Hashtags. They can be helpful on all the big hitters – Instagram, Twitter, and even Facebook. But how do you get a hashtag to trend – or even to become popular? How do you use it to help grow awareness for your brand or cause?
With a little bit of research and a lot of effort we gave that a try with Finally Family Homes’ “A Hope And A Future” campaign.
May 15th 2019, our crowdfunding campaign launched on https://www.gofundme.com/HopeAndAFuture to open up a home for foster youth who are leaving the system with no family, home, or resources. We requested friends across social media to help us spread the word with the hashtag #AHopeAndAFuture.
On Twitter, you need a hashtag to be used 500 times in one hour to start to trend. Your best bet turns out to be getting that hashtag going between 12 am and 6 am.
Scheduling Tweets to go out within that time frame, and especially within a specific hour can be helpful.
On May 15th we created a conversation around #AHopeAndAFuture our hashtag for our crowdfunding campaign.
If you didn’t catch on, it’s a reference to Jeremiah 29:11 which says in the NIV, “‘For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'”
A few days before we did a social media post asking for votes both on Facebook & Twitter for which name to go with for the campaign. We ended up with a hope and a future by a landslide.
Finally Family Homes’ mission is to join in the work of advancing God’s kingdom on Earth by caring for the orphaned – the abandoned children in our country – foster youth who age out. They definitely could use more hope and confidence for a good future!
As He says in Psalm 146:9, “The LORD watches over the foreigner and sustains the fatherless and the widow, but he frustrates the ways of the wicked.”Finally Family Homes' mission is to join in the work of advancing God's kingdom on Earth by caring for the orphaned – the abandoned children in our country – foster youth who age out. They definitely could use more hope and… Click To Tweet
To trend on instagram is a little trickier than on Twitter. Because Instagram doesn’t move at the same pace as Twitter it might take longer to get a hashtag trending. We tried focusing on getting likes and engagement on posts with our hashtag. For Instagram you’re more playing the long game.
In hindsight I wish I had used an Instagram story to get votes on the campaign name – just to draw people in ahead of time.
We did however, also include the hashtag in our images & stories, to help get more awareness.
Facebook is ever the mystery to me. You may not see them as often, but hashtags still matter on Facebook, or more precisely a hashtag still matters. A branded or campaign specific hashtag might be the most powerful. Facebook posts fare best with only one hashtag.
In fact, engagement goes down with each additional hashtag. And it turns out, according to the above linked article, posts with 40-80 characters also fare best. That’s less than Twitter!
This article on making Pinterest hashtags work for you, points out that searching by a hashtag doesn’t always lead to hash-tagged content.
Pin descriptions are taken into account on almost equal value. However, in general, a hash-tagged keyword will cause a Pin to trend more quickly than a non-hash-tagged keyword.
Pinterest is also unique in that it doesn’t show most popular pins in the hashtag first, but the post recent pins, so it pays to hashtag often.
The above article recommends using “350-450 characters of the 500 character Pin description for keyword rich sentences and the remaining 50-150 characters for relevant keyword hashtags.”
Our campaign started Wednesday May 15th, but it’s still going strong!
Please join us in Pinning, Tweeting, Instagramming, and Facebooking with the hashtag#AHopeAndAFuture and tag Finally Family Homes.
Wanna know how our hashtag is doing now? Look it up and please share in the comments below!
The mission of Finally Family Homes is to provide family-like support to help teens who don’t have a family or home, transition into successful adulthood.