on April 06, 2016 marketing branding

Why Marketers Should Love The Custom #hashtag

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I was recently helping my daughter with her 3rd halo (or as I call them clementines) and as I was "starting the peel" for her I noticed a tiny sticker. On that sticker, no bigger than a thumbnail, was a tiny orange, with a halo, and a custom hashtag that read: #halosfun. That resonated with me. If Halo oranges are on the hashtag train-shouldn't everyone be?

If you are not using custom hashtag's you are #missingout. Below are a few reasons why marketers should embrace the #customhashtag.

tmedia custom hastag

First things first-a definition: 

hash·tag / ˈhaSHtaɡ'

  1. (on social media sites such as Twitter) a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) and used to identify messages on a specific topic.
    "spammers often broadcast tweets with popular hashtags even if the tweet has nothing to do with them"
    • the hash or pound sign (#).
      "Hunt mistook an @ for a hashtag while tweeting derogatory thoughts about him"

1. It's here to stay: when the American Dialect Society declared “hashtag” as Word of the Year in 2012 that solidified the longevity of the hashtag.  This once rarely used character on the keyboard is rapidly becoming one of the mightiest punctuation marks in history. 

2. It's a great way to track social engagement and trending topics: This is great for campaign recap purposes, and to track the level of engagement with your products. Language is important, and knowing the meanings behind hashtags is imperative. Just like domain names, hashtags suffer from the same problems that arise when any sequence of words is run together without spaces, so as always, marketers should use caution when creating these tags. Marketing hashtags present a fantastic opportunity for content marketers to identify social media conversations relevant to their business and get their content in front of the right people. Hashtags are the glue that holds many cross-platform competitions and campaigns together, however, keep in mind the hashtag belongs to the community, even if you created it yourself. You can’t control how others will use it, so be sensitive to situations that could fuel a hashtag backlash. 

3. Language use: hashtags can convey sarcasm, irony, suggest emotion or mood, pose an answer to an implied or rhetorical question, and even directly contradict the actual tweet. The effect can be humorous, provocative, informative, or mysterious; some or all of these simultaneously. Think about that. A new form of punctuation has joined the language; the use of which can enhance or transform the meaning of a sentence. That’s pretty amazing.  Companies and people intentionally create new hashtags every day that can make no sense beyond one specific update, or are intended for long term use. These are not mistakes. Hashtags add extra layers of meaning to messages. Make sure you are well versed in the social platforms you are using them on-misinterpreting a message or using hashtags incorrectly can make your brand seem out of place. 

4. They are FUN: OK, I admit, I tend to go overboard and #everything these days. My daughter #sweetbabymabes has been collecting some great posts since her birth. It's an easy place for me to have an instant glance at her life thus far amongst family and friends posts. Creepy, maybe. practical and efficient-absolutely.  Used well, hashtags can be immensely powerful marketing tools. But as the wise man once said, “With great power comes great responsibility.” Like any tool, we should treat hashtags with respect, care, and consideration.

BONUS: use across all platforms: custom tags aren't just for twitter, it's the universal language for all social posting apps. Your Facebook feed shows trending hashtags and topics, your friends events on instagram, snapchat, and periscope can all be tracked with custom tags. While it still is most used on Twitter, hashtags are everywhere. Watch your favorite TV show or LIVE event (see Superbowl 50, and BravoTV examples below) and engage via the custom hashtag they present. 

tmedia superbowl 50 hashtag


Now that you are versed in using #customtags, go forth and start trending! If you need help figuring out to incorporate hashtags into your marketing campaign CLICK HERE to set up a time to talk with our team...we'd be happy to help. #haveagreatday and #thanksforreading


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Tara Gearhart

Tara is a high-energy and passionate individual who settles for nothing less than the best. She's spent over 10 years in the Broadcast Media Business, and over 5 years in the SaaS space working with HubSpot, Inbound Marketing Software. She now blends both traditional and inbound methodology to create success for her clients.