Let me start with an example- think about it- does the term Branding with the symbol #Branding grab your attention instantly? Undeniably, it does and this is the power of hashtags. A hashtag, created by using “#” in front of a word or words without spaces is one of the most significant symbols used these days in social media marketing. It’s used on social media sites to help to find posts and information or specific contents easily.
Hashtags have gained popularity in recent years, these once an ordinary symbol suddenly evolved into greater significance in the modern world. Today hashtags have seemingly become an essential appendage for social media communication. In social media, users track topics and conversations by tagging keywords, phrases and other strings of texts and letters. Hashtag proliferation makes audience engagement easier, thereby informing and building a relationship with them.
History of Hashtags – Origin and Usage
Initially introduced in 1988 at the Internet Relay Chat, the hashtag was used to categorize images, messages and videos etc. The symbol made it easier to search for relevant or associated contents. In 2007, the symbol gained importance in social media communication when Chris Messina first introduced it on Twitter.
In 2009, Twitter officially adopted its use automatically hyperlinking terms appended with the #sign. Gradually Twitter started highlighting the sign on its homepage and the term ‘trending topics’ began to be associated with social media. This way eventually people came to understand the importance of hashtags for business.
Why are Hashtags Important
Hashtags have become the key to success for all online marketers. They have a massive contribution to creating your social media presence. With the growing popularity of this symbol, marketers have been using it to improve reach and growing a follower base. Today, using top hashtags have become a winning marketing strategy to build a business online.
Now let’s take a look at the importance of hashtags in social media
Hashtags find maximum importance on Twitter because it was the platform where the sign was first used and is still prevalent today. There are a number of popular hashtags 2018 at Twitter (for e.g ethereum, crowdfunding, photography, cryptocurrency, Olympics) that have received likes and retweets. Since inception, hashtags were considered to be a remarkable tool to drive high-level of engagement. Needless to say, businesses having an account on Twitter find it fruitful to spread their brand message among their target audience using hashtags.
Facebook took some time to understand the importance of hashtags. Finally, it started providing a unique URL for each Hashtag just like Twitter does to enable both the businesses and their target audience to click on and get connected with.
Pinterest, one of the fastest growing social networks enable its users to take the help of hashtags to communicate with their target audience. The trick of using hashtags in Pinterest allows users to search for a particular topic when they click on the hashtags on your profile.
Hashtags in Instagram are quite popular as they make the photos more discoverable by the audience. Without hashtags, the photos would remain private. In Instagram, using hashtags in Instagram photos enable businesses to influence the target audience and create brand awareness.
Google+ has also joined the hashtag bandwagon to provide the users with the scope of searching the most relevant posts easily. Businesses can have better results in search engine results pages. The technique of Google+ hashtag is unique., when one clicks on the Google+ hashtag, it will return to the original hashtag post as well as to the other posts tagged with the same hashtag.
Here’s revealing the power of Hashtags in social media marketing:
a) Increase User Engagement
Hashtags leverage engagement, they are the symbols that attract the attention of your target people and bring them to your account. When a business posts its content on social media with specific hashtags, you are bound to become prominent among others. Social media users would find your posts instantly according to their relevance. Nonetheless, industry experts are of the view that besides having the hashtags attached your posts should have uniqueness in this cut-throat competition.
b) Gain Significant Online Visibility
There are millions and millions of contents in the social media network. It’s quite likely that you will get lost. Hence, the solution is using hashtags. These symbols are great ways to make your posts visible to more and more people online. Hashtags play a pivotal role in raising awareness about your brand. With several changes in the social media world, you need to be more creative. Research is trending hashtags and use those that go well with your content. Social media marketing hashtags help every business to get discovered amidst competitors.
c) Extend Reach to Broader Audience
Interestingly, hashtags work like search engines, they increase your visibility online, making your posts reach a broader audience. When your posts make use of trending hashtags or those hashtags that are relevant to your business you become visible to a larger group. When you use particular hashtags, it makes a lot easier for people looking for those specific hashtags to naturally find you.
d) Expand Brand Awareness
When we talk about the power of hashtags, how can we deny their contribution to expanding brand awareness? Hashtags enable us to create engagement and also initiate conversations between the businesses and the target audience. Through the content attached with hashtags we publish, the audience comes to know about our brand and this way there is the establishment of greater brand awareness. Powerful hashtags have the average ability to connect your brand with various popular and visible topics. Well-crafted hashtags improve customer relations while increasing your visibility.
