Hashtag sucketh. #StopUsingSoMany. It’s hurting you in a massive way – in both content proliferation and advertising. This is my first bit of Twitter advertising tips – why Twitter hashtags hurt your ad conversion.
So you think it’s pretty cool thinking to keep slapping tons of Twitter hashtags (used to tagging subjects in social media)in each Twitter message? You’re wrong. It’s hurting you.
Lets look at the simplest reason why. Here’s an example of a well written ad and an example of a terrible way to write the same ad:
Infographics on how companies like Kraft Foods, Nokia, Lexus, Ogilvy use crowdsourcing at Springleap springleap.com/pages/stimorol
#Infographics on how companies like Kraft Foods, Nokia, Lexus, Ogilvy use #crowdsourcing at @Springleap springleap.com/pages/stimorol
Your knee-jerk response is: well, the bad ad is actually great! After all, it should get the ad listed and found under a few subjects now. Right? Well, yes, but that is the least likely conversion to occur.
In social media, the best conversions occur within your immediate strong network. Your 1st degree of separation network are the most likely to be aware of your stream and happy to seed, share and link your posts/ ads. #FACT. – That’s where your sphere of influence is strongest. Consequently this is also where you will find the best sharing of your important messages as your reputation is most powerful here. It would make sense that you should be gunning for them to CLICK ON THE LINK. THAT IS THE FOREMOST REAL CONVERSION THAT MATTERS when wanting to drive user conversion on a site.
When you add hashtags and @<usernames> you add new items that become hyperlinked and dilute your chance of your link in the ad being clicked. So add a hashtag – that’s 50% chance our link will be clicked. Add an @<username> (even your own) and now the user could:
1. Click on your username and focus on following you or reading more of your content. Not the conversion you wanted and also may not occur. THAT’S MORE RISK. That alone is reason enough why Twitter hashtags hurt your ad conversion.
2. Click on the hashtag and follow a completely new trail of social media breadcrunbs
3. or, click on your link.
You’ve just accomplished 2 things: You’ve created confusion and obstruction to the user doing what you want them to do… and decreased your chance at conversion by at least 33.3%. That sucks.
What’s an engagement? An engagement is a follow, retweet, dm, or a click on any item in the ad. Not only will hashtags create a loss in conversion, they will actually cost you money per click. That’s pain.
Hashtags can play an important part of a much bigger strategy where you’re looking to establish a subject matter that your brand tacitly becomes associated with. That’s a great campaign strategy or a good longtail strategy. In the short-term, however – when clicks mean sales or real conversions that count – reduce the noise and drive the click to one single-pointed purpose.