It’s no secret that social media giants such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have given us a chance to engage and make meaningful connections. Often, a specific key in the keyboard helps with this: The hashtag (#).
If you’re a social media novice, seeing people use hashtags might seem confusing. But after a while, you’ll notice that they’re integral in enhancing or innovating the way social media users and brands communicate and drumming up interest. In a way, hashtags and SEO are similar as they actually highlight certain keywords or topics.
If you are still trying to grasp the concept of hashtags and what makes them so significant for both casual social media users and brands, we will give you a more in-depth look so, read on!
Let’s first discuss the origin of the social media hashtag. The first person ever recorded to suggest the use of a hashtag was a former Google employee named Chris Messina way back in 2007, through a Twitter post in which he tweeted:
Years later, hashtags have become a huge part of the social media culture. Hashtags are primarily used to categorise content, giving users an easier way to discover their preferred news or posts. With this, users won’t need to waste much time digging through irrelevant content to see what they are specifically looking for.
When someone creates a hashtag, it will automatically be indexed by the social network (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) making it searchable by other users. If you click on a hashtag, you will be redirected to a page consisting of a variety of discussions or posts which contain the same hashtag from different users around the world.
A study done by social media agency RadiumOne showed that 75% of social media users already know how to use hashtags. This just leaves 25% who either have no idea how to create and use hashtags or simply don’t like using them at all.
If you are clueless when it comes to proper hashtag use, we guarantee that it won’t take too long for you to learn. Technically speaking, all you have to do is hold the SHIFT key while pressing the number 3 key on your keyboard or keypad and then—voila!—a hashtag! However, to make sure you use it properly and maximise its potential, well, there are some rules that you need to follow.
As mentioned earlier, using a hashtag is a pretty simple and straightforward affair. However, there are certain rules that must be followed if you want to get the best out of your hashtags, such as the ones below:
- Don’t leave any spaces or use punctuations
- Keep it short
- Don’t overuse it (avoid spamming)
- Don’t use it on every word in a sentence
With hashtags being a reliable way for users to find discussions about a specific topic, it’s no surprise that brands who capitalise on it find more social media marketing success.
Businesses can enhance brand awareness through what are known as branded hashtags. Brands who successfully create and integrate the right hashtags into their social media marketing campaigns can expect more engagement and conversations over time. In a way, hashtags show brands how popular they are on social media.
Aside from providing brands with a chance to know how popular they are on social media, there are other notable advantages hashtags can offer businesses. Below are a few:
- Build and nurture online communities – Through branded hashtags, you will be exposed to different communities having different discussions about your brand. One community might focus on a specific product and another might be talking about your brand as a whole. The best part? These communities offer you a better look at what’s working for your brand and what needs improvement, giving you key insights on what you should capitalise on (and avoid) in your next social media strategy.
- Performance monitoring – With a little bit of analytics, you can see the strength of a specific hashtag over a period of time. This will give you an idea if it is something worth using again or not.
- Personality – Hashtags give you the chance to not think outside the box but to instead create your own box in terms of presenting your brand the way you want your audience to picture it. In other words, hashtags help you separate yourself from the competition by having your own personality.
When brands do extensive market research and integrate the data they have collected with their social media campaigns, the aforementioned advantages are certainly not impossible to achieve.
Something as simple and painless as placing hashtags in your business’ social media posts can go a long way when it comes to boosting visibility and popularity and encouraging more conversations. However, planning and executing an effective social media plan can be quite stressful if you don’t have enough time or are clueless of the ins and outs of social media marketing. So, when in doubt, ask questions and seek expert help, and we at Curate Bee Digital are here for you.
We are a digital marketing agency in Sydney that offers a host of quality and effective digital marketing services such as SEO-SEM, content marketing, online ads, and social media marketing that will strengthen your online presence. Our dedicated team of experts is always ready to help your brand achieve #digitalmarketingsuccess. Got any questions? Please don’t hesitate to contact us for more info.