What is a Hashtag? Benefits of Hashtags for Business

POSTED BY Alicia Anderson - 04.17.14 - Social media

What is a hashtagStill confused by those pound sign (#) links that follow almost every social media update and how they can help your business?

The use of hashtags within social media creates a unique opportunity for businesses to connect with their fans and implement new branding strategies. Twitter was the first social network to include hashtags which, when clicked on, would lead the user to a list of other tweets that included the same hashtag. Hashtags soon became one of the most important components of a tweet. They made it possible for users to engage in Twitter conversations based on these discussion topics. Other social networks including Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest, Google+, and Tumblr have incorporated similar hashtag capabilities. These days it seems like there’s a hashtag for everything, and there’s a reason for that.

 

Join the Conversation

Businesses can use hashtags to increase their social reach and improve brand awareness by seeking out popular hashtags related to their services or relevant to their target audience.  Most social networks include a list of trending hashtags which allow users to see the latest news and popular topics in real time. Businesses can use these trending hashtags to their advantage.  Brands can gain visibility and expand their audience by joining high traffic discussions on topics related to their industry and service offerings. Posting a tweet or Facebook update with a trending hashtag enables users who want to learn more about the topic, but would never have seen your brand, direct access to your content.

 

Brand your Presence

A business can benefit from a hashtag when branding anything from a big event to a promotional offer. We created a hashtag campaign at a Social Media conference last year and saw great results, learn more about our strategy in my #SocialLyrics Case Study. A hashtag could be used to compile tips or facts related to your industry. Create your own original hashtag that relates to your business and include it in all of your informational posts. This creates an organized repository showcasing your industry knowledge viewable by any user with a simple click of your branded hashtag link. Any business looking to use a hashtag for branding purposes needs to keep their presence simple and consistent to encourage user interaction. Keep in mind that you are only allowed 140 characters in a tweet,  so if your hashtag will be used on Twitter, it must be clear and concise leaving users enough space to share their thoughts.

 

Encourage Interaction

A hashtag is a great way for a business to encourage interaction with their fans. As I’ve mentioned above, when creating an original hashtag, it must be simple but memorable. The easier a hashtag is to remember, the more likely users will be to include it in their posts. The hashtag must also be unique and related to the brand, so that it is consistent with the marketing strategy as a whole. Creating a hashtag for these purposes can help a business to track the success of their marketing strategy and engage with their fans and followers. If you’re planning to run a hashtag campaign across multiple social platforms, Tagboard is a tagboard examplegreat free resource to help organize your searches. Tagboard will search Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Vine for your original hashtag and present the results in a clean organized feed which updates in real-time. This feed will showcase your customer’s social activity which may provide insights into their perception of your brand or products. Your business can also reach out to these users directly and address any negative feedback or acknowledge positive reviews.

 

Many different types of businesses can benefit from the use of hashtags within their social media marketing strategies. If you are looking to reach a new audience, establish a branded presence, or create new lines of communication with your customers on social media, create a hashtag for your next campaign.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Alicia Anderson

Alicia Anderson

Alicia Anderson is a Social Media Community Manager at Fusionfarm. She works with a number of clients in various industries to grow their businesses through the use of social media marketing. When she's not creating social media magic, Alicia enjoys shaking it while instructing dance fitness classes.

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