Growing Your Business: #Hashtag Power

Posted by Michelle Kafie on October 08, 2013

Hashtags have grown increasingly popular over the past couple of years and many social media websites now support them. Visit Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram or any other social media site and you’ll find people using them. Many people may think that hashtags are used just for fun. What you may not know is that hashtags can be a powerful tool that can help you extend your content’s reach.

What is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a word or a phrase preceded by the pound (#) symbol. You may have seen examples of this all around you: #marketing #love #food. These hashtags allow you to categorize these words or phrases so that when people do a search for that specific hashtag, the content you posted and hashtagged will show up on their feed because it is relevant to what they are looking for. It is like grouping similar information into a category.

For example, I did a search for the hashtag #SanAntonio on Twitter and all of the other tweets that had the hashtag #SanAntonio are together in one page.

Benefits of hashtags

Hashtags have proven to be successful for many companies, especially as social media’s popularity continues to grow. Hashtags allow you to engage with your audience and effectively communicate with them. They give you an opportunity to advertise your business. Here at Digett, we use #Digett to promote and build our brand. If a customer wants to know more about us they can use the hashtag #Digett and find all the information related to us on a particular social media site.

Different uses of hashtags

Another way businesses use hashtags is to promote events or campaigns. If you have an upcoming event and you want to raise awareness for it, using a hashtag will help you spread the word. This will also help you after the event, when you can tell people to tag all of the pictures they take with the same hashtag. This allows all of the people who attended the event and even their friends to look at all of the pictures. This means that by using one simple hashtag you are creating or increasing awareness for your brand. It also allows people to associate a specific hashtag with your brand creating brand recognition. You are also reaching out to a wider audience that could become potential customers for you.

Hashtags have proven very effective for promoting campaigns. If you are organizing one it is always good to keep a consistent hashtag to keep track of everything that is going on. Try to find a campaign name that is not widely used and preferably unique to your business. Customers like this because it gives them an opportunity to be involved with your business and feel part of it.

Hashtags give your customers the opportunity to engage more easily with your brand through social networks. If you use them consistently around all of the social networks you use, it will be easier for your customers and other people to remember those hashtags and use them. Just remember to keep them short, unique and easy to remember.

Beware hashtag overuse

There is one thing you have to remember before you start using hashtags for your business: #Do #not #overuse #them. Best practices recommend not using more than two hashtags per tweet or picture. You do not want to make it so crowded that it confuses your customers and overwhelms them. Besides that, it’s annoying — as is shown in this video of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake overusing them in real life (NSFW, so wear your headphones).

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[Image: Michael]


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