Hashtags are a new way of search and find in social media platforms. It’s become so popular that most of us use it in our personal profiles to generate more visibility to our content. Etymologically it is the combination of two words hash (the symbol #) and tag, and does nothing more than tagging your content to a word or word combination preceded by a ‘#’ symbol. Hashtags makes it easier to find and follow discussions about people, topics, events, locations, promotions and more.
How it Works?
Hashtags are used in social media platforms like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Vine etc. Hashtags act just like an index to your content or post. Whenever someone searches for a hashtag, the posts which are tagged with the same will get popped up, resulting better visibility and search. Social media marketers use hashtags to make their content go viral. Some of the notable ever-trending hashtags are #fashion, #follow, #love etc. Hashtags are widely used in branding, event promotions and even in political sarcasms.
How to Use Hashtags for Social Media Marketing
Be Specific With Your Hashtag
Choosing a specific hashtag will help you connect with your targeted audience. The more specific your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be, leading to better engagement. If you target espresso coffee drinkers, hashtaging with espresso will earn more specific audience than hashtaging with coffee.
Cater Hashtags to the Social Media it is Used
Do your research before tagging in different social media. Although hashtags serve the same purpose in various social media, usage differs slightly in all. Twitter uses hashtags based on a conversation or an event currently trending. Instagram uses a specific hashtag that describes the picture you have posted.
Come Up with Unbranded Hashtags
Your business hashtag do not have to mention your brand name, but should clearly tell about the service provided. If yours is a recognized brand you could even create your own hashtag and ask supporters to use it. One example is the hashtag by Nescafe – #itallstarts – which reminds people of their famous brand quote, It all starts with a Nescafe.
Avoid Long Hashtags
Use hashtags that are short and easier to remember. Your hashtag should be searchable and should be easier to type in. A very long hashtag like #ChocolateLoversInBangalore may not be typed in by many people; instead you can use #ChocoLoversBLR or an even simpler one. The whole purpose of a hashtag is to make things easier to find and engage rather than complicating.
Avoid Overusing Hashtags
Hashtags should be used according to the engagement required which is based on your targeted audience. Hashtaging all words are not advisable as it may generate false audience who may not actually need your service.
It is also to be remembered that hashtags can also backfire. Your consumers can easily use your hashtags to complaint against your service faults or to write a bad review. Hence choosing a hashtag should always comply with your service and should be done wisely.
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