September 11, 2013

4 Rules for Creating a Branded Hashtag

Companies have been creating the branded hashtag for the past six years, and their momentum has not slowed down a bit. With such an abundance of “#”s on Twitter, there’s a great deal of pressure for marketers to create a branded hashtag that has just the right word or phrase in order to effectively catch on and cut through the clutter. Make sure your hashtags pass the test by adhering to the following four rules.

Your hashtag must be:

1. Short and sweet.

After all, Twitter is all about staying concise. When a tweet is limited to 140 characters, you want to make sure you’re leaving plenty of room for both your brand and consumers to include content with the hashtag. At most, you shouldn’t be using more than three words. Ideally, keep it to 10 characters. Use abbreviations and toss out superfluous words in order to trim down that hashtag.

2. Void of competition.

You want your hashtag to be relevant and centered around a topic that people will be enthusiastic about discussing. But you also want it to be specific enough that it doesn’t get drowned out. Search to find out if and how it’s already being used. Make sure your hashtag is unique enough that it deters off-topic discussion.

3. Spelling sensitive.

You’re using the hashtag #goodneighbor, but your customers forgot that “i comes before e.” You write #willlearn, but people have to stop and work through what you’re saying. Make sure your hashtag is easy to read and to spell by avoiding double letters (if you can), as well as commonly misspelled words. There’s no point in brand hashtag gibberish.

4. Memorable.

Make your hashtag a catchy phrase that rolls of the tongue or something so simple it’s a no-brainer. Use familiar words and brand-centric phrases (i.e. an acronym like “#PLL”).

Tags: Best Practices, Strategy, Twitter

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