Remember when “#” was a pound sign, a little button on your phone that you used only when prompted? Those days have long since passed and “#” has become an everyday use thanks to hashtags. If you’ve been on the internet in the past year, you’ve seen words and phrases following the symbol. Hashtags began primarily on Twitter and has expanded and grown into a customary social media tool and a gold mine of information. There is a subtle art to the hashtag and while most are using it correctly, there are still the select few that are putting the symbol in front of every word (Don’t.).
The hashtag is now engrained in almost every social media platform including Twitter, Facebook, and Google+. It began as an easy way to target and sort information. Analytic and insight data uses the hashtag to effectively monitor and manage content.
For businesses primarily, it’s a wealth of information. Hashtags are monitored and kept. Build your brand using a fun phrase or your company name. It is becoming a unique way to start a continuous trend among your customers and is allowing you a way to find out how often it’s being use, who it’s being used by, how and what context it’s used in, and to target and engage with customers. Sites such as Hashtagify.me allows you to track your hashtag(s) and track their popularity and spikes. Have fun with it, create a unique hashtag for a product, service, or event and see how it’s discussed in your community.
It’s more than a pound sign in front of the word. You want to create a unique hashtag so you can effectively track your progress, not someone else’s. Some basic tips for hashtags go a little bit like this:
- Use the pound sign (#) before your keyword or phrase
- Do NOT use punctuation within your hashtag, it is all #onephrase
- Numbers alone will not generate. #No1InTheCountry will garner search results more than #1
- Try to limit yourself to two or three hashtags within a post, you don’t want to overload your consumers