The term hashtag came about in 2007 when the word was introduced by Stowe Boyd and commenced being used on Twitter in the same year. However, it wasn’t until about 2009 that # Hashtag really started to take off and be adopted by the greater audience and being picked up on Google and throughout Twitter. By 2014, most social media platforms started using the # to connect, communicate and create.
Where to use the Hashtag!
The hashtag can be used in a variety of Social Media platforms, with the main ones being: Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, LinkedIn, Soundcloud, Google+. However, other platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, Pinterest and Klout also use them.
Some of the ways you can use the hashtag on some of your social media platforms:
If I look through my current Twitter newsfeed, I see that every single one of the tweets has at least one hashtag in it. Click on that hashtag to see more about that topic and what is happening. If a hashtag is trending, you will see it on the left hand side of your newsfeed. Can you add value to this trend? Perhaps bring your business into the trending topic. Use a maximum of 3 hashtags in any of your tweets.
This is one platform you can use more than the 3 you use in Twitter. But ensure that you are using your hashtags to your advantage. For example, you are a Mercedes mechanic, you wouldn’t just use the hashtag #mechanic or #carmechanic, be specific and say #mercedesmechanic. This way you will reach the people seeing a mechanic for their mercedes.
Hashtags are not used as much on Facebook (or Linkedin), but when used it will help others follow you and your posts, as well as others. For example, if you see a Facebook post with a hashtag – click on the hashtag and a new page will open with all posts with that # all being visible. Trending topics can also be seen on your Facebook page news feed.
If you want to add a hashtag to your Pins on Pinterest, make sure they are added to your Pin description as otherwise they are not clickable to your followers.
How to use Hashtags!
Hashtags allow us to communicate, connect and be creative in our businesses. But how to use simply and effectively! To start, hashtags are easy to create, you just add a # symbol in front of the word you are wanting to create or to join a conversation.
It should be simple, i.e. do not make a hashtag such #Icanhelpyourelieveyourstress. Instead you would use something like #relieveyourstress or #stressrelief
Remember that a hashtag needs to bring two words together, so you wouldn’t use a hashtag #small business, you would need to use #smallbusiness
Hashtags can be a great marketing tool for your business but you must keep them simple and targetted. Here are two examples of how you can use a hashtag to get your latest business product or service off the ground…
Are you a florist about to start some Christmas workshops? Then you could use a hashtag such as #CreateChristmasWreaths and build a marketing campaign around this. For example start using this hashtag on every post you do – offering information on christmas wreaths, asking questions about what people like from the colours, objects etc they like to see on Christmas wreaths. Remember to also advertise the page on your website where your event is. Build the momentum.
If you are holding a workshop, seminar or conference, then create your own hashtag and let all attendees know before the event what the hashtag will be. This will build up momentum for your conference, plus encourage all attendees to use throughout the event. Your followers, the attendees’ followers and more will become involved in your event even if they are not attending. What a great way to reach a whole new audience for your upcoming events.
Most networking businesses that you belong to will have their own hashtag. For example Women in Business Networking (WIBN) have two. They have #WIBNUK for general discussions and to allow members of one group to connect with others across the country. But the second hashtag relates to a specific networking catchup once a week which is #wibnukhour. Every member can access this via their Twitter account and connect and network for an hour each week. It is a very effective marketing tool not only for the networking business but also each member who participates.
How can I keep a track of Hashtags?
There are many online solutions to keep a track of your own hashtags as well as those which are trending and most popular. Here are just some of the tools available to you.
http://keyhole.co/ – track your hashtags in real time
https://www.hashatit.com/ – search any hashtag being used
http://hashtagify.me/ – find the best hashtags
https://tagboard.com/ – you can create an online board showing all hashtags in one place. Great for an event
https://www.hashtracking.com/ – tracking hashtags
https://tweetreach.com/ – find out how far your tweets and hashtags are reaching
I think we should be prepared to understand the hashtag because it going to be around us for a long while to come. It is not used instead of keywords – which are still important to our business – but used in conjunction and in addition to these. Do you understand how they can work for you and your business?
If not, I will be holding a workshop to help you create, understand and communicate your own hashtag and business through hashtags, at a time and date to be confirmed.
Hazel, Learn Grow Transform