea of using #
(pound) for groups.
• On July 2, 2009, Twitter adopted
hashtags and hyperlinked them to
• On Aug. 18, 2009, Tumblr
• On Jan. 27, 2011, Instagram
• On Mar. 17, 2013, Google+
• On June 12, 2013, Facebook
finally adopted hashtags.
Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake did
their “#Hashtag” skit on Sept. 24, 2013
How to use the hashtag symbol (#) on
Twitter and some etiquette for using it
• Find out if the subject you’re
tweeting about already has an
established hashtag, and then
join that existing conversation.
• Hashtags can show up at the
beginning, middle or end of a
• Don’t use more than two
hashtags per Tweet.
• Use hashtags that are relevant to
the topic of the Tweet.
• Hashtags that quickly become
popular will often show up in
Choosing the right hashtag to make
your Tweets part of the conversation
• Answering questions is an easy,
low-friction way to engage with
your Twitter audience.
• And hashtags are the perfect
mechanism to source questions
and tag your answers.
• It’s often best if these hashtags
are specific to the subject of the
questions, for example when
Twitter hosted a town hall with
the White House Twitter used the
hashtag #AskObama to make it
clear that users’ Tweets would be
read directly to the president.
Use Twitter Analytics to track growth
in followers and to learn about them
Sources Twitter Analytics
Use Google Analytics to tie it all back
to your client’s bottom line revenue
Source Google Analytics
How to add hashtags to your photos
and videos on Instagram: Be specific
• Instead of using the tag #van, use
• The photo will be added to that
highly targeted tag page, where
other Volkswagen lovers will be
able to find the photo more easily
(without sifting through photos of
Toyota Siennas and Chevy Astros).
• It's best to avoid using
generalized tags, such as
#instagram or #iphone, as these
types of tags can be applied to
most, if not all, photographs
shared with Instagram.
Best practices for using hashtags on
your Instagram photos: Be observant
• Pay attention to the other
hashtags used on posts that use
the same tag as yours.
• You may discover a popular
hashtag you hadn’t thought of on
• For example, on photos tagged
#volkswagen, you may see that
many of those photos also use
the tag #vw.
• When you do a search for those
tags, you may find out that
Instagrammers use #vw twice as
often as they use #volkswagen!
In August, Instagram started rolling out
Account insights for businesses
• Account insights allows
businesses to see how they’re
increasing brand awareness on
Instagram through impressions,
reach, and engagement.
• It’s a first step in helping your
clients understand how their
content is being received, and
what type of content works best
for their audience.
• Insights will also provide a better
indication of the best time to post
on Instagram, so you can reach
the right people at the right time.
You clients want to measure business
outcomes, not marketing outputs
• In 1986, I became the Director of
Corporate Communications at
Lotus Development Corporation.
• After my first month, I took a
thick report of 700 clippings
down the hall and dropped it
casually on CEO Jim Manzi’s desk.
• Manzi took a quick look and said,
“Jarboe, if I could deposit these in
a bank, I’d know what they were
worth. But, until you can measure
the impact of PR in cold, hard
cash, don’t waste my time with
these so-called reports.”
Which other popular social media
websites in the U.S. support hashtags?
Unique Visitors (Millions) in U.S.
Source: Compete PRO, November 2014
How to use hashtags on some of the
other top social media websites
• YouTube: Hashtag use within YouTube is most prevalent in the comments section.
Users can leave comments with hashtags, which will then click through to a page
with videos that contain that hashtag in their title.
• Facebook: Clicking a hashtag on Facebook will bring you to a separate page with
posts that are visible to you based on the various users’ privacy settings. You’ll also
see the different trending topics in the top right hand corner of your News Feed.
• Google+: Google+ uses hashtags similar to the other sites, but with one main
difference. Google+ will add hashtags to content if they think that it is a relevant
and popular keyword. You can always opt-out of this through Google+ if you’d like.
• Tumblr: When you’re creating a post on your Tumblr page, you’ll see an area at
the bottom asking you to add “tags.” When you start to type a tag for your post,
Tumblr will automatically add a hashtag to the front of it.
• Pinterest: The main thing you need to know when creating hashtags on Pinterest is
that they’re only clickable in a Pin description. Also, hashtags aren’t searchable on
Pinterest, so you’ll need to just search the keyword to find the content.
What are brand and campaign hashtag
strategies and why do you need them?
• A brand hashtag is your company
name or a company tagline.
• Use your brand tag as your
• Get people to use it, so that your
brand gets marketed too.
• A campaign hashtag is a hashtag
made for each of your marketing
• For example, if you are having a
sale at your store, make a unique
hashtag for this promotion.
• Get people to use it, and your
campaign gets extended reach.
What are trending hashtag strategies
and how do you find the latest ones?
• A trending hashtag is one for a
topic that has become popular.
• They change in real time.
• Twitter and Google+ show
trending topics on their sites.
• Hashtags.org shows trending,
declining and constant trends, as
well as metrics on your brand.
• Statigram lets you search for
Instagram hashtag trends and get
alternatives for hashtags.
• Trendsmap shows you a visual
map of geographic hashtag trends
for local businesses.
