Hashtags for the Holidays

Whether your a small business or interested on improving your personal brand, you may have come up with a great holiday giveaway idea you want to promote on social media! But, how should you go about advertising for your giveaway, while effectively measuring the results? Use a hashtag! Hashtags linked to promotional contests or giveaways are appropriate to use across multiple social media channels, including Facebook! Not only will a contest help boost your social media activity over the holidays, but it may help you gain new followers in the midst of the busy shopping season. We've put together a few tips that will help you design the perfect hashtag for your marketing needs.

1. Pick a theme. Develop a plan. What are you going to use your hashtag for? A holiday photo contest? A holiday giveaway? Before you pick a hashtag, you first need to develop a promotional plan. Write rules for your contest or giveaway to post on your website/blog. Establish a timeline for your project. Determine your prize or what you plan on giving away. Map everything out before developing your hashtag.

2. Design a hashtag. When you're writing a hashtag, you want it to be searchable. For example, if you choose a generic hashtag such as #holidayphotocontest, you may have trouble finding entries on your social media sites. You want to create a unique and relevant hashtag. To write our hashtags, we use Hashtag Generator! This tool will help you develop a completely customized hashtag. It will also search for your hashtag across multiple social media channels to see if another businesses or companies have already used it. This tool has been a real life saver!

3. Promote your contest. You have your hashtag and your contest rules. Now it's time to post, post, post! You should begin your promotion at least a month before the final contest deadline. Create special posts tailored to each social media network. You may choose to hold your contest on one social media site, but we recommend using at least three. We use Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. You could also use Pinterest!

4. Announce your winner. Once the contest or giveaway ends, don't forget to announce your winner. You may want to privately direct message the winner, letting them know about how to claim their prize. Don't forget to thank your contest participants for submitting entries.

5. Measure your results. It's best to measure your website traffic and post reach RIGHT AFTER the contest period. Trust us, you don't want to wait. Once you have your results, you can start working on your next hashtag contest! You'll be able to compare your hashtag promotions and improve upon them!

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