Create an account on EVERY social media platform out there
While the bulk of the heavy lifting results you’re going to get out of social media are going to come from “mainstream” social media networks like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter.
That doesn’t mean that you can ignore smaller sized or less frequented social media networks – like Tinder or LinkedIn, for example – if you are going to try and make the most of everything that hashtags have to offer.
You are going to want to review all of the different social media networks out there, large and small, and find out how they fit with the target demographics of your ideal customer.
• If you are selling golf products, you are likely to have a lot of success diving headfirst into the major social media networks and linked in, for example.
• If you are selling outdoor adventure trips, however, you may not have the same kind of success as a social media network designed to cater to business professionals.
It’s all about finding that sweet spot as far as a target audience is concerned and then really trying to make the most of all the leverage that particular platform has to offer.
But you’re going to want to have multiple accounts on multiple networks, if only so that you can publish content across all of those networks with the same hashtags at the same time to really create a “carpet bomb” kind of impact on the market that you reach.
Research popular hashtags for the last six months
There’s definitely something to be said about creating your own hashtags that allow you to kind of control the narrative and own “real estate” in the social media game, but at the same time there is absolutely zero reason whatsoever to ignore leverage already available – especially when it has already proven to be tremendously popular with the people that you are trying to reach.
There are quite a few different tools available (100% free of charge) that really let you research different hashtags on different social media networks and not only find out which ones are incredibly popular right now (usually differentiated by the “Trending” tag) but also which ones are getting the most engagement with that particular social media network.
Engagement is such a truly difficult thing to try and generate right out of thin air when you are building up your social media profile from nothing, but it is a core tenet of hashtag traffic generation.
You need to create hashtags that are…
• Immediately interesting • Relevant • Easy to share
These are core tenants of viral content and viral marketing on all of social media today.
It’s not just enough to plug your content into these hashtag traffic streams without any real context, either.
You have to be sure that your content is relevant to the hashtags that you are using, not only because using the wrong hashtags could cause you to miss out on a lot of traffic, but it could actually actively push people away at the same time.
That would be a major mistake, especially if you are a brand-new or relatively new social media account just looking to create traction today.
By looking back six months, reviewing the most popular hashtags over that stretch of time, and then finding ways to either co-opt those tags or to create a new spin that will be interesting and relevant to your content you have a tremendously “unfair” advantage over the rest of your competition.
This kind of research can take a little bit of time to drum up on your own (of course you could always outsource most of it), but the return on investment for doing this digging is definitely worthwhile.
Tie analytics to your hashtags
More than a couple of very valuable tools today can be utilized to track the interaction and engagement of the hashtags that you are using, and you need to make the most of these analytics tools ASAP if you aren’t already leveraging them right now.
More than a couple of very valuable tools today can be utilized to track the interaction and engagement of the hashtags that you are using, and you need to make the most of these analytics tools ASAP if you aren’t already leveraging them right now. Yes, it used to be possible to test and track more traditional forms of advertising – usually with coupon codes and mailing lists – but we’ve never had access to this much instant information like we do right now.
It would be a shame to waste any of that data, especially when that data can better inform the hashtag marketing that you decide to move forward with from here on out.
Different tools will allow you to analyze the data in different ways, and some of them will compare engagement from the hashtags you are using to other similar hashtags being used at the same time.
These kinds of tools will really help to sharpen your marketing abilities in your focus, and there’s definitely nothing wrong with that!
Generating hashtags that actually work
The most important thing you have to remember when you are creating hashtags designed to help you drive traffic is that you treat them the same way that you would treat headlines on your advertising
• Keep them relatively short • Keep them incredibly interesting • Make sure they are relevant • Use them to do the one thing they are intended to do – drive traffic to your content.
A lot of people make the mistake of trying to get too much out of hashtags or social media marketing in general and then are surprised when they aren’t getting anywhere near the kinds of results they were hoping for.
You have to remember that these key parts of social media are exactly that – key parts and not the “whole shebang”, and that you have to work them into an overall smart and savvy marketing strategy designed to turn cold traffic and complete strangers into hot prospects and paying customers.
Here are some tips and tricks to help you create better hashtags right away!
Work them into your social media posts
One of the easiest ways to create effective hashtags that generate real traffic is to stop thinking of them as separate elements of the social media that you are posting and instead integrated elements of the content that you share.
You’ll not only be able to break up the flow of your social media post into “bite-sized chunks” – something that’s incredibly important for today’s attention span challenged market.
You will also be able to get away with using more original and organic looking hashtags that kind of go with the flow rather than cliché hashtags that are just kind of tacked onto the end of whatever it is you were going to publish anyway.
Don’t be shy about courting controversy
One of the most effective tools for driving organic traffic today is also one of the most delicate tools you’ll ever have the opportunity to leverage, and that is creating your own controversy with your hashtags or your social media posts in general.
Attacking someone, something, or some group is one of the fastest ways to do two things at the exact same time – create a tremendous amount of interest with people that feel the exact same way that you do and create a tremendous amount of backlash from folks that feel the opposite.
As long as you attack something or someone that is a “prime target” of your ideal or perfect customer you shouldn’t have any trouble whatsoever keeping piles and piles of backlash on top of your account.
After all, you need to find a way to quickly and effectively cut through all of the social media noise and confusion out there and a watered down message just isn’t going to do that effectively.
Yes, you are going to turn off a fair amount of people, but if these people were diametrically opposed to who you were going to do business with anyway – the kind of people that NEVER would have purchased your products regardless.
You shouldn’t feel even the slightest bit bad about turning them into punching bags that you go after it means you win the loyalty and affinity of the people that you can turn into customers.
It is a little bit delicate to really get right – you can’t come off ham-handed, and you have to really dance around the controversy while keeping a sense of professionalism about yourself – but when you hit it out of the park there may not be a more powerful way to use hashtags.
Keep links tight to your hashtags
As a general rule, you’ll want to make sure that you try to keep your linked content as close to your hashtags as possible – and if you can follow your hashtags up with a link, you are going to be in the best position to drive traffic as possible.
According to research on social media marketing and hashtags in particular, posts that have at least two pieces of “active content” – hashtags or links – are engaged with more than 50% more than content with just a single piece of active content, and almost 200% more than content that has no active content whatsoever.
Folks are going to notice these little blue links no matter what, and that made by you just enough time to capture their interest with the content of your post or hashtag – and from there getting them to click on a link right next to that hashtag to follow up becomes a whole lot easier.
At the end of the day, it’s really all about creating content that is specifically designed for your ideal customer, your ideal prospect, or your ideal partner and then making it as easy as can be to consume, share, and follow up with that content.
You really want to try and create a kind of “greased slide” with your social media activity that gets people started down a path that they just have to follow, even if they aren’t exactly sure of why they are hooked so much to begin with.
This is where the real magic and social media marketing comes into play, and this is how you generate traffic with your hashtags.