When you are creating content in order to increase your fan and follower base using social media, it is important to think beyond Google. One of the greatest tools you need to learn to use is SMO, or Social Media Optimization. By using SMO techniques, you create high-quality content that is both appealing and valuable to your viewers. Social Media Optimization also makes your content sharable through a wider variety of social media. Several social sharing tools contribute to SMO, but one of the most overlooked and underestimated SMO technique is the use of hashtags.
What is a Hashtag?
Hashtag is a term that is commonly used in social media to refer to keywords that are used to organize content by determining what your message, photo, or post is “filed under.” Many different social networks permit the use of hashtags in order to attract more viewers. The most obvious benefit of using hashtags is the increased visibility to audiences who actively search for specific topics and keywords.
Other information discovered in market research conducted by RadiumOne relates specific details about the demographic that most actively uses hashtags. According to their study, over 70% of those who frequently utilize hashtags do so from a mobile device. This information creates unique and interesting opportunities for both marketing and advertising.
Contest and Promotional Tool
The use of hashtags can be a powerful tool to boost social media traffic through contests, promotions, sweepstakes, drawings, and giveaways. These types of competitions generate a “buzz” within the online community that increases traffic, brand awareness, and ultimately revenue. Some of the most effective strategies include:
1) Follower Milestone in which you ask followers to submit the time and date you will reach a particular milestone, such as 1,000 total followers. This not only engages your current audience, but also can significantly boost your following in a short period.
2) Sweepstakes allow you to randomly choose a winner from all the submissions. Many companies offer highly sought-after promotional products in a lucky drawing or choose from people who re-post your message, which enables you to reach even greater numbers within a wider demographic.
3) Polls are straightforward and very effective. After posting a question, winners are chosen based on the first correct response or in the sweepstakes format. It may not be the most creative idea, but it is a fun and engaging way to build your following.
4) QR codes are another advertising craze that turns passive individuals into active customers. These codes are commonly found on posters, business cards, and many types of print advertising. Potential customers simply scan the QR code, which will lead them to your website, social media page, or a competition landing page. It is a fun and easy advertising technique which truly has unlimited possibilities.
5) Creative Answers are a great way to actively involve your followers. People love competitions where it is possible to win prizes based on their humor or creativity.
Advantages of Using Hashtags for Promotions and Contests
One of the greatest advantages of using hashtags to manage entrants’ submissions is the increased amount of control. Hashtags make it extremely easy to find all the tweets related to a specific event or competition. It is also very inexpensive since the only real cost is the value of the prize. Furthermore, it encourages your followers and contestants to share your content, which will attract more social media traffic to your company site or competition landing page. Besides increasing traffic, you also demonstrate social networks’ potential as an advertising and marketing tool for your company.
The most vital characteristic of hashtags is their versatility and use across various social platforms including Twitter, Instagram, Tumblr, Flickr, Google+, and Pinterest. Although social media can be an excellent marketing tool, it is important that your usage of hashtags remains consistent. This way you will optimize exposure across the various social networks, gaining compatibility and recognition between every venue you use.
About the Author
Dan Levin is interested in helping businesses promote themselves through a variety of methods.