The Art of #Hashtags
No doubt, you've come to see hashtags as a necessary part of online (especially social media) content, but just in case, let's spell it out: A hashtag is the numerical pound sign “#” followed by a word or series of words, which groups together an idea based on the subject of a social media post.
For example, if you were to post a picture of the plethora of houseplants you have, the hashtags associated could be #plantparent or #plantlife. These hashtags are saved and tracked by social media platforms, so later a person can click on the hashtag and see all of the posts associated with the topic.
Lots of companies use hashtags, but perhaps not as effectively as they could if they understood exactly how hashtags work. Let’s talk about four different types of hashtags and how your brand could benefit.
Your brand is important, right? So, your best approach to creating a useful hashtag is to associate it with your small business’s brand when you post on social media. Think of it as the signature for your company.Keep it short and concise, but be interesting. If someone sees your hashtag on their social media channels, you want them to recognize that it is associated with your brand. Many businesses use their name or slogan if it’s simple and easy enough. But there’s no reason you can’t spice it up a bit.
One thing to recognize is hashtags don’t work when they are combined with symbols like the hyphen or apostrophe, so if these are part of your brand, think of a way to work around them in the hashtag. When it comes to brand hashtags, your users will see clear images presented by your business and show solidarity later on by using it in their own posts, which allows you to interact with your customers on a more personal level.
Does your business run promotional campaigns? Try using campaign hashtags to use alongside your brand hashtags to tie them all together. Think of something clever and easy for people to remember. This will help to keep it sticky.
Promote your campaign hashtag on your own social networking sites or encourage people to use it on their posts to increase brand awareness and assist in marketing your products or services.
Trending hashtags are popular tags used by a lot of people within a short period of time. Many times, you see this on Twitter when something big is going one, whether it’s an event, a scandal or a big news story. For example, #COVID19 has been a regular trending hashtag for a while because of the world’s current situation. Your business can use its social media to look up what hashtags are currently trending, and then, get in on the action by posting to these trends.
An example post could be, “Have you been affected by #COVID19? We’re here for you! Give us a call or email, and we’ll go to bat for you.” Using a trending hashtag makes your post more likely to get views, likes, favorites, and retweets, which increases its visibility and promotes your business.
Finally, the classic: content hashtags. While it may not seem as glamorous as some of the others, these are hashtags your business can use which simply pertain to the physical content in your social media posts. They’re actually very effective. For example, a clothing company may post about a new line of jewelry they just received in store: “We’re thrilled about the beautiful jewelry we now have in stock. Come check us out today! #jewelry #necklaces #bracelets #beautiful”.
You can even do research to see which content hashtags receive the most views, and then incorporate these in your posts to increase visibility. But be aware: Too many hashtags in a post can overwhelm some viewers. Add just a few to give your post a bit more pizazz and versatility.
When it comes to marketing your small business, let social media do some heavy lifting by taking advantage of hashtags to promote your products and services. Before you know it, your business will be growing and your hashtags with be #trending”.