Hashtags flood social media. If you are incorporating hashtags in your posts, you will want to do so with purpose.
From common to over-the-top, Twitter and other social media platforms are inundated with hashtags. Hashtags are a recognized and popular symbol for categorizing your own content as well as connecting with and sharing others’ content. In fact, the term “hashtag” which many of us first learned as “pound” on our phones is such a widely used term in our culture that it was added to the Oxford Dictionary in 2010. Although established as a search tool for marking keywords and topics on Twitter, hashtags can be found everywhere from Facebook, Instagram and even advertisements, and the use of hashtags can serve a variety of purposes.
Social media and its use is constantly evolving and including a wide variety of platforms, content marketing strategies and approaches that most contractors simply do not have enough time to follow and develop. Larger businesses aside, most construction professionals do not have a budget for a full-time marketing department, and many simply pass the responsibility on to their office staff. Keeping up with the latest trends and hashtags may not be high on the priority list for contractors, but with the increasing importance of web presence and social media, all businesses (including construction) should keep content fresh and stay current with the changing social climate. When it comes to hashtags, it is important to use them with purpose and in a way that can be meaningful and constructive to the overall marketing effort. Here are 3 easy ways to get started and think about methods for incorporating hashtags (#) in your social media messages:
- Connect to Industry Topics – There are simple and common hashtags in our industry. Try to go beyond the basics of #construction and #building by being more specific to the message or topic. For example, if you are currently working with a specific tile or technology, use a hashtag for the type of product you are using (#spanishtile) or the area of the building (#kitchenremodel) where the installation is taking place. Consider mentioning the brand to expand your reach and use hashtags that the brand uses to describe the product.
Industry events such as MetalCon and the NAHB International Builders’ Show’® are great ways to connect with peers, as well as demonstrate your involvement in the industry. If you are attending an event, even better… Most events generate their own hashtags and offer public and live feeds of tweets containing the hashtag. Whether you choose to piggy-back on the buzz or provide your own feedback about the event, you can go as far as you want in being involved with an industry expo or convention.
Along with events, you can follow and get social with regional and national associations and related organizations. If you are a member of a building association, connect with them and share information. Often associations will provide benefits to their members including mentions and links to their websites. Also check out the news and hashtags generated by organizations that monitor building and safety standards, weather and other conditions that directly impact your business and projects.
- Reinforce Your Brand – Hashtags can be found in advertisements and social profile headers, often as a memorable phrase or abbreviation for the business itself. If you are going to create a hashtag specific to your company name, slogan or services, you will want it to be catchy and easy to read. A hashtag like #homeremodelingmadeeasy may be good in concept but simply hard on the eyes. Try to keep it short, to the point and something that is easy to remember for both you and the reader. Less is more when it comes to developing a strong hashtag for your business or specific service. For example, HBW offers permit reports so using a hashtag like #HBWReports both captures the function and services offered by HBW, providing an easy way to search and connect to permit reports and associated content. Once you decide that you are ready to put some thought into a unique hashtag for your business, you can take a look at Twitter to find useful tips and guides for developing hashtags:
- Get In on the Buzz – Getting in on the latest craze, trend, viral tweet or video may sound easy, but you will want to proceed with caution. It’s easy to find out what is trending just by checking Google or your news feed. From the latest controversial stunt by a celebrity to videos about dogs doing outrageous things, jumping on the viral news train may be a way to get attention, but it may not be the right attention for your business. Although Twitter is designed to be a casual and “fun” social playground for the most part, don’t get too comfortable. Jumping on the latest controversial tweet from the MTV Music Awards would probably not be the best fit for a construction professional, but having your company join a community or cause benefiting challenge like the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge may be just right. Other larger cultural events like the Super Bowl and holidays like New Year’s Eve can be safe ways to get in on buzzworthy topics of conversation. Be careful not to over-tag a single tweet – Twitter officially recommends no more than 2 hashtags per tweet. By limiting the number of hashtags per post, it allows you to focus on quality and effectiveness rather than attaching to as many trends as possible. When it comes to platforms like Instagram, the opposite can often be the case with a great number of hashtags in the post proving to be more effective than less. Bottom line: Consider the platform and the content before adding a popular and trending hashtag to your message.
There is an abundance of resources available for learning more about hashtags and best practices. Whatever method you choose for developing your own unique hashtag or whatever industry topic or trend you choose to incorporate in your message, make sure it is in line with all of your communications and marketing efforts. For additional information on marketing strategies, generating leads and white papers that will enable you to work smarter, not harder, contact HBW for your complimentary whitepaper.