How to Hashtag: The Guide to a Powerful Marketing Strategy

The use of hashtag across social media is very common to find the most trending topics being shared or more information on a certain topic. But have y...

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The use of hashtag across social media is very common to find the most trending topics being shared or more information on a certain topic. But have you ever wondered why the hashtag? What can it do for business?

Simply put, a regular social media user or a novice business professional can use hashtags to empower personal or business reach online. Believe it or not the hashtag is more important than you think. Without it, social media would not be what it is today, especially not social media marketing.

There was a time when the hashtag symbol (#) was just a simple “pound” key on a phone. Now, pretty much everyone refers to it as the hashtag. Why?

The Story Behind the Hashtag

Initially, the the hash sign also referred to as “pound” or “number sign” turned any word or phrase into a searchable link on Twitter. This is where it became the HashTag.

Back in 2007 Chris Messina, a developer, proposed in a tweet, that Twitter use the # symbol to group topics. At first the idea was rejected, but after a San Diego fire journalists began using the hashtag #SanDiegoFire for updates. That’s when “hashtagging” began to blow up on Twitter.

Although hashtags were born on Twitter their popularity eventually reached other social media platforms like:

  • Facebook
  • Instagram
  • Google+
  • Tumblr
  • Pinterest

Now a hashtag functions as a label for content to organize and quickly track topics based on keywords. Common social media users as well as businesses take advantage of hashtags to cover events and topics as a social media strategy.

What Can They Do for Business?

Hashtags are powerful tools that businesses can use to help improve engagement with a targeted audience and improve brand awareness. Hashtags on posts have the ability to share common interests with your audience. Even if that audience doesn’t follow your account you can still reach them with your posts. That is the great power of the hashtag.

Let’s consider that you are playing with the idea of buying Gucci Glasses. But you want to see how they look on other people, who else is using them or who sells them for the best price. A simple search with #GucciGlasses on any supported social media site would deliver a feed of deals, ads and real time Gucci fans or customers. These results can include a mix of posts from users who may or may not be in your circle which is great for both the customer and the business.

When used properly, hashtags help businesses increase their reach which means higher sales. Although this seems like an easy marketing strategy to implement must people still don’t know how to take full advantage.

In order to accurately promote your business through social media, you must use hashtags sparingly and only when they add value. Along with a couple of requirements.

How To Use a Hashtag Correctly

Even though hashtags seem simple enough, there are a couple of technical requirements you must follow.

  • Always Use the # Symbol – This may sound trivial, but it’s a must have. Always use the hash symbol # to start a hashtag since it consists of a word or phrase tag with a hash symbol in front of it.
  • No Spaces or Punctuation Allowed – All letters and numbers must run together without spaces or punctuation or symbols in your hashtag. If you want to differentiate between words, use capital letters like #IblesoftBlog. This technique won’t alter your search results, #IblesoftBlog is the same as #iblesoftblog
  • Numbers & @ Sign – Numbers are allowed but only if accompanied with at least one letter. If you are trying to reach someone directly, don’t confuse # with @. Don’t tag someone or share a post using #Beyonce because they won’t receive any notifications. Instead use @Beyonce.
  • Using More than One # – You can use multiple hashtags in one message or post, but try not to overdo it. One to three is generally accepted anything over that can come off as annoying, confusing or unnecessary.
  • Placement – You can add hashtags to the beginning, end or even in between a message as long as it’s readable. However, we recommend you stick to just one if its not at the end to avoid confusion.

Choosing A Hashtag

Sometimes coming up with the perfect hashtag for a campaign, event or topic might seem difficult. Therefore, we figured it’d be best to point out some thing to consider when choosing a hashtag.

Keep it relevant

Do some research on other businesses in your field using hashtags for some ideas. But also keep in mind the keywords your customers might use. For example, for a travel company, its customers might look up #VacationPackages or #CheapFlights.

Try to avoid using popular trends to catch you customer’s attention if it isn’t relevant to your business. Unrelated hashtags such as #Obama when pitching vacation packages might confuse users and hurt your credibility. Always keep your content relevant or people may report you for spam or block your account.

Make it unique

If you want a unique hashtag for an event or campaign, create one that hasn’t been used before and encourage people to use it on their related posts.

Include the hashtag in all of your promotional materials to provide consistency and make it short and sweet so it catches on.

Publicize it

How well your hashtag is seen depends on your account’s privacy settings. If your social media accounts are private, then only authorized users can access your hashtags which can hurt your reach. So, if the point behind your hashtags is to increase brand exposure, then make sure you are set to Public.

Spread the word

Different social media accounts utilize hashtags for a reason. They give you the power to spread your trending hashtag across different platforms like Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.

However, to help it stick you have to make it very easy to remember. Hashtags that are long, hard to pronounce or hard to remember are difficult to use.

Do Research

It can be quite a setback if your hashtag is already being used, so do some research. Especially if your intended hashtag is the same as an existing username on a social network.

Dispelling the Misconception of a Trend

Viewing hashtags as a social media strategy is ideal for business. It’s actually spreading quickly to every nook and cranny of digital marketing. Why? Because hashtags are a form of intelligent marketing.

Whether it is through promotional tweets or informative posts, hashtags help gain followers as well as encourage users to visit your website. Hashtags can even help increase a brand’s international reach in order to target new audiences.

Enhance Your Business

Looking for ways to promote your online business? Get in touch with Iblesoft for Internet Marketing solutions.

We have a team of digital marketing experts and consultants that can help guide you through the wild world of social media. Also, don’t forget to subscribe to our newsletter and follow us on social media!