If you’re not a big social media user, you might not be familiar with the term or the concept of hashtags, let alone know how to use hashtags in your social media marketing. Even so, you’ve probably noticed these pound signs (#) used in front of a topic or keywords on everything from tweets to the bottom of your TV screen during popular programs.
Hashtags were created by Twitter users back in 2007 as a way to categorize messages. Since then, they’ve become a frequently used notation to categorize topics throughout social networks, such as Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, YouTube and Tumblr.
Some hashtags are single words (#marketing), while others are phrases (#marketingtrends), and the primary purpose is to bring conversations about the same topic into a single thread for users to view and discuss.
So you might be wondering, “How do hashtags relate to my social media marketing?” Well, believe it or not, hashtags can help you market your brand, capitalize on popular trends and get your message out.
Here are some tips for how to use hashtags to promote your business:
1. Include a Relevant, Yet Specific Hashtag
With the right hashtag, readers will find your message even if they’re not following you– you just have to take care to use a relevant, yet specific hashtag.
Using a relevant hashtag means either using a hashtag already designated for a certain event, or using a hashtag already being searched for frequently. You can quickly and easily test certain words by searching on Twitter or another social network, or you can use an analytics tool, such as www.Hashtags.org.
Our one caution with using highly relevant hashtags is to try to make them as specific as possible so your message doesn’t get buried. For example, instead of using #marketing, it would be better to use #marketingtrends.
2. Create Your Own Hashtag and Use it Consistently
Anyone can start a hashtag and hope it goes viral, although for the most part, creating your own hashtag for a business name, brand or new product will require consistent effort in order to get picked up by other users.
Just like our CEO, Ford Saeks, has done with #SuperpowerSuccess in order to promote his new book Superpower!, you have to spread the word about your hashtag by using it repeatedly whenever relevant. This could include use on your website, promotional materials, various social networking sites and inviting clients or customers to use it when discussing related ideas with you.
3. Use Your Hashtag on as Many Social Networks as Possible
As discussed above, while the use of hashtags originated on Twitter, they are now used widely on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn and Pinterest, as well. By using your hashtag on as many social networks as possible, you will give your hashtag more exposure and it will also help people to remember your hashtag.