What are some of the best and worst
practices of hashtag marketing?
• Best practices:
– Create hashtags that
mirror your brand, and give
people reasons to use
– Use a handful of targeted,
• Worst practices:
– #Using #Too #Many
#Hashtags #In #Your #Posts
– Leveraging trending
hashtags without tying
back to your products
Adding a photo, video, or quote will
boost in the number of Retweets
• Photos average a 35%
boost in Retweets.
• Videos get a 28% boost.
• Quotes get a 19% boost
• Including a number
receives a 17% bump in
• Hashtags receive a 16%
• Results vary by industry.
There are several excellent tools on
the market for tracking hashtags
– Works for Twitter, Instagram,
Facebook, Google+, and several
– Versions for Safari and Chrome,
so you can search for hashtags
directly in your browser.
– Graph shows number of tweets,
number of users, reach, and
timeline for all data.
– Includes top sites where the
hashtag is used, share of voice,
top influencers using it, location,
– Provides historic and real-time
hashtag & cashtag tracking and
intelligence tools that gives
subscribers instant access to
– Talkwalker offers powerful and
highly flexible dashboards, APIs
and reports featuring
comprehensive filters and
actionable social media insights
that create strong added value
for brands and agencies
Hootsuite enables you to manage and
connect with over 35 social networks
Google Analytics can help you see if
social media has generated traffic
Social networks can generate website
traffic through more than one channel
Display Interactions with a medium of "display", or ”CPM". Also includes AdWords
interactions with ad distribution network set to "content" but excluding ad
format of "text".
Social Network Visits from approximately 400 social networks (that are not tagged as ads).
E-mail Visits that are tagged with a medium of "e-mail".
Paid Search Visits from the AdWords Search Network or other search engines, with a
medium of ”CPC" or ”PPC" .
Other Advertising Visits that are tagged with a medium of ”CPC", ”PPC", ”CPM", ”CPV", ”CPA",
”CPP", "content-text", "affiliate" (excluding Paid Search).
Referral Visits from websites that are not social networks.
Organic Search Visits from unpaid search on any search engine (i.e. medium = "organic").
Direct Visits in which the visitor typed the name of your website URL into the
browser or came to your site via a bookmark (i.e., source = "(direct)" and
medium = "(not set)" or "(none)").
Google’s URL builder adds parameters
to URLs you use in Custom Campaigns
• The URL builder helps you add
parameters to URLs you use in
• When users click one of the
custom links, the unique
parameters are sent to your
Google Analytics account so
you can identify the URLs that
are most effective in attracting
• Fill in the form and
click Submit button.
• Past the long URL in Bitly to
Then, examine the multi-channel
funnels reports in Google Analytics
• Google Analytics shows you
the full customer picture
across ads and videos,
websites, social tools,
tablets, and smartphones.
• Google Analytics has the
latest in full-credit
measurement, so you see
all the stops people take on
the road to action.
• And Google Analytics gives
you insights that you can
turn into real results.
Feeding America is a leading domestic
hunger relief charity in the U.S.
Challenge: Use trending hashtags on
Twitter to maximize website traffic
• The organization partnered
with search marketing agency
Performics and search
BrightEdge to review volume
of Tweets, search engine
rankings, and web analytics.
• Based on the data they
determined what they should
Tweet about and what type of
content their Tweets should
link to on their website.
Solution: Aligned trending hashtags
with its existing website content
• Know your audience.
– Feeding America created a
content strategy based on
popular topics searched for
and talked about by their
• Showcase your best
– @FeedingAmerica’s Tweets
included links to relevant
articles and pages on their
website to provide value to
Results: Feeding America saw a 250%
increase in website traffic from Tweets
• In partnership with
incorporated popular topics
in Tweets and linked to
associated pages on the
• These Tweets resulted in a
2.5x boost in average site
traffic compared to other
Tweets during the same
Ben & Jerry’s started in a renovated
gas station in Burlington, Vermont
Challenge: Use hashtags to bring its ice
cream brand to life on Instagram
• Ben & Jerry’s was one of the first
brands to join Instagram in
February 2011, initially focusing
on its key themes of flavors, fun,
values, and community.
• Ben & Jerry’s Vermont heritage is
a also key part of their story, but
now that the brand has a global
presence, they wanted to use
Instagram to connect with people
around the world and to source
photos from Instagrammers
enjoying their ice cream in far
Solution: Crowdsourced photos from
Instagrammers using related hashtags
• Ben & Jerry’s does everything in-
house, from shooting images and
videos, to reviewing Instagram
photos posted with Ben & Jerry’s
related hashtags, to selecting the
best of the best to share in their
• Ben & Jerry’s digital marketing
manager Mike Hayes says, “It’s
helped being on the platform
from the beginning, but the
secret is respecting the
community and providing value
Results: Half the photos Ben & Jerry’s
shares are from community members
• At least half the photos that Ben
& Jerry’s shares through their
account today are from
community members, many of
whom compose their shots using
the framing techniques modeled
by the brand.
• One favorite: a shot of a cone or
cup from the POV of the person
about to enjoy it, with a fun
backdrop that identifies where
• As Hayes sees it, “We’re a curator
of our brand story now.”