Ah, the humble hashtag. It was first used on Twitter by Chris Messina in 2007 to ‘group’ related tweets together. However, these days you’ll find hashtags on almost every platform – even on those that don’t use hashtags. If your hashtag is popular, it means you’re trending. If you’re trending, it means traffic. Moreover, traffic means sales!
It was only a matter of time before Twitter saw how much stock businesses put in the trending hashtag. Now, it is possible for you to sponsor a hashtag so that you are able to create your own trends.
What are sponsored hashtags?
If you use social media for advertising your business, hashtags are a great way to promote and find topics related to you and your industry. In 2016, Twitter introduced the concept of sponsored hashtags or sponsored Tweets so that it became possible to use the hashtag even more.
These ‘conversational ads’ are promoted Tweets and, as with most advertising tools, the sponsored hashtags include call to action buttons with custom hashtags created specifically for that campaign. The call-to-action buttons allow you to choose between the custom hashtags and retweet the ad.
However, be warned… Sponsored hashtags come at a pretty hefty price! So, before you invest your hard-earned money into a sponsored hashtag, you need to be 100% sure it’s going to be worth it for you and your business. Investigate some other social media marketing options, see what the price is of these and how it will affect your ROI.
How does it work?
Company A sells chocolate and they are promoting their two signature flavours. So, the ad asks their followers to choose their favourite flavour by clicking on one of two sponsored hashtags, namely #HazelnutDelight or #Cookies&Cream.
When the follower clicks on the sponsored hashtag they prefer, the Tweet composer automatically opens with an already-composed Tweet which includes the campaign hashtag. The follower adds their message and retweets the ad or Tweet which includes the company’s original media from the ad. The follower will even get a ‘thank you’ message from the advertiser.
Also, if followers click on or search for sponsored hashtags, they will see all the relevant Twitter search results for that topic with the promoted tweet from the advertiser at the top.
Why should you use a sponsored hashtag?
Sponsored hashtags drive earned media for advertisers and promote organic reach. It’s also a simple way to encourage followers to get involved in a brand’s ad campaigns as the call-to-action buttons make it easy to interact. In other words, user engagement is quite high with sponsored hashtags. Moreover, the fact that the original photo or video from the ad is also shared with the sponsored hashtag means even more exposure for the company.
The social media marketing trend is growing. This means that organisations, companies, small businesses and sole proprietors need to have a solid understanding of how to market and grow their brands on social channels. As such they need solid social media strategy training.
Whether you want to break into the world of social media marketing or want to boost your career with an accredited social media certificate this course is for you! The Social Media Marketing Course from the Digital School of Marketing will enable you to grow your brand strategically on any social channel, increase customer engagement and correctly target those who matter most.
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