Each hashtag represents its own unique entry into conversations dealing with race, gender, sexuality, economic justice, global citizenship. – Beyonce Knowles- Carter.
What is a Hashtag?:
A hashtag is a word or keyword phrase preceded by a hash, also referred to as the pound sign (#). It is used within a post on social media to help those who may be interested in that particular topic to be able to find it when they search for it using a keyword or particular hashtag. It helps to draw attention to your posts and encourage interaction.
The history of hashtags:
The pound symbol on your keyboard (also called an octothorpe) was initially used to mark numbers.
They were first used as hashtags in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web marketing specialist walked into Twitter’s offices with an idea. Because of the platform’s brevity, he suggested the company start using the pound symbol to group related Tweets together.
Since then, the use of hashtags, their reach, and their effectiveness has become generally acceptable.
- They always start with # but they won’t work if you use spaces, punctuation or symbols.
- Make sure your accounts are public. Otherwise, the ‘hashtagged’ content you use won’t be seen by any non-followers.
- Don’t string too many words together. The best hashtags tend to be relatively short and easy to remember.
- Use relevant and specific hashtags. If it is too obscure, it will be hard to find and it won’t likely be used by other social media users.
- Limit the number of hashtags you use. More isn’t always better. It actually looks spammy.
Why use hashtags?:
To increase engagement with your followers:
Including hashtags in your posts means taking part in a conversation happening on that social media platform. And most importantly, it makes your posts visible in that conversation.
This can lead to greater engagement, boosting your brand’s social media engagement through likes, shares, comments, and new followers.
To build brand awareness with branded hashtags:
Creating a branded hashtag can be an effective way to promote your business and drive conversations.
To show support for social issues:
Using a hashtag that’s connected to an issue beyond your brand is a way to mobilize behind an important cause or issue.
For example, #EndSars #IWD2021 #MeToo was used across social media platforms when they were issues in the society that warranted them.
To help your target audience find you:
On LinkedIn and Instagram, users can follow hashtags as well as other users. Using a few popular hashtags can be another way to help new users find your brand.
Finding the best hashtags:
Finding hashtags that are specific to your brand, your industry and your audience, takes a little research.
- Monitor social media influencers and competitors.
- Use Hashtagify.me.
- Know which hashtags are trending.
- Find related hashtags.
- Analyse which hashtags were successful on past posts.
It’s time to start using hashtags in your social media posts as they’re even more useful for your brand today.
Do you have any questions or comments? Do share with us in the comment section.