Hashtags are a simple way to catalogue and connect tweets about a particular topic.
Did you know that Hashtags were created organically by Twitter users? In an effort to organise tweets, users now commonly place the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase (with no spaces) in their tweet to help them show up and be found with ease in Twitter searches.
Given that the hashtag is a phenomenon that belongs primarily to the social sharing site twitter, how can marketers use them within their email (and other) marketing efforts?
· Just because the conversations are happening on twitter, it doesn’t mean that conversations can’t be encouraged or sparked elsewhere.
· Place a hashtag you’ve created across all of your print marketing materials, within emails and also in or on any other visible marketing channels that you use. The more places it’s seen, the more people will use it.
· Wherever you place your hashtag, invite your prospects to ‘join the discussion’ or ‘have their say’. There’s little point in promoting a hashtag that doesn’t specify how recipients might use it.
I received a rather nice example of a brand encouraging a conversation via a hashtag within their email efforts earlier this week.
As you can see from the screenshot to the right, online fashion retailer ASOS say that they want to see how their customers are wearing their favourite new styles and they invite their email recipients to ‘show it (their look) off using #ASOSSS13’.
When recipients answer their call to action, ASOS continue to encourage conversation by linking their hashtag to a competition that requires people to interact with them and post a photo to be in with a chance of winning an ASOS shopping spree.
Venture Beat’s John Koetsier says that ‘people who see a hashtag tend to click on it, explore it, use it in their own posts, or even check out the person or brand that tweeted it. That’s something that people who want to share their content more widely, including online marketers, should keep in mind’.
Have you ever used hashtags within your email marketing campaigns? Did you notice a peak in engagement on Twitter as a result? I’d love to hear your thoughts.