Hashtags are all created equal in terms of digital utility. But some hashtags are built for use in the long term, while others are created with the intent of tracking a specific event. It’s important to consider timeframe in relation to your goals and your audience when creating and tracking hashtags.
When to Create a Short Term Hashtag
Short term tags are generally used for a specific, non recurring event or brand campaign. They are created for use during a finite period of time. They may be used along with broader brand or campaign tags, but creating specific short term hashtags makes it easier to sift through and segregate data related to a particular effort. Short term hashtags are also useful for political, social and weather/disaster related events.
How To Create a Hashtag for Short Term Use
- Be Specific – Name the Campaign or event
- Use Dates to modify long term hashtags for short term use. Example: adding the year to a conference tag.
- Use Locations to modify long term hashtags for short term regional use: Example: adding city names to musical, theatrical or political tour campaigns.
- Use Seasonal or Action words to modify longer term hashtags for short term campaigns
- Consider using action words or keyword to convey concepts and solicit actions sought by the campaign.
When To Create a Long Term Hashtag
Long term hashtags are used for ongoing marketing efforts, brand monitoring & recognition, ongoing topical discussion and general news sharing.
How To Create a Hashtag for Long Term Use
- Be General – Stick to brand names, slogans and terms that will not change.
- Avoid Date/Location – Resist the urge to go granular unless your local tag will endure over time. Example: #DCWEATHER
- Pick a Term to Grow Into – Long term hashtags have the unique benefit of being able to be grown into, with recognition growing over time. Abbreviations and industry terms transcend obscurity when used as consistently as long term hashtags. Example: #ADDEXAMPLE
- Consider Brand Identity – Pick a term that will withstand the test of time, and remain consistent with brand identity and audience expectations. Long term hashtags should have legs.
Long Term vs Short Term Tracking
Any hashtag can be tracked over the short term or the long term. Short term hashtags generally peter out after the event or campaign is over, but may be referred to for some time afterwards, so it may be a good idea to track well beyond the dates of the campaign or event. Conversations can continue after the conference is over.
Long term hashtags generally have periods of peak activity, and there is much to be learned by studying the tags on a short term basis. Generally speaking, however, the most information about long term hashtags will be gleaned by long term monitoring.
When a Short Term Hashtag Becomes a Long Term One
Short term hashtags that are especially successful may generate long term discussion, and transform into long term hashtags. Consider this possibility when choosing your hashtag and setting up reporting.