This is a lesson in learning how to use #hashtags and their relevance in your dealership’s everyday use of social media. #Hashtags are the # symbols (metadata tag) in front of a word or string of words in a tweet, post or comment. Early on, #hashtags were created to track Twitter conversations. Over the last year, this conversation tracking mechanism has been adopted by several other social media platforms, such as Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Google+, Pinterest and Tumblr.
Real life example:
After taking an Instagram picture of a new #product, add popular #hashtags like #MfgName #Newmodel #VehicleType #Yolo.
NOTE: If the post is already loaded with no or little caption, then add #hashtags and critical information as comments.
The intended use of #hashtags for tracking and organization has been far preceded by its ability to capture a person’s and/or group’s tones, frequencies and messages. These tags will help your dealership reach niche markets that find the tweet, post or comment relevant, thus increasing likes, comments and shares among web users.
#Rules and #Guidelines:
- Use three to four #hashtags in a tweet, comment or post. (Exception: Seven #hashtags in one post or comment via Instagram, Vine and Pinterest is acceptable.)
- Evaluate the relevancy of the #hashtag to your post, dealership and niche target audience.
- Elicit simplicity: Do not use jargon because it will alienate and scare off followers.
- Never use spaces in a #hashtag. Spaces disable the ability to connect to larger conversations.
- Do not use the same #hashtag more than once.
- Do not speak #hashtag! This looks, unprofessional and is difficult to read.
Click here to see example: Point #3
#Brand #Promotion #Trending
Invent your dealership’s branding #hashtags. These are #hashtags that promote your dealership’s identity on social media. These can be the dealership’s shortened name, mini-tagline, initials or another key identifier attributed to your dealership. Use this brand #hashtag frequently in order to establish this tag with your followers. After consistent use, your followers will catch on and use it on their own. #hashtaggold
Establish promotional #hashtags for sales and events that occur at your dealership. This can be the name of the event or sale, popular phrase or a date/time that the sale starts or ends. Create buzz by creatively adding this #hashtag to the banners, flyers, memes, videos and pictures that you post about the sale or event. If there is a product enhancement, competition, raffle or new information about the sale or event then be sure to add this #hashtag.
Remember to add your brand’s #hashtag to these promotional posts as well.
Search out trending #hashtags that your dealership can use and follow.Trending #hashtags are the most popular #hashtags used on a social media platform. These can be easily found on Twitter and Google+ and their popularity is generally consensual on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest. Choose trending #hastags that apply to the context of your post, mission and audience. You must be selective on what trends you apply to your posts because they will reflect the personality, tone and beliefs of your dealership.
In order to identify, organize and track #hashtags, use the online tools available to provide insights on your #hashtags’ reach and popularity. Here are free tools that are most helpful: Tagboard, SocialMention and TweetReach. Check how impactful your brand and promotional #hashtags are becoming on a weekly or biweekly basis.
#Hashtags are a new and creative way to add your tweets, posts and comments to a collective conversation. Learning how to use #hashtags effectively takes commitment, creativity and common sense. Play with #hashtags and find ones that generate the most buzz and reach/influence your target audience.
Amanda White is account manager for PowerSports Network.