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Hashtags - Love Them or Hate Them, They Are Effective

16 Jun, 2014 By: Ashley Secondini, Questex Media Group

Effective hashtags (i.e., the # symbol) can be a powerful tool for any marketing campaign. Hashtags are relevant across all social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Initially, the hashtag symbol was used just for encrypting passwords and/or entering the pound key in response to annoying phone prompts, but now it means so much more. Hashtags are used as marketing keywords that you can easily click on in social media to view all tweets or posts trending in that topic. By using hashtags in social media campaigns, you can explore an even greater reach with your posts by drawing in more followers, likes, event attendees, and even sales.

Effective Hashtag Use

Hashtags make or break a social media campaign. They need to be short and easily remembered; something that attendees or subscribers will remember on the fly as they are tweeting about a recent article or trade show. If a hashtag uses too many characters, it can hurt a Twitter campaign by occupying too many characters with the 140 character limit. If someone wanted to share a link or retweet, that would further reduce the characters available for them to share their thoughts.

When incorporating a hashtag, an important step to remember is to search for your desired hashtag prior to implementing it. Competitors may already utilize the desired tag in their social media campaigns or it may be associated with other unrelated campaigns. Avoiding this small but costly mistake can be huge for your social media marketing efforts.

Consistency and maintaining a clear message are essential to effective hashtag use. Be sure to use the same hashtag(s) across your social media platforms. Additionally, one should carefully consider the amount of hashtags used in a single post. An excessive volume of hastags can lead to confusion and prevent the reader from gaining any information from the post.

Hashtags and Business Practices

Hashtags are a great way to promote events that you are attending or hosting, announcing new product launches, as well as a good way to stay engaged with the community. Businesses have the potential of reaching thousands with just one hashtag, as well as gain followers, which could lead to potential customers. An important benefit of hashtags is that followers can respond to them, creating a thread where they can engage in conversation with business representatives. As a business owner or employee, it is important to engage and communicate with the consumer. This allows the consumer or end user to stay informed on the latest news and trends in the target market, and allows companies to develop increased interest and intrigue around a specific event or product.

Finding Hashtags in Your Niche

Finding a hashtag in relation to your business can be another great way to reach potential prospects and/or customers, while expanding your reach. For instance, if you work in toner supplies, searching by #toner can be a great way to find others engaged in this topic of conversation. It allows you to network with those in this market sector, while getting your presence or brand known. Answering even one question or inquiry that someone has about toner cartridges, will give you the opportunity to start a conversation with a potential customer, thus making it very worthwhile. Using hashtags in your niche market also makes you and your brand easily searchable by consumers.

Choosing the right social media hashtag(s) and knowing when to use them can greatly impact your business and its reach. Effective social media marketing can be a tricky game but it’s about outsmarting the competition and mastering hashtag use. By using them correctly and appropriately, you can gain a large amount of followers who could eventually turn into customers.

To stay connected and engaged with imageSource Magazine, be sure to use #imagesource on your social media posts!

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