Social media sites are constantly evolving, and all the while setting new trends in the online world – like the use of the hashtag.
For many people, when they hear the word hashtag or see the “#” symbol, they immediately relate it to social media like Twitter, Instagram, and Pinterest. As the popularity of the symbol grows, so does the number of social networking sites that incorporate them in their platforms, like Facebook, Flickr, and Google+.
Now we all know the powerful effect of social media has in online marketing, and the importance of its inclusion in your online marketing campaign. It is important to take advantage of the latest trends in social media like the use of hashtags. In the next few paragraphs, we’ll take a look at how the use of hashtags can help you and your business achieve more success in your online marketing campaign.
Hashtags and Your Business
Most people only think of hashtags as a symbol placed before a phrase or word to perform a variety of functions. For example, a hashtag is commonly used to group similar topics, which is how they were used by in the 1990s in IRC (Internet Relay Chat). They are also used for the same reason in the different social media platforms present today.
However, the most important uses of the hashtag for your online business is the ability to reach out to a vast audience or social media users and quickly identify the topic(s) you are discussing, as well as the ability to provide you with some useful insights about you, your brand, your competition and your interests.
For example, during the blackout at the Superbowl last year, Tide took advantage of the trending hashtag #blackout to launch an ad. Tide capitalized on the popularity of the #blackout tag to increase the number of people who saw this message.
When you have something relevant to share that coincides with trending topics on twitter you can use hashtags to increase your audience reach.
If you are planning to connect to your customers and clients, then the use of hashtags in social networking sites is the way to go. You can do this by incorporating the use of hashtags with your business name (e.g. #yourbusinessname) or a line that defines your brand (for example, the shoe brand Nike might use #justdoit - their tagline).
Now, aside from making a hashtag with your company or brand name, you can also create a hashtag with your product on it. For example, a company named XYZ Winter Fashion and Accessories will be too long to use in a hashtag, so you can just come up with something like #winterfashion.
#Your Promos and Events
Alternatively, you can make use of an event that you can promote with the use of a hashtag. For example, an entrepreneur who runs a website about his fast food restaurant may plan to put up a hotdog eating contest in their locale. He or she can then promote this online by using #hotdogeatingin(city, town, etc). This hashtag is a way for the interested people (not only your locale but in neighbouring places as well) to communicate with you. You can communicate about the date, the venue, the prize and the other things related to your event.
In addition, using Instagram or Pinterest to post pictures prior to your event (the trophy perhaps or a mouth-watering image of your products – in this case hotdogs) will create a buzz around your brand, whereas post event pictures of happy participants and crowds will show those who didn’t come what they missed.
Another use of the hashtag is to monitor your competition. For example, you can type #onlinemarketing and you will be able to see what people are talking about with regarding online marketing.
Making use of hashtags for your online marketing campaign is not simply putting the # symbol before your brand name or event name. It will require careful planning, including choosing the right words that will reflect your brand or product, the correct timing and when to launch, and successfully targeting the right social networking site users, all of which an expert digital marketing firm will be more than able to help you with.