Tips, Explanations and Examples on How to use Hashtags for your Business
If you are new to social media you may wondering what hashtags are about. We see them everywhere - Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Pinterest and even Tumblr.
But what are they supposed to do? Why do they seem so random? Who is supposed to use them?
It's no wonder this all can seem very confusing!
That's why I've put together some tips to help you understand what the heck hashtags are and how to use them strategically in your business.
What are #Hashtags
Basically hashtags help people find stuff and share stuff. They are like an organizational tool for social media. They are a way to make it easier for people to find posts on a given topic as long as those posts use the same hashtag that is being searched for.
Hashtags are where given words are prefaced with the keyboard pound hashtag sign: #. One or more words can be used if the hashtag and keyword(s) have no spaces in between them. Once added to a social media post, the hashtag phrase becomes searchable and clickable.
For an example M&Ms just unleashed a new Pumpkin Spice flavored candy for Fall. Starbucks is also promoting their Pumpkin Spice latte. If you go into Twitter and types hashtag PumkinSpice in the search feature, it will pull up a list of these and other Pumpkin Spice related posts.
Why Use #Hashtags
When done properly and strategically, hashtags are a great way to gain more exposure for your business. Here are a few examples how:
And some people use hashtags just for fun or to make a point. My favourite is #ChocolateIsSacred and have used it more than once!
Read more below about strategic ways to use hashtags in your business.
When Hashtags Were First Created
Twitter created the #hashtag feature on June 1, 2009. All Twitter hashtags (words with the # sign in front of them) became hyperlinks to discover more tweets pertaining to that subject.
Other social networks soon followed such as Facebook in 2013, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr, and Instagram. Some networks like Google+ and Instagram have embraced hashtags with a fury where Facebook still lags at bringing this feature into mainstream usage.
In fact, not long ago I conducted a very informal survey about the use of hashtags on Facebook and many said they had no idea what they were, others thought they were spammy and cluttered up their newsfeed and most all never clicked on them. Indeed, the only people who were using hashtags were either marketers or social media managers!
But that doesn't mean they shouldn't be used... as you'll see there are plenty of reasons to incorporate them into your social media strategy.
Rules for Hashtag Use
Different platforms have different official and "unwritten" rules about using hashtags. Here's a few to be aware of:
15 Strategic Examples On Using Hashtags in Your Business
Just like knowing the best keywords of your industry and optimizing your website content to include them in order to be found in search engines, hashtags can also be used to help you get found in social media.
It's important to create Hashtags for:
Hashtags are a lot of fun once you get the hang of it you'll be hashtagging with the best of them.
Make a point to create and use hashtags for your social media and don't be afraid to create your own unique ones like what we did with #SocialBlast and #eTip (even though others now use it too and that's OK!)
It's a great way to tap into a base of hot prospects interested in what you have to share. Jump in, Try Hashtags Today!
What's your take on using hashtags? Do you use them in your business social media marketing? As a user, do you find them useful or spammy?
Susan Friesen is the founder of eVision Media, a boutique web development and Digital Marketing firm of over 15 years that specializes in designing, building and marketing professional, unique websites for entrepreneurs, businesses and organizations.
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