The Power of Hashtags for Business Growth
Hashtags and social media go together like Tom and Jerry, Minnie and Mickey Mouse, Laurel and Hardy, what’s one without the other. Hashtags are the key ingredient for SEO and visibility of your content. Hashtags are a major tool in creating awareness for your brand across many social media platforms.
Hashtag Power is taking over the internet on all social media platforms. The hashtag symbol # has been around for years, previously referred to the pound sign, or the paper version of ‘three in a row’ otherwise know as tic-tac-toe, or sometimes using it when mentioning a number, e.g. #4 etc. Chris Messina, a social technology expert, is credited with the first hashtag on Twitter.
Hashtags have been around in general offline use for years. They were used on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) to sort images, videos, messages and other content in different categories. It is only in the recent past that the use of hashtags became popular with social media users, some branching out into their own communities (#farm365 for example).
Hashtags allow social media users to tag keywords, phrases and other strings of text and letters together so that they can track conversations and certain topics online. Anything can become a ‘hashtag’ just by putting the # symbol in front of the word(s). For example ‘it’s the little things’ becomes ‘#itsthelittlethings”, ‘love my job’ becomes ‘#lovemyjob’. They are a key part of any digital marketing agency service.
How #Hashtags became popular on #SocialMedia.
Hashtags were first introduced on Twitter when @ChrisMessina tweeted “how do you feel about using the # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” From this tweet, attention grew, resulting in the use of hashtags beginning to ‘spread like wildfire.’ Hashtags started to be used for major events happening across the world.
Hashtags have come very popularly on all platforms of social media, starting on Twitter, with Twitter highlighting hashtags on their homepage based on how popular they were. Facebook took a little time to catch on to the #hashtag frenzy but when they did, just like Twitter, both platforms provided a unique URL for each hashtag. Allowing your targeted audience to click on the hashtag and interact with you and the topic. It’s a great way to do market research as you can find your market via the use of their hashtags.
Pinterest uses hashtags to help make Pins noticeable to their users when they are looking for a specific post.
Instagram is another platform where hashtags are massively popular. Using hashtags on Instagram allows businesses the tool to create and influence their followers to their brand. Your images, when hashtagged on Instagram, become detectable by targeted audiences. If you don’t use hashtags, then your images will remain hidden.
Google+ is hopping onto the hashtag movement allowing hashtags posts on your Google+ account receiving better search engine results. On Google+ when a user clicks on a hashtag, they will see the original post as well as other posts that use the same #hashtags.
As a business, if you aren’t already using hashtags then hop on the #hashtagcraze and see how it can help benefit your business. By using hashtags your brand becomes more visible online resulting in sales and profits for your company. Create and use hashtags that will relate to your brand. Use hashtagify.me to help see what hashtags are being used relating to your brand. Reuse these hashtags for individual posts to help drive traffic to all your previous posts. Reusing hashtags relating to your brand such as #TeamTBF #creativeatwork #DigitalDivas #lovemyjob, #IrishDesign etc. can position you as the market leader or most powerful online social influencer for that hashtag over time, attracting further interest for your brand.
Hashtags can help your brand see what your followers are interested in, allowing you as a business to use this to your advantage, and posting images that relate to your brand as well as your follower’s interests.
Hashtags are a very powerful tool when used correctly. When used correctly they can target millions of users worldwide, which for a business is a huge benefit and boost to brand value, sales, and profits.