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There’s one easy way to jump-start your Twitter presence that most marketers tend to overlook because it’s just so obvious – creating content around trending hashtags on Twitter.
That’s because most brands go about it the opposite way – they go into it with an approach of “let’s make our hashtag trend on Twitter,” and then deploy a lot of strategies that are basically akin to asking thousands of followers to send out tweets featuring that one hashtag.
But there’s an easier way.
The anatomy of a trending Twitter hashtag
Everyday, Twitter posts a list of the hashtags that are trending. The key insight here is being able to find the hashtags that work for your brand. Take the trending Twitter hashtags for December 27 – mixed in with obvious politically inspired tags like #Israel and #JohnKerry (he was giving a policy speech about Israel that day), there were a few fun hashtags that could easily be used to “seed” a few tweets — #WednesdayWisdom, #LetsLivestream and #NewYearsResolution.
It’s easy to see why each of these three hashtags was so popular on that day. Ever since some enterprising marketer came up with the idea of the #FollowFriday hashtag, there has been an effort to create a new hashtag for every day of the week, so why not #WednesdayWisdom? And the #LetsLivestream hashtag is further proof of how the livestreaming video trend is taking off on social media.
But there’s one hashtag that was far and away the favorite for that day and that was #2016in4words. On December 27 alone, that hashtag was used in nearly 120,000 tweets. That’s an incredible amount of momentum. But how do you leverage it?
Three brand tweets that got 1,000 retweets each
There are three brands – all sports teams – that really stand out for the way that they used that simple Twitter hashtag (#2016in4words) and blew it up.
The Boston Red Sox sent out a tweet featuring a photomontage of the beloved David Ortiz and four simple words – “Thank you David Ortiz.” That picked up 14 replies, 1,213 retweets and 2,081 likes (i.e. hearts).
Not to be outdone, the NFL’s Pittsburgh Steelers sent out a simple tweet with four words – “2016.AFC.North.Champions” – and an image of players celebrating. That tweet picked up 23 replies, 1,200 retweets and 2,200 likes (i.e. hearts).
Finally, the Chicago Cubs – the new baseball champions of the world after an epic period of futility – sent out a tweet with an image of players celebrating and four simple words: “Got this shiny trophy.” That tweet picked up 86 replies, 2,100 retweets and 5,000 likes.
Messages that build momentum
While brands want to make sure that they don’t overdo this Twitter tactic, it’s a quick-hitting momentum-builder that’s remarkably easy to pull off – (1) see what’s trending on Twitter today, (2) find a hashtag that’s fun, (3) construct a very brief tweet, and (4) watch the magic happen. If you’re lucky, you might just find that you’re getting more than 1,000 retweets for something that took you less than two minutes to create.