Thou Shalt Not Misuse Hashtags: Crucial Do’s and Don’ts
Hashtags are everywhere, almost every social media platform now uses them and they are fantastic for hotel marketers. But what makes them so great? And how do you know if you’re using them correctly? Read on to find out!
Hashtags are: “A word or phrase on social-networking websites preceded by a hash mark (#) used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.” (dictionary) By clicking a hashtag in a post, users are able to view all other posts related to that same topic.
When used properly, hashtags are a great marketing tool that allow you to expand your reach to a much larger audience, who otherwise may not have seen your posts. Now that Facebook has implemented the use of hashtags, you can use this tool to expand your reach across almost all social platforms.
What are the do’s and don’ts when using hashtags?
Make your own hashtag: Hashtags are a useful tool to keep track of conversations online and keep your consumers engaged. As a hotel it is important that you start your own conversations as well as joining in others. For example, at VFM Leonardo we host monthly hotel marketing webinars and in order to keep attendees engaged we ask them to tweet at us using #vfmlwebinar. This hashtag is unique to VFM Leonardo and to our webinars, keeping the conversation specifically focused on that topic. When we are posting and want our reach to be less specific we use hashtags like #hotelmarketing
Make sure to research your hashtags prior to using them: This may seem obvious but it is critical to research a hashtag before using it. There are several reasons for this. One is that you want the hashtag that best represents your brand to be yours and yours alone, consumers will use it to let you know they are talking to you or being a part of your conversation. The other reason is to make sure you are not using a hashtag inappropriately. An example of this is Celeb Boutique who made a mistake by using #Aurora when it was trending during the infamous Casey Anthony verdict. This was seen as very insensitive and could have been avoided be doing some simple research.
#Don’t #over #use #hashtags: This can be annoying to people reading the post and not beneficial for your post. The
point of a hashtags is to highlight a word in a post and to add that post into other conversation. By hashtagging too many words you’re missing the point of hashtagging. Remember they are to be used wisely and to target specific conversations or groups of people that may search or always use that hashtag.
#dontmakeyourhashtagafullsentence: They are simply too hard to read and no one will ever hashtag that again, and therefore no conversation will happen.
Remember, hashtags are to be used sparingly and with a purpose. Create your own to start a conversation and do some quick research before using it to make sure your post reaches the right audience.
To learn more check out our checklist: Stepping Up Your hotel’s Visual Storytelling on Social Media