From all of us here at Market Motive, we hope you have a safe and truly wonderful Thanksgiving.
Thankfully you won’t have to wake up at 4 AM to take advantage of Market Motive’s first ever Black Friday extravaganza. We’ll be offering you a pretty much unheard of deal that will have you improving your skill set faster than your uncle Larry can chug all the leftover gravy.
OK, maybe not that fast, but you’ll be well on your way to learning online marketing, including SEO, social media, PPC, web analytics, and more from leading professionals in the industry.
Enjoy your Thanksgiving everyone!
Market Motive offers Coached Courses quarterly that are attended by marketers from around the globe. At the conclusion of each semester, we recognize Top Gun students from each discipline for both the finesse of knowledge and application of the materials.
This elite distinction is awarded to the top performing student in each of our coached courses. All aspects of their performance are taken into consideration: homework, participation, final test score, and final project scores all count!
It’s not easy to pass a Master Certification Coached Course. It’s even tougher to come out Top Gun.
We are pleased and proud to announce the Top Gun Winners from the Summer 2014 semester! [Read more…]
The basic gist is that “promotional” content – meaning content that aims to get people to sign up, register, buy, etc. – is going to be taking a hit in the algorithm. Facebook wants to shift that type of content to advertising and have brands focus more on offering education, insight, and entertainment in the news feeds.
It makes sense from Facebook’s perspective, but to be honest, it’s annoying as a marketer. [Read more…]
The other day in the member’s only forum, a student came to me looking for advice and insights into a particular local citations problem she’s facing.
She’s a marketing consultant for a local company that has just one office location. She investigated their current listed citations using the Whitesparks Citation Finder tool and discovered some pretty glaring errors and problems with their name, address and phone number (NAP). Beyond some egregious company name misspellings and wrong phone numbers, a previous SEO consultant also built citations for this very same company for about 10 virtual office locations, which are no longer in use, but the citations still exist.
Long story short, the company has a cacophony of incorrect citations, duplicate citations, and outdated NAPs that need removal ASAP.
What is our marketing consultant to do? [Read more…]
I received a good question from a Market Motive student in the member’s only forum the other day regarding B2B and B2C content marketing tactics.
The student learned through her fundamentals course that effective B2B marketers use 13 different tactics (white paper, case study, research report, etc.) on average while B2C marketers utilize 12.
Her question: If a company sells B2B, but still needs to have a B2C presence and interaction level to get people to ask about products distributed through B2B partners, does that mean her team will have to juggle 25 different tactics? She also wondered if there would be some overlap to cut this number down if there are just a few messaging tweaks per tactic.
Is the student correct? [Read more…]
I bet this scenario sounds familiar: A client asks you to build its social media properties, including Twitter and Facebook. You create the accounts, add the company logo, and fill in all the important fields like business location, store hours, mission statement, and all that fun stuff.
Everyone is super pleased that there are social media pages today where yesterday none existed.
But now what? [Read more…]
We cannot say this enough! Hashtags are here to stay! Hashtags have changed the way information is relayed and can bring people together in ways that few other things can.
With these tools, the information people receive is no longer limited to the people around them; in fact, with the help of hashtags, people can now spread an idea or a revolution across political and geographical boundaries.
Given that these tools are now part of the world’s social structure, it is no surprise that brands have also boarded the #wagon! With the right use of hashtags, brands have been able to shine a light on themselves without being annoying successfully.
Companies now have social media experts who work full time to maintain the brand’s social media accounts and help run campaigns that produce high ROIs.
Are you also interested in becoming a Social Media Expert? Enroll in our social media course today and learn ways to use #socialmedia to amplify your brand’s message.
So what are hashtags?
Do they really help spread your word?
Are you making good use of it?
Let’s find out!
