Still not using hashtags in your businesses social media strategy? Time to rethink!
It’s amazing how many businesses still aren’t utilising this free resource, including many business accounts on Instagram!
Hashtags are a major part of social media business use today and can be used to pick out responses and content for major events, brands, slogans and more. Brands, businesses of all sizes, and individual users use hashtags to start and get involved in trending conversations and to categorise their posts about specific topics or subjects.
The first recorded use of a hashtag came in 2007 on Twitter; since then they have steadily risen in popularity, with their use spreading to include most social media platforms and becoming one of the most commonly used functions in social media today.
When a hashtag is posted on a social network, such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook, it will be possible for other users to seek out that and similar posts, which include the same hashtag.
Even LinkedIn has started to recognise and actively promotes hashtag use for searching content, including a new feature on LinkedIn company pages that allows admins to associate their Page with hashtags, so they can listen in and respond to conversations happening about their brand or relevant topics on LinkedIn.
So, what can businesses use hashtags for?
Drive engagement: users who are looking for a specific type of subject matter, a trending event or news topic, will be posting and searching for content using a specific hashtag, to see the content generated from other users, businesses or news agencies. Posts with the appropriate hashtag will be picked out. Businesses using hashtags often see higher engagement in their posts, over those that don’t.
Tie in content from multiple sources: hashtags are a great way to link content from multiple sources. This means, for example, that if a business has an overall account and say the owner or other designated member of staff has an account, they can both send out messages that are on brand and are tied to the business using the same hashtags.
Research: studying your target market through hashtags can be an excellent way to choose topics they are interested in, as well as allowing you to develop your products or services, based on insight and intelligence. Hashtagged content can help a business find out what’s trending or resolve issues that may have arisen using their products or services, allowing businesses to respond to situations quickly and efficiently.
Cheap marketing: if you’re running your marketing on a tight budget, then using hashtags can be a way of extending the reach of your posts. Unless you’re spending money on social marketing, on platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, then your reach isn’t going to get much further than your own following and then again, only a low percentage of them. Using one, or a small number of well-crafted or trending hashtags (don’t overdo it, 3 at most, unless you’re using Instagram), can sometimes improve your reach, especially on Twitter.
Hashtags in social media can be a great way to engage your online audience and can be a useful marketing and communications tool when used correctly. Just don’t overdo it!
If you’d like to know more about how to use hashtags or need help with any other areas of social media or digital marketing in your business, email firstname.lastname@example.org or hit the blue speech bubble in the bottom right of your screen and get in touch.