Until recently, the humble hashtag occupied a mostly unknown purpose in the corner of your keypad, hinting vaguely at international calls and noughts and crosses. That is until it exploded as a Twitter phenomenon. In a moment of organisational genius in August 2007, the use of hashtags to group conversations was suggested and quickly absorbed and hyperlinked by Twitter. Since then it charged through other social media networks and forced its way into even the most resistant corners of popular culture and speech.
But now they are even more than that. They are a powerful tool in your online marketing and are a simple, effective and free way to reach a global network of people and potential customers. Search through social media accounts to find content that interests you. Find the people tweeting about the same subjects as you be found by the people that are looking for businesses and products like your vacation rental properties. Join in discussions and be part of a community and become a prominent part of the industry by joining in with, and even starting, popular hashtags.
Today, we’re exploring the most effective hashtags you can use to bring guests to your business as well as the tools and techniques you can use to do you own hashtag research and spot the latest discussions happening in the vacation rental industry.
One of the easiest ways you can discover effective hashtags to add to your posts is to go straight to the source. Twitter will provide you with a tailored list of the top ten most popular hashtags in your network. This is a great place to start and will help you begin to add appropriate hashtags to your posts.
However, these are often very general and your network may not be talking about anything that you can relate to your business. This list from Kigo’s Twitter feed shows a range of topics, but none really related to the world of vacation rental management, whilst it might be interesting to others, we assume our followers do not want to hear our thoughts on #HipHopMovies. This is when you have to get more specific, and consider using hashtags that may not be trending at the moment, or look for smaller, more localised trends.
With a tool like TrendsMap we can see the current hashtag trends in different locations. This is great for aiming posts at certain locations or markets.You can also search your hashtags to see where is using the same ones. A quick search of #vacation gives us these results:
We can see from this that North America has the most activity under our hashtag and can use this information to time posts to this market at the right times and avoid countries where this term doesn’t resonate. Now, you can localise your #vacation tweets and Instagram posts to the US, at the time when the most US users are active. A localised and tailored approach will bring you significantly better results and a higher return on your social media investment as your posts don’t just reach people, they reach interested people, in the right place and at the right times.
So, now what if you want to go deeper, and use more tags on your posts? Twitter and Instagram both thrive on people adding multiple hashtags to their posts. You can really narrow down your audience to the most relevant whilst still reaching big numbers of people. With Hashtagify.me you can see which other hashtags are being used alongside your initial choice. Using the example of #vacation again we see:
The most frequently used hashtag alongside #vacation is #travel with over 20% of tweets featuring #vacation also including #travel. With this tool you can add multiple hashtags that will work with each other to create an even more effective outcome. You can go even further down the chain to add the most
As well as finding relevant discussions to join, creating your own hashtag gives your guests a chance to post and share their content with you. Having a consistent hashtag means your guests will post images to their network, with a link right back to your business. Many hotel chains and other businesses have capitalised on this such as the Omni hotel with their simple hashtag, #AtTheOmni. They encourage every guest to use this when staying at their hotel, creating unique and interesting content. We created the hashtag #KigoLive in order to cover our events with our partners and so anyone who attends can join the conversation!
These are just some of the tools you can use to start adding the most effective hashtags to your posts. Allowing your business to get even more reach and generate even more bookings through social media.