So the hashtag hit the big time in 2007 shortly after Chris Messina dropped a tweet asking users of Twitter if they’d be open to using # to group/tag topics of interest. Now in 2013 almost every social network going has adopted the use of hashtags making posts, tweets and pictures readily accessible to those interested in finding out what others are doing or saying about a particular topic in a feed. Even Facebook this year rolled over and adopted the cheeky little symbol so expect to see # cropping up in posts more and more.
The hashtag probably doesn’t get as much credit as it deserves in terms of the effect its had or the impact it can make in the social sphere, but here’s three top tips on how you could be making use of this social gem to help promote your new music.
1. Use #NewMusic
Sounds pretty obvious right, but adding #NewMusic to any posts or tweets you make that link to your music will inevitably provide a greater chance of new people discovering your talent. With others already actively using the hashtag, there’s going to be a sea of people hunting to find the latest sound to hit the scene through the medium of social media, so make it a little easier for them to find you and make sure youre always providing links to your tracks.
2. Hashtag Piggyback
This hashtag tip must be respected rather than abused for it to be of any benefit to you and your music. Misuse can backfire, cause annoyance and distaste from fans and artists alike, however correct and clever hashtag piggybacking can acquire you new fans and noticeability from your peers.
So how can you piggyback on a hashtag, you could do this in a number of ways. Has your music or sound ever been likened to another artist or band? If so when they’re doing a big new release and are clearly using a hashtag to promote their new release you could make a post along the lines of “If you like The Stokes new album #ComedownMachine check out <link to you music>” and fans watching the bands hashtag may then click through to hear your music via the link you’ve provided. In addition to this you might even be lucky enough for the band/artist themselves to see your post and share it further to their audience or even just give you a listen.
If there’s not a particular artist release happening that has a natural fit with you music, why not just look to see what’s trending (a lot of people organically using particular hashtags) and get involved in the conversation if you have something interesting to say on the topic and new fans might agree with your opinion or like your chat and decide to find out more about you. These small actions can enable you to connect with fans and peers for free with little effort, but just make sure what you do is relevant and interesting and you’ll reap the rewards.
3. Create your own Hashtags
So everyone’s using hashtags and by this point you’ll be thinking of doing a little piggybacking too, but don’t forget to create your very own. Hashtags can help you monitor the chatter surrounding your latest single or album as well as enabling you to give your fans a signpost when talking about your music or what you’re up to.
Big artists use hashtags to build anticipation surrounding new releases and in the past few weeks Gary Barlow has used twitter to release his album artwork and title by asking his fans to tweet #GBSOLO to @GaryBarlow in order to reveal info and images bit by bit depending on The number of tweets received. This obviously resulted in thousands of Barlow fans hyped up and chatting about him and his music.
You might decide to put the power in your fans hands and ask them to choose which city you play next or even which artwork you use for your latest album through a hashtag voting system.
Look at how other artists are using hastags for inspiration and see if there’s a clever way you can engage existing and new fans in your own way. One final note when creating your own hashtag, try to keep them short and memorable.
Now it’s over to you, so think about your posts, tweets and pics and where a hashtag might sit nicely.