Social media marketing is creating a buzz in the business world today. Entrepreneurs find this strategy valuable in improving their brand presence and attracting more customers. In fact, a study from Social Media Examiner reports that 78% of marketers found an increase in web traffic after investing in social media marketing efforts by at least six hours per week.
This shows that the role of social media on influencing marketing and purchasing decisions is improving. It helps you reach your target market online, which allows your business to grow.
Hashtags have become an effective online marketing approach as popularized by social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Instagram. Appearing as a number sign, hashtags comprise of relevant keywords or phrases that suit a certain topic or event.
Blast from the Past
Of all the social networking sites mentioned, Twitter is assumed to have popularized hashtags, since the trend has become so associated with the site. But the truth is: it’s not the first social media tool to invent the # label.
Hashtags first appeared in Internet Relay Chat or IRC. They were used to categorize items like images, messages, videos, and other content way back in 1988.
It was only in August of 2007 when the same principle was introduced in Twitter. Chris Messina, former Google Designer, first proposed the idea of using # (pound) for groups.
Although Twitter didn’t pioneer the hashtag, we still can’t deny how it helped spread the trend among many online users. It has become useful in keeping everyone abreast on what’s trending in both social and business spheres.
But how do we really use them effectively? Here are three strategic ways to leverage hashtags for more successful social media content campaigns.
Use Hashtags to Promote a Brand Message
Creating your own hashtag is a perfect method in promoting your brand message. It connects your brand with topics that are fascinating to certain groups of people, which in turn increases your brand awareness.
Say your business offers apparel for women, men, and kids. Have a hashtag that relates to a specific topic like #women, #men, #kids, #clothing, #apparel, or #fashion. It’s also ideal to use timely topics like seasons, holidays, and other events. For example, relevant seasonal hashtags could be: #summerfashion, #spring, #summersale, or #summerstartsnow.
Doing this helps you interact with users, allowing them to better understand the nature of your brand.
Start a Trending Topic with Hashtags
Incorporating specific hashtags is an effective way to start a topic or discussion. Since people today relies on keyword or topic research, doing this makes it easier for users to get into the loop of hot trends.
Once users participate in the bandwagon of hashtagged words, it increases your chances of being found. To make this happen, adjust your settings so you can see local hashtags. Start by clicking Change in your trends box, leading you to two options: “Search Locations” and “Get Tailored Trends.” Tick the first option if you want to choose a nearby location or search other places. If you prefer to keep trends according to your area and the people you follow, choose the former.
Remember that hashtags can become links to search queries, so make sure to uncover popular hashtags in your industry to crank up your content marketing.
Hashtags Expand Your Audience
If Twitter hashtags link to search query, there’s also a great chance that they can extend beyond the site’s reach. By this, we mean hashtags that cover a particular point can help you reach the most relevant audience, thus expanding your online followers.
In a survey from RadiumOne, it was found that 51% of participants are more likely to share hashtags frequently if there are discounts in return. So stick to using campaign-specific hashtags to build a community around your brand message. Also, keep them short and simple to help audiences remember your hashtag, allowing them to use it conveniently.
Extend the reach of your tweets by promoting campaigns that will surely engage your audience.
Twitter is one of the many social media tools that allows business communities to advertise their brands through hashtags. When used effectively, this technique provides marketers three key opportunities: promote brand message, boost online engagement, and expand audience.
Follow these three hashtag practices to rock your next Twitter campaign.
Bennett, Shea. “The History of Hashtags in Social Media Marketing [Infographic].” Adweek. September 2, 2014. www.adweek.com/socialtimes/history-hashtag-social-marketing/501237
Brandom, Russell. “Who Owns the Hashtag? (It isn’t Twitter).” The Verge. February 7, 2013. www.theverge.com/2013/2/7/3960580/hashtags-are-bigger-than-twitter-vine-tumblr-instagram
“FAQs about Trends on Twitter.” Twitter. www.support.twitter.com/articles/101125
Wegert, Tessa. “Use Hashtags More Effectively in Your Social Media Content: 4 Tactics.” Content Marketing Institute. December 8, 2013. www.contentmarketinginstitute.com/2013/12/hashtags-tactics-social-media-content