Hashtags, you see them everywhere online, but what do they mean, and how can they help your business grow? Let’s answer that.
What is a Hashtag?
In essence, a hashtag is a label that consists of a word or phrase tag with a hash symbol in front of it. It is a label for content and is represented by the symbol “#”.
It helps others who are interested in a certain topic, quickly find content on that same topic.
A hashtag would look something like this: #Batman or #Election2020.
Hashtags are used mostly on social media sites. They became commonly used due to their prominence on Twitter. But now you can use hashtags on other social platforms, such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Google+.
If you visit Twitter, you’ll see a “Trending” tab, listing the hashtags that are being used the most at the current point in time. By clicking on one of the hashtags, you’ll see every tweet relating to that subject. It’s a great way to join a conversation and allows you to write anything and use the hashtag as the context. If you simply tweet “I can’t believe they did that!?!” it would be confusing, what are you referring to? But if you add #DoctorWho at the end of the tweet, everyone now knows you are referring to the most recent episode of Doctor Who.
Hashtags have also been used as a way for the public to express their reactions and tributes related to deaths or world disasters. During these times, the hashtag feels more connecting than ever. Allowing people to see that they are not alone, or revealing how many people cared about one person, it’s also a great way to advertise helplines or get people sharing a charity fundraiser.
The Blueprints of Hashtag
In order to make sure you are hashtag-ing correctly, you need to follow these rules.
- No Spaces. All One Word.
- Start With the # Symbol
- No Punctuation.
- No Hashtags Containing Only Numbers
- Keep Hashtags Short and Sweet
Create Your Own Hashtag
Hashtags can be started by anyone, and can be related to anything you’d like. There are common hashtags that people use all the time such as #ThrowbackThursday where people post old content from their backlog every Thursday of the week, or #NSFW which lets people know that the content is “Not Safe For Work”
In order to get a hashtag trending, it needs to be used a lot, by a lot of people.
Add it to the end of messages, in the main sentence if you are writing those exact words anyway, in any graphical content so people become more familiar with seeing it, and keep the consistency so it becomes more of a thing related to your brand.
Have a search for it on Twitter or Instagram so you can see how many people are using it daily to see how popular and engaged with it is.
How to Use Hashtags for Your Small Business
Businesses can use hashtags to grow their digital marketing content and create a group following. This can be done in many ways, including:
1. Running a competition
By running a competition, you can make the hashtag the defining way to enter. By having people tweet the hashtag, it will make their followers curious as to what it’s referring to and can cause a bandwagon of shares and new followers on your account.
2. Network using #FollowFriday
Like the #ThrowbackThursday hashtag we mentioned earlier, #FollowFriday (or #FF for short) is another commonly used phrase that allows companies or individuals to share the love, network and grow their communities. This is done by giving a shoutout to any businesses or people using the @ symbol before their account name (So @amesocial for example) and ending the tweet with #FollowFriday. This will allow the people you’ve tagged to get more traction on their accounts, and then they will do the same in turn and so on.
3. Use broader hashtags for maximum reach
There are thousands of hashtags and you can be as broad or specific as you like. But by using more broader hashtags related to your post like #Content or #Football you’ll reach more people.
4. Use Hashtags.org for competitive intelligence
Hashtags.org is a fantastic service that shows all the hashtags that people are currently using to discuss.
If you’re in need of digital marketing content and accompanying copy that incorporates your desired hashtags, get in touch with us today on [email protected] or +44 7496 088297