If e-mail was the electronic hallmark of the 2000’s, hashtags are the quintessential symbol of the 2010’s. What do hashtags do? Hashtags help social media users organize and explore content. Hashtags allow online information to be categorized and easily sifted through.
Originating on Twitter, hashtags are now widely used on nearly every social media platform. Hashtags aren’t just another passing fancy; they’re here to stay. So if you haven’t jumped on the hashtag bandwagon yet, now’s the time. Hashtags can increase social media engagement, increase your business’s visibility, and ultimately, help you find more customers, revenue, and success.
Hashtags are such a prominent symbol of our culture, that Oxford Dictionary officially recognized “hashtag” as a noun in 2010. You can use hashtags on Facebook, Twittter, Instagram, Google+, YouTube, and more, though they are especially important for Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram marketing. Hashtags allow you to categorize social media content by sorting it by topic or interest. It makes your content more easily discoverable, as people with interest in those topics or interests can search the relevant hashtags and find your posts.
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Hashtags enable users to interact with each other and engage in content based on a common theme. For example, yoga enthusiasts can search #yoga or #yogi to find posts relevant to their interest in yoga.
Hashtags are an invaluable tool for businesses because it provides the opportunity for businesses to engage their markets at a very specific, intimate level. It shows customers that your marketing is streamlined and targeted towards them, that your content is specifically relevant to their life and interests. Moreover, by carefully curating and categorizing your content through hashtags, you give the impression that your offerings are innately useful.
Hashtagging, serves three purposes: it makes your content more valuable, it puts you in front of new users, and makes your audience feel more special. Overall, hashtag marketing is an excellent (and free!) way of growing your business.
No one has a patent over hashtags and creating a hashtag is as simple as typing a word or a few after the pound symbol (#). #YouCanHashtagAnything, but that doesn’t mean that you should.
Say, for example, that you own a successful martial arts studio, you may wish to come up with a hashtags for your business. Here are the three types of hashtags you can use for your business.
Encourage your customers and audience to engage with you by using your company hashtags and especially using your slogan hashtags. Slogan hashtags, easy to use and catch, have a nice ring to them and are a great way of increasing engagement.
When crafting hashtags, be sure to run a search for hashtags first. While no hashtag is copyrighted, you don’t want to use a hashtag that is already in use by another company. This will only confuse your customers. Plus, you risk rising ire from the competing company—no one, after all, likes a copycat. In creating a hashtag for your business, be sure to keep things simple and succinct. Don’t go beyond a few words for your hashtag—otherwise, it starts to look messy. Try to keep acryonyms to a minimum as well. Your hashtag should be clear enough so that those unacquainted with your company will be able to easily understand it.
Hashtags aren’t intuitive so here are some tips for you to get started using hashtags. For the uninitiated, hashtags may seem an unnecessary chore: a silly trend best left to younger generations. However, if you aren’t making use of hashtags for your business, you aren’t making as big of an impact on social media as you could—and should—be. Of course, hashtagging takes practice. Approach it with an open mind and be patient with yourself: In time, you’ll be hashtagging like a pro!
Now that you know what hashtags do, get started using them!