You have definitely heard of them, you might even attach one to the end of a social media post now and again… but have you ever wondered what the point of it all really is? Why is this little icon increasingly popular and why should your business be using it?
To provide a little history, the first hashtag was used on Twitter in 2007 by Chris Messina who then encouraged his friends to do the same. The trend really picked up the heat in 2009 when Twitter began to hyperlink the “#” turning what was a simple concept into a search tool that leads the viewer to relevant topics.
How the Hashtag Helps:
Many businesses are catching on to the trend of using the hashtag to advertise their brand name. For example #TalenAlexander is the name of this marketing agency and when attaching the icon to our name, our audience is better able to search and find us. Not only is the brand easier to search for, but as customers begin to use the brand name hashtag, it builds mutual recognition within the marketplace.
According to the social media platform, there are different methods for using the hashtag. For example, Instagram allows the post to include up to 30 hashtags, however, do NOT use this many as it clouds the caption. Consider inserting popular, industry-related hashtags in the comments section to ensure you show up in relevant searches to drive interaction up by 80%.
Unlike Instagram, Twitter is a platform where you MUST use hashtags to generate conversation and grow your audience as posts with hashtags double the rate of engagement. Again, the warning remains the same if you insert more than three hashtags, engagement begins to decrease.
An innovative way businesses have used hashtags in the past is to create campaigns around them. Depending on what your marketing goals are, you can create one or two hashtags to promote products or concepts that speak directly to your audience’s interests. This will continue to build your brand recognition and advertise your services while doing so.
Finally, use this concept to really position your brand in front of the eyes that care. There are hundreds of niche conversations happening across all social media platforms that your business can join in on. Simple use the hashtag specific to your industry and expose your name to an already existing conversation. Be sure to only join the conversations that you feel confident about contributing useful and related content in. Remember to be respectful as you are new to the circle and do your best to really show off the depth of your expertise.
# Research to ensure you are using the proper hashtag without referring to another concept that already exists.
# Use the hashtag in congruence with your business brand and tone to streamline all content.
# Don’t use too many hashtags or engagement will decrease.
# Use popular hashtags to join the local conversations within your community.
# Explore what hashtags drive the most engagement for your industry, stay on topic to ensure it is reaching your target audience.