History of Hashtags
The hashtag that we use today came from Chris Messina, a former developer lead at Google, who suggested that people use the pound (#) symbol to categorize their tweets. In this way, people could filter the tweets on their feed and keep out the irrelevant ones. While the idea didn’t stick immediately, it crept its way around the social media platform when Nate Ritter tweeted about the San Diego fire using the hashtag “San Diego Fire.”
The rest, as they say, is history.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is a meta tag that allows you to categorize your social media content. Hashtags are words or phrases that follow a pound symbol (#) to tell your audiences what your content is about.
For example: If you want to tweet about a Taylor Swift concert, then you would use #TaylorSwiftconcert in your tweet. It’s just that simple! This way people looking for information about the show will be able to use the same hashtag to do so.
how to use hashtags-
Like everything else, there are rules (well, not rules, maybe guidelines) when you use hashtags on social media. These ‘rules’ or best practices help you amplify your message by reaching a wide range of people.
While a lot of people are unhappy with the hashtag revolution (we’re looking at you, Jimmy Fallon), no one can deny the importance of hashtags today.
So, how does a hashtag work and how do you use hashtags?
While hashtags work on various social media sites, not all sites are created equal. Some social media platforms react better to hashtags than others.
For example, on Twitter and Instagram, hashtags become searchable links that direct people to all the conversations taking place that use the same hashtag. This means that you can see what people are saying about an event irrespective of whether or not you know them.
On the other hand, hashtags on Facebook haven’t really picked up. Posts on Facebook with hashtags don’t fare well, which is a stark difference from other social media sites.
According to Buffer, Twitter posts with hashtags have twice the engagement rates as those without, while tweets with 1 or 2 hashtags have 21% more engagement than those with 3-4 hashtags, while posts on Facebook with hashtags have decreased levels of engagement.
Here is a consolidated list of social media platforms and the ideal number of hashtags for each of them.
|Social Media Platform||Ideal Number of Hashtags|
|1 or 2|
While hashtags are a great way to get people to find your posts, it is vital to make sure your content is well-written and matches the tag, or you could get blacklisted.
Why are Hashtags Important?
Hashtags are essential because they perform the following tasks:
Think about how Twitter and Instagram work. If you aren’t connected to someone, there is no way you have access to their content, even if what they have to say is highly relevant to you.
With a hashtag (#) on the other hand, you now have access to content based on your interest, instead of who you know. This simple # symbol has revolutionized what social media has set out to do. Make information available at your fingertips.
You could say, hashtags have helped social media platforms be more social.
So, when do you use a hashtag?
Simply put, you use a hashtag when you want your content to reach the people who need your information.
How to create the perfect hashtag for your event?
Finding the perfect hashtag is not as complicated as it is made out to be. Use the steps given below to construct an optimal hashtag for your event.
1. Identify the tone of the event
What kind of event is your brand hosting? Is it edgy, chic, or bright and fun?
These are the questions you’ll need to answer before embarking on a quest to find the perfect hashtag. To make the ideal hashtag, it is vital that your hashtag phrase matches the tone of the event.
Hashtags work because they amplify your brand and its ethos. They reflect your brand’s message; you’re fun, sassy, intellectual or witty based on the hashtags you use. People want to associate with all the things mentioned above. If your hashtag is uninteresting, then no one wants to repost your tag.
Think about it – If your event revolves around Halloween, a #HalloweenIsFun does not reflect the sentiments of the affair. Instead, it gives your audience the impression that your hashtag is dissociated from your event and that you haven’t put much thought into the whole process.
The primary goal of a hashtag is to spread your word. If your hashtag is long, then people won’t (or can’t) repost it. Make sure that you create hashtags that are easy to remember and easy to spell.
For ex. The hashtag #vintageorretro (vintage or retro) would be great # for a clothing event. It’s short; it’s engaging – users can respond to the post with #vintage or #retro, and it’s memorable.
Keep in mind that shortening the spelling of a word can confuse people. If you are promoting an event with the hashtag #vntgorret, then people will not repost because they do not understand it.
