HashtagsIt used to be when people talked about Hashtags, they were automatically talking about something like Twitter.  But, these days, you can use hashtags on a variety of platforms including Facebook, WhoSay, Instagram, Pinterest and more.  If you don’t know a lot about the hashtag, maybe it’s time to get a history lesson!  The hashtag, which was actually not always a “thing”, was accidentally created by Chris Messina.  Chris is an employee at Google now, but before all that in 2007 he was just a regular SEO guy.  He played around with the idea on twitter that groups could separate themselves from everyone else, by simply using the Hashtag.  At first, it was sort of a joke, but afterward, more and more people started using it and even sites like Twitter and Facebook started utilizing it inside their code on their platforms.  Now, using a hashtag is an everyday thing that millions of artists, organizations, businesses and regular people do every single day.  If you haven’t started using a hashtag, maybe it’s a good idea to start.  But, before making a decision on that you need to know what they are, how they work and more importantly – how to use them correctly.  Below you will find out about this and much more in the world of Hash Tagging.

 

Marketing Tactic?

It’s been revealed that when it comes to Twitter, using hashtags is not just a passing trend.  In fact, some of the world’s most famous brands are using hashtags from everything to everyday posts to marketing posts.  Last year in Q4, statistics showed that around 97% of the brands that use Twitter posted at least ONE post that included a hashtag.  That’s spectacular.  It also proves one thing, and that is that this “trend” is not one that’s dying out anytime soon.  Businesses have found out that hashtags actually help create engagement and drive traffic.  Tweets with hashtags showed that 12% more of those tweets were the ones that people actually replied to, favorited or re-tweeted.  Even more interesting; tweets with a hashtag AND a link showed users giving the most engagement over any other type of tweet!  So to answer the question, is this a marketing tactic, yes it is.  But, it’s one that works and probably won’t die out anytime soon like some other marketing tactics have.  And because it’s supported by sites like Twitter and Facebook, it’s about as white hat as you can get!

 

Hashtags Can Be Used For Any Marketing Platform

As mentioned earlier, a hashtag was originally used on Twitter.  But, these days’ hashtags can be used on almost any type of platform, even offline.  People are using hashtags on internet sites like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest, but you can also find this little pound symbol on marketing materials such as Advertising Campaigns in the real world, pamphlets, business cards, billboards and more.  It used to be when people had a business card it had their phone number, name and title, then when the Internet became popular you had added your email and website, now you can even add hashtags!  If you want to talk to someone about how to add a hashtag or what hashtag you should add to your business card or marketing materials do yourself a favor and talk to a NJ SEO company.

 

How Hashtags Work

Alright, so let’s pick something familiar like Twitter.  You know that if you go up to the search bar and type in AdviceForYoungJournalists it automatically uses the pound sign and turns it into #AdviceForYoungJournalists.  This is essentially a search tag that allows you to see everyone who has used this specific “tag” for their posts.  Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest all work the same way, you search for something with no spaces or the pound sign and you will find posts that use that hashtag in their post.  Now imagine you are a company and you are using tags like #bestinfographics on a post where you have an infographic talking about the 20 most used gadgets in the kitchen i.e.; “The 20 Most Used Gadgets In The Kitchen That You Use #bestinfographics, #kitchengadgets, #lifehacks” and someone goes to Twitter or Facebook or wherever else and they type in something like #bestinfographics, your post as a business will show up.  User will scroll the posts, maybe see one they like, maybe click the link, visit your website, etc.  Heck, maybe they will even retweet, favorite or reply to your post.  It’s all so simple and yet so amazingly useful!  Try it yourself now, visit any of the sites mentioned here and do a hashtag search.

 

Usage Guidelines

As with most any marketing tactic, there are rules or rights and wrongs, and there are things you should do or shouldn’t do to make sure that the tag works, you look legit while doing so, and you get the results you want.  Here are a few guidelines you should follow when using Hashtags:

 

Stay Relevant:  Obviously if you wanted to you could really use these hashtags as a way to get traffic the unfair way.  But, if you do this, it will lead to negative results.  In fact, if you use irrelevant tags, people will probably just get pissed off and call foul.  You might seem unprofessional or worse – people may start to ignore your Tweets or hashtags altogether.  Make sure that when you do use hashtags you are using what is relevant to your business, product or the post itself.  Don’t just use tags because you can or they are what will bring the most eyes to your post.

 

K.I.S.S:  Keep it simple, stupid!  If you want to create a new hashtag, cool.  But, make sure that it’s not too long or confusing for people.  For instance, say you want to make a new hashtag to celebrate the great life of Mickey Mouse’s Sorcerer Hat (it’s being taken down!) from Disney Hollywood Studios and you want to make hashtag #thanksforthelifetimeofmemoriesmickey which is WAY too long.  Instead, you could do something like T4TLOMM or TFTLOMM, something way shorter than your original idea, and it’s an acronym, which tends to be easier for people to remember.  Just keep it as simple as can be.

 

Don’t Spam:  Among other studies done for Twitter, while posts that had one or two hashtags got a good amount of views, posts with more than 2, got bad engagement i.e.; 17% less engagement.  Don’t spam, no matter how tempting it may be.  Use 1-2 tags per post and that’s it!