What Is a Hashtag?
The hashtag, more known in social media as # symbol, was just a pound symbol until in 2007, Twitter started to use it as a method of keywords highlighting to make them searchable across the web. Since then, the meaning of the hashtag has changed to the keyword or phrase placed within the post or comment on it with a purpose to highlight it and facilitate future search across the social networks. Now, most companies use them not only on Twitter, but also in all other social media platforms.
You do not require any specific skills to make the hashtag. Just follow some simple rules to construct it in the proper way:
- Do not include any spaces or punctuation
- Include letters, numbers or underscores – whatever you like
- Do not use words related to illegal activities as social media restrict such type of content
Why are hashtags useful for your business?
Hashtags maintain various marketing functions nowadays, including:
- Brand promotion – you can create a special hashtag for your brand and use them to highlight some important marketing events or promotional campaigns, the announcement of new products or any other activities related to your business
- The attraction of new customers – when you understand which hashtags are popular among your potential customers, you are going to be a king! At this very moment, you can get in touch with them and offer your product. Instagram recently had an update, which allows users to follow certain hashtags according to their preference.
- Engagement building – the hashtag becomes a powerful tool for helping your customers to start discussions about your products or services. The important thing here is to make them relevant to your audience and not slap “# “on every word within your posts. A hashtag defined as spam will not help your business grow.
Define hashtags wisely
If you want to make the most of hashtags usage, remember what does a hashtag mean, and follow these recommendations to have success:
- Make them short – people do not want to read lengthy words combinations. Keep your hashtags as simple and short as possible
- Place them within each post of your social media posts – check that hashtags are the part of your regular posts. You can use some posting tool to schedule them ahead with all the hashtags and links you require.
- Use content hashtags – these keywords should be associated with your product or service. Such an approach helps to streamline the popularity of your posts on social media being not familiar with your brand
- Use trendy hashtags – a good thing is to investigate, which keywords are popular now and use them in your posts. Here once again do not over spam your audience. Bring value to them with your piece of content. If it goes viral you will have success
- Be specific – as you understand your competitors are also using hashtags and to differentiate from them you have to be as specific as possible. For example, your product is a toy for small children. You believe that your audience is parents, but #parents target an overly broad consumer group. In this case, you can make it more specific and put #kidstoys to simplify the search for parents having little kids.
- Determine specific hashtags for each social network – research and discover the most popular ones in each social network you use. In addition, each platform has its own recommendations on how to choose hashtags on the specific subject for this network. You can also become hashtag-literate by getting acquainted with this valuable guide to hashtags application across various social media platforms.