Twitter is a powerful marketing tool to start a cause and promote it to the target audience.
Crafted with a creative strategy, a cause can reach and galvanize the masses to achieve the desired objective.
While there are numerous ways to use Twitter to promote a cause, hashtags have been particularly effective in recent years.
Whether it’s the #BlackLivesMatter or the #NoShaveNovember, Twitter hashtags have always helped cause campaigners to kick-start movements for social good.
As per Statista, Twitter had a staggering 305 million monthly active users in the fourth quarter of 2015.
Whether you’re raising funds for a cause or asking people to sign a petition, Twitter hashtag campaigns hold immense potential for you.
Why use Twitter hashtags at all
With the sheer amount of information Twitter users confront every day, it’s important to use a hashtag to help them filter the information they want to see and engage with.
Here are a couple of reasons for using Twitter hashtags.
Cut through the noise: A well-crafted hashtag helps your target audience understand the essence of your tweets and whether or not to make a quick decision on supporting it or not. Thus, a good hashtag can help your campaign stand out and grab their attention immediately.
Inspire Thoughts and Actions: A powerful and empathetic hashtag can resonate with your target audience because it stands for and promotes their cause.
Generate Tractions: If a hashtag is simple yet witty, it can generate reactions and engagement from the target audience. On Twitter, users tend to engage with tweets that stoke their imagination.
How to Create a Thought-Provoking Hashtag
Crafting a Catchy Hashtag: Think about the primary objective of your campaign and create a hashtag to catch the fancy of your target audience. It should be straightforward and emotionally powerful.
Take your time to brainstorm the hashtag because it is crucial to your cause and traction. Ask yourself these questions before choosing the right hashtag for your cause.
This might look overwhelming but, fortunately, there are many nifty hashtag tools that make the job easier. Hashtagify.me, for example, can help you find out the hashtags the influencers are using and whether a particular hashtag is more popular among your target audience.
When it comes to using hashtags for your cause, it’s better to stick to just one or two hashtags for a campaign. According to Buddy Media, tweets that use more than two hashtags tend to show a 17% drop in engagement.
Pro Tip: Using too many hashtags will make your content harder to find.
Explore Your Audience: The success of your cause hinges on the interests of your target demographic. If you’re targeting a particular type of audience based on their age, location, education, profession and interests, make sure you know the language they best understand and identify themselves with. The better you understand their collective profile, the easier it is for you to craft the right hashtag.
There are many popular hashtag tools such as RiteTag, Tagboard, Twitalyzer and Trendsmap which will help you determine the hashtags your target audience use and engage with.
Incentivize Your Hashtag Campaign: While an attractive hashtag is essential for your campaign, it will be important to get everybody’s attention, especially because your target audience is exposed to many similar campaigns at the same time.
One of the best ways to stand out from the rest is to incentivize your campaign. For example, you could offer prizes or rewards for the best tweet that uses your hashtag.
Twitter users are more likely to respond to a campaign actively when it carries an incentive which, in this case, is not just the prize but the attention as well.
More importantly, you need to know how to engage with the Twitter audience when they use your hashtags. When a user interacts with your tweet, be sure to thank them for their generosity.
Monitor Your Hashtag: After all of the hard work is done to promote your cause using hashtags, it’s time to measure the traction it’s generating. Whether you’re a seasoned campaigner or first-timer, measuring the hashtag campaign is a must to make it even better the next time around.
There are some really handy tools to monitor your hashtag campaign. Hashtag campaign tracking tools such as Hashtracking, Keyhole and RazorSocial can help you.
The success of your cause campaign depends a lot on how to simplify your message while incorporating your target audience. With a creative and smart use of thoughtful graphics, a hashtag can pique their interests.
When it comes to a cause campaign on Twitter, what do you find the most interesting when it comes to their tweets? Let us know in the comments below and share your ideas about making a cause marketing campaign more inclusive.
About the Author
Susanta Sahoo is founder and chief content marketing strategist at Top League Technologies, a digital marketing start-up in Bhubaneswar, India. By offering SEO consulting services, he helps SMB’s build their online presence and boost ROI. Follow him on Twitter: @sushantsahoo