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Using Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

Wednesday, February 22nd, 2017

If you spend any time on the internet, you’re probably familiar with using hashtags in social media (the pound sign–#). These are words and phrases that follow many social media posts. What you may not know is that hashtags are becoming more and more important for the success of social media marketing and small businesses, providing an advantageous way for businesses to connect with current and potential customers.

Hashtags originally came from Twitter, and when clicked on, would send the user to all other tweets containing that same hashtag. This allowed Twitter users to engage in conversations relating to the hashtag topics. Various social media networks like Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram followed suit, adding hashtag capabilities to their platforms to facilitate more user engagement. The smart social media marketers also began using hashtags to locate their audience.

Using Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

Start a Conversation

Businesses can use hashtags in a variety of ways to promote public outreach and enhance their brand awareness. Like those savvy social media marketers, SMBs can use popular hashtags to target suitable audiences. Almost all social media sites allow users to see all trending hashtags which give users the ability to follow trending news and other topics in real-time. By participating in popular discussions on subjects pertinent to their industry, products, and services, businesses can advantageously use hashtags to gain new clients and establish their brand among new consumer populations. For instance, in Boston during the 2015 record-breaking snow storm, restaurants began to use #digoutdineout, letting those who wanted to eat out know that local restaurants were open as usual, regardless of the 10 feet of snow on the ground. Many businesses even offered discounts and specials to those who ventured through the blizzard to eat out, which allowed businesses to fill their empty tables, feed hungry customers, and help the local community.

A Few Suggestions for Using Hashtags in Social Media Marketing

Using Hashtags

The point of a hashtag is to draw in new customers to your business, so make sure the hashtags you use are relevant to your target audience ( Click here for more info on choosing your target audience .) Do some research on what similar businesses are using for their hashtags and check out your customers’ interests and likes to see what topics your hashtags should emphasize. There are many sites that post current trending topics to give you some ideas on where to start. Remember to make your hashtag unique enough so that it can be remembered more easily.

Jumping on board with trending hashtags is also a way businesses can reach out to customers. A trending “#” is used by many people at the same event or location, for example, in the case of breaking news or at a rally. Twitter even has a feature that tells its users when their followers are tweeting about the same subject. Take advantage of popular subjects if they’re relevant to your industry and target audience, but don’t forget to research any hashtags before using them. DiGiornio mistakenly used a hashtag regarding domestic violence when marketing their pizza, and consequentially faced harsh criticism from its customers. A hashtag should boost your business’ reputation, not ruin it.

Looking for ways to make your social media bring in more customers? Contact FiG. We can help you get more from your social media marketing.

FiG’s Top 5 Ads of the Year

Wednesday, January 11th, 2017

When you’re looking for a Denver advertising agency or Denver-based marketing firm, we’ll be the first to tell you that creating relevant advertising is no small effort. We have great respect for the advertising agencies around the globe who do it well. Here are our five favorite ads of 2016, collected from around the world.

Lockheed Martin – Generation Beyond Mars

In their inspiring ad campaign for the year, Lockheed Martin equipped a school bus with virtual reality technology in order to give the kids a realistic feeling of what it would be like to roam around the surface of Mars. As the bus moves, the kids can look out the windows and “experience” Mars around them. Lockheed Martin designed this ad to grow its recognition in the space innovation field. Since its launch, over 13,000 children have ridden on the interactive bus, and the company says that its education program has reached approximately 1.1 million students.

OK GO and Morton Salt – “The One Moment.”

Morton Salt partnered with Ogilvy & Mather as well as indie band “OK Go” to produce an ad that showed the “endurance and unstoppable spirit” of the brand’s symbol, the young girl with an umbrella in the rain. The song, titled “The One Moment” represents the times in life that are worth celebrating. Damian Kulash, the band’s main singer and the director of this video believes, “The song ‘The One Moment’ is about those moments in life when you are most alive, the moments that truly matter, the moments when everything changes.” The video also ties in Morton’s Walk Her Walk campaign, showcasing the message that “It only takes one moment to make a difference.”

Shiseido Co – High School Girl

Rarely does a makeup advertisement succeed in being genuine and real, but Shiseido’s ad, High School Girl does just that. In this subtle but poignant ad, typical gender roles are reversed with the help from Shiseido’s cosmetics and a makeup crew. By tackling the larger issues such as gender roles in Japanese society and Asian stereotypes, the ad demonstrates the tagline “anyone can be cute.” In the process, it turns traditional expectations upside-down. If you watch the ad again, you can appreciate the subtle nature of Shiseido’s ad. For example, the opening scene shows a teacher holding a picture of a girl drawn on a piece of paper; at the end of the ad, the picture is turned upside down, proving how easily we can be fooled once we see something and assume we know what it really is.

Under Armour & Michael Phelps – “Rule Yourself.”

One of the most shared ads of 2016, Under Armour’s ad featuring Michael Phelps, was emotionally extraordinary. Undoubtedly Under Armour is able to communicate its message to a target audience of millennium men. However, the dramatic effect of this ad is unforgettable among all viewers. The ad focuses on Phelps’ hard work and determination as an Olympic athlete and transforms it into an inspiring clip about what it means to be a real winner. The ad is highly successful in reaching its target audience of millennial men; over 47 percent of viewers stated they felt a sense of inspiration while watching Phelps train, and 68 percent of male millennial viewers agreed. According to Unruly, a digital advertising company, producing emotions like happiness and surprise in commercials is key in engaging millennial viewers.

grand-tour-prius

The Grand Tour – Wrecked Priuses

The ads that promoted the new car show, The Grand Tour, featured various wrecked and mangled Priuses in popular urban areas. The Grand Tour is a show hosted by the stars of TopGear, Clarkson, Hammond, and May) The show, The Grand Tour, placed the cars in Germany, the U.S., and the U.K., considered by many to be the best use of such an underwhelming vehicle. An incredibly successful example of guerrilla marketing, The Grand Tour ‘s Prius advertisement is Fig’s 2016 Ad of the Year.

Is it time to talk about your advertising? Contact us to discuss your campaign ideas.

The 5 Love Languages of Branding

Wednesday, October 12th, 2016
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The New York Times bestseller, The Five Love Languages by Gary Chapman, gives us insight into the most effective ways to communicate love. He outlines the five languages as Quality Time, Words of Affirmation, Physical Touch, Acts of Service, and Gift Giving. Chapman asserts that everyone has a primary love language, but not everyone shares the same one. And therein lies the friction in many relationships. One person’s primary language may not match their partners, so they simply don’t communicate their love in the language in which the other can hear it.

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Case Study: StaffScapes Website Launch

Monday, October 3rd, 2016

This month’s case study is a review of our client, StaffScapes and their website activity since their new site launch on July 20th. (more…)