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#AskGaryVee Episode 68: Hashtags, Recycling Content, & Lauryn Hill

By February 4, 2015No Comments3 min read

#QOTD: What animal scares the crap out of you?

1:24 – How do you optimize the use of hashtags for campaigns?
4:18 – You’ve talked before about ‘recycling’ a tweet, but what about other content such as a blog post? How often do you pull a piece from the archives to dust it off and republish?
6:39 – If you were going to market for a brick-and-mortar bookshop, where would you start?
10:03 – How do I overcome my people pleasing nature?
11:18 – As a b2b manufacturer of building products, how much time/$$ should we spend on marketing to consumers vs customers?

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Hashtag culture is very important, especially to Instagram and Twitter. Those are really the two places that it massively over-indexes. It’s an incredible way to get discovered.

If you’re asking “How do I get my hashtag going”, you might be in for a surprise with my reply. I have the #AskGaryVee hashtag, but it’s really a way for me to gather questions, as well as create a community that people can talk to each other on. For a campaign, it’s different. You need to understand two things. One, hashtags are not ownable. Maybe some of you didn’t get it, so I’ll say it again: hashtags are not ownable. It is insane to me that people in 2015 still think you can own a hashtag. I walk into a lot of brand meetings where people will say things like “Let’s own the #GetEm hashtag.” My usual response is: what the hell are you talking about?

First and foremost, any hashtag you create could be taken tomorrow by someone else and used differently. If you can remember all the way back to 2009, Skittles put out a hashtag and ended up with a lot of really crude things on their hashtag. Even worse, Skittles made their homepage a feed of that hashtag, where everything that was posted using it showed up. Yikes. It still happens today.

So, how do you optimize hashtags for a campaign?

Flip it. Instead of trying to own or establish a hashtag for a campaign, look at hashtags that are trending and very popular on the two main platforms already and try to figure out how to reverse into them by putting out your piece of content, storytelling. Ride the wave. Be creative.