How to create effective charity hashtags
Looking to leverage your supporterbase via social media? Here’s our five-step guide to creating effective charity hashtags.
Have you admired recent charity digital campaigns? Dreaming of going viral but unsure how? Charity digital leaders may have read our earlier tips on how to leverage social media, and how platforms can add to the fundraising toolbox. Creating hashtags on social media allows for audiences to contact charities regardless of location or size.
Adding to the power of hashtags, these digital portals can also work as a call to action. Charity digital marketing and communications teams have created memorable hashtags across Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook, targeting audiences for charity fundraisers, new product launches, announcements, and brand awareness.
Additive to every charity digital leader’s toolkit, here is a quick DIY guide to creating an effective charity hashtag.
- Decide how you want your hashtag to work
Hashtags can, and should, form part of the charity social media strategy. When deciding how you want the hashtag to work, marketing and communications goals may be helpful. Social Media Today advocates deciding on what value can be derived from the hashtag:
- Is there a specific event happening?
- Is this a digital fundraising appeal?
- Or, maybe the aim is to create a buzz?
Once decided, brainstorming a catchy, memorable phrase is important to motivate audiences. Simple ones tend to work very well – #GivingTuesday is a prime example of how worldwide charitable events can come together.
- Be creative and genuine
Creating a hashtag is like creating a calling card for your charity social media movement. Hashtags should be genuine and creative, bringing to life the cause. Powerful in the media, #CharitySoWhite is a great example of how charities can bring light to situations and to corral other industry actors.
In response to the Citizens Advice Bureau training on ‘barriers’ that BAME team members may bring, the #CharitySoWhite so far has over 2,000 tweets with many linked to retweets. When choosing a name, digital leaders should also think about originality, memes, and other interpretations – making sure that your message comes across on the right foot.
- Build a community – share it
Aside from Twitter, hashtags can be shared on Instagram and Facebook. It’s worth noting that the major social media platforms use hashtags in different ways. Sprout Social, a social media platform manager, suggests looking at each social media platform separately – Twitter mainly for conversations, trends, and to-the-minute news; Instagram for searchable hashtags supported by media and video content; and Facebook for the more nuanced crowed (Facebook hashtags are unique and filtered by presence and date).
- Promote it
Promoting your new digital hashtag means having a ready-to-go list of contacts, emails, and targets – digital leaders should prepare a list of contacts across social media platforms in advance. Notifying leading influencers can help the hashtag go viral with retweets and additional shares.
Charities have also used other marketing and communications techniques to promote their hashtags. BBC Children In Need made it easy for those on social media to donate with the #MakeMeAHero campaign – users posting with the hashtag and @Post Office handle received a link to donate with the amount added to their phone bill.
- Check it
After launching the single or collection of hashtags, hashtag analytics can help measure and gauge reach. Free hashtag tracking tools are available for charities looking to measure their impact and voice. Companies like Keyhole, Brand24, TweetDeck, and Social Searcher offer media analytics at low, or no-cost for charities.