Wednesday, December 18, 2013

#LeadThemOn with Leading Hashtags

Hashtags, or key phrases that identify a topic on social media, are incredibly popular on various platforms and sites. As PR professionals, we should be constantly thinking of new ways to revamp what's already out there to increase visibility and up engagement . We must find creative ways to give users something they can engage with, rather than just respond to. In a sense, you have to lead them to your brand or idea instead of just stating facts and hoping people got the message.

Leading hashtags, also called Mad Lib hashtags are ones placed at the beginning of a post to start a sentence that the user can finish. It gives them the chance to go beyond the message and truly engage your content. As with normal hashtags, leading hashtags should still be well thought out and catchy so that users remember to include them in their posts. Remember, instead of the user creating a post that includes your hasgtag, they now have to create a sentence that flows with it, using your hasgtag as a springboard of sorts. Because the user has to put a little more work in, you have to make it worth their while.

There are so many advantages to creating a leading hashtag for your next social media endeavor. Not only do leading hashtags introduce a topic, they start a conversation. Users have the chance to share their personality and opinions while engaging your content. Because the hashtag comes at the start of the post, it receives more visibility. Before you know it, you'll be trending!

While leading hashtags can be great conversation starters, it is up to you to keep the conversation going. As users participate, take feedback, analyze how your audience is responding, and decide the next topic of conversation from there.

Have you ever used or generated a leading hashtag? Share your experience with us!

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