While it’s great to experiment with hashtags, you shouldn’t lose track of their real purpose; to categorize and filter information.
Hijacking an active hashtag is rarely a good idea. It muddles up a chain of conversations. People who use this hashtag will be bombarded with tweets from unrelated events that also use the hashtag phrase. This could lead to tons of confusion and cause your audience to drop the hashtag altogether.
Additionally, history is a valuable teacher. We have seen in the past that several companies have burned themselves by using already-active hashtags.
Take the #WhyIStayed campaign, which was started initially by Beverly Gooden to bring awareness to domestic violence. DiGiorno, a pizza joint, decided to increase its user engagement and also used #WhyIstayed to spread the word about their pizza. Needless to say; Twitter users were enraged, and mayhem arose.
This seems like an obvious statement, but it isn’t. There have been some hilarious (and unfortunate) incidents surrounding hashtags that were intended for one thing but sounded like another.
An example of this scenario is the #nowthatthacherisdead (Now that Thatcher is dead), which soon became “Now that Cher is Dead.” Word spread that Cher died and panic was soon all around.
Rules of using hashtags for events
Hashtags are sometimes spontaneous phrases that catch on like wildfire, but often, they need to be nurtured and cared for before they spread.
So, what is the right way to promote your hashtag? There are 3 phases of using hashtags.
Before an event
Start promoting your hashtag as soon as possible. Use it in your tweets, your bio, and your social media accounts (think Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, and Instagram).
Use your Instagram platform to post behind-the-scenes photos of the event. Behind-the-scenes images work because they make people feel like they are part of the event tribe.
During the event
During the event, your primary goal is to ensure that the hashtag is used as frequently as possible.
To ensure that people engage with your hashtag:
After the event
Don’t stop using the hashtag after the affair. Keep the conversation going (perhaps for next year). Use the hashtag to post throwback GIFs, images or videos. Create an album with all the photos with the hashtags. This helps lay the groundwork for your next event.
You can also use hashtags to show fun bloopers. It’s fun, and it’s light! Post images of people having fun while messing up or of props falling off. Just make sure you do this in good faith. It’s not cool to poke fun at someone.
Tools to help with hashtags
There are tons of tools out there to help automate your social media accounts. While these tools are great for social media accounts in general, the ones given below are specifically for hashtags and help you discover and analyze their performance.
So, now you know. Hashtags are great, and they’re here to stay. As a marketer for a firm, you’ll do well to adapt to them and make use of them to spread the word about your brand. Keep in mind that hashtags even the playing field; smaller brands now have a shot at competing with bigger brands. To utilize this potential would be a waste of wonderful resources.
Do reach out to us in the comment section if there is something we have missed (or if you just want to say hi)!
Recently on the Market Motive forum a student asked a question regarding duplicate content and the pair of e-commerce websites she’s working on. Website #1 is a general site that sells all of the products in her inventory. Website #2 is a specialist website selling only about a third of her products.
As you might expect, she’s concerned there’s an issue of duplicate content since all the product pages of website #2 appear on site #1. (Note: The layout of the pages are different, including the brand at the top of the page, but otherwise they’re identical.)
Website #1 has a Moz domain authority of 35 while #2 comes in at 22.
What is the best way for our student to deal with this tricky situation? [Read more…]
How can the automotive industry benefit from social media planning? Just ask Jen.
Our own Social Media Faculty Chair Jennifer Cario spoke today at SEMA 2014 in Las Vegas.
Speaking on “Building A Sustainable Social Media Strategy,” Jen presented a practical, step-by-step approach to building a social plan founded on actual business goals. The preso was a perfect primer for everyone from C-Suite to Marketing.
Vegas… cars… social media… sounds like a good time!
Interested in learning more in-depth about building and managing a Social strategy?
|Want more great insights from Jennifer? Enroll our Social Media Marketing Training|