How to use hashtags in social media marketing:
When talking about the crucial impact of hashtags, there’s no denying the fact that hashtags form an essential part of any social media marketing strategy. These symbols function as a way of labelling your content and helping those contents to become discoverable to users. Hashtags in social media are important because they generate exposure and audience engagement.
- Today every social media site comes with a “trending now” or “explore” page showing popular hashtags and the corresponding movements that are trending. It’s recommended that you should join these movements and attach these hashtags to your social media posts. This way you can build followers and expand your connections.
- When hashtagging your posts on Instagram and Pinterest, you can use it generously and surveys say that it can generate more than 41% more interaction. But Twitter and Facebook require a lesser amount of hashtags usage per post.
- You can also create your own signature hashtags to generate more followers. However, remember to use it in conjunction with more popular trending hashtags for attracting more and more followers.
Hashtags in Social Media Marketing – A Key to SEO
With the constant evolution of search engine algorithms, today it has become essential for every marketer to find specific ways to rank higher. Marketers have found ways how hashtags play a role in determining a business’s position on the Search Engine Results Page. Using popular social media hashtags, you are sure to find more social media results.
Hashtags for Campaigns – Best Tool for a Long-Standing Successful Campaign!
The hashtag frenzy is an integral part of generating a buzz on Social Media platforms and achieving true brand awareness. A branded hashtag can breathe life to your digital identity, provide additional reach and brand familiarity. Such is the power of hashtags in enhancing social media experience for everyone.
With time, the more familiar your hashtags become, your audience will start incorporating it into their content, social media posts, captions, Blogs. And thus these UGCs (User Generated Content) will give your hashtag a life of its own.
The key aspects to consider for your next Hashtag Campaigns are:
- Keep it simple, relevant and trendy – a hashtag must always go with the flow. Make sure that it should be something that people are actually going gaga over. A hashtag that is more a tongue-twister or too difficult for the eyes, won’t give you a good result.
- Find out the keywords that are easy to remember and are in the latest trend.
- Check on your Competitors and see what kind of hashtags they are using. You cannot copy them directly, but can brainstorm and develop your own keyword, aligned to the most trending one.
- Pick a keyword that triggers emotions. If your hashtag is bland, it’s unlikely that it will ever drive any reach to you. Ben & Jerry’s is a popular ice-cream brand, but their name alone doesn’t create any emotion. However, their #CaptureEuphoria campaign takes the cake! Also, what would you choose, #Nike or #MakeItCount?
- But don’t be offensive and derogatory with your hashtag. Check for any offensive or racial slurs, homophobia, misogyny, or transphobia.
- And lastly, never piggyback own any tragedy.
The key takeaways are:
- Keep your hashtag campaigns simple, yet effective.
- Your hashtag must be quirky, yet easy to pronounce/spell.
- The hashtag must embody your brand personality.
- It must be expressive and really hit the spot.
So start planning for your next hashtag campaign and #makeitrock!
What we see is that hashtags are integral to your social media marketing. But what is to remember is that you should perform a certain level of research and planning. You should find out which type of hashtags suit your business. Devise a strategy and structure which hashtag to use and how to apply. Understand the requirements of different social media networks. On which channels you must use hashtags generously and which channels you should use them sparingly. With these points in mind you will receive noteworthy social recognition.
At A1Future there’s a team of experts who have been constantly trying to find better ways to help you grow your business.