Understanding hashtags in social media by The Marketing Studio in Nelson NZ

What are hashtags?

In a nutshell (and as detailed on Wikipedia) “A hashtag is a type of label or metadata tag used on social network and microblogging services which makes it easier for users to find messages with a specific theme or content. “

Simply put, a hashtag is an easy way for people to categorise, find and join conversations on a particular topic. The hashtag is used to highlight keywords or topics within social media platforms such as on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram and can be placed anywhere within a post.

Different social media users can tie their conversations together through hashtags, they can be used effectively on a local level to showcase events, products, services, brands and lifestyle in a region you live in. For example, if you try clicking a particular hashtag in a message, you will see the list of posts using the same hashtag. Have a look at #nelsonnz #nelsonshines in your search field next time you are Twitter, Facebook or Instagram.

Creating a Hashtag for your business

It doesn't take fancy tools to apply a hashtag to your messages. All you need to do is type your text and then insert the hashtag at any part of the message. Careful thought should go into using a hashtag for your business, look at a target keyword that is relatable, so that other users will be inspired to use it for their own, as well.

When the hashtag you've created has developed a following, clicking on it will lead you to the list of users who have adopted it in their own conversations. You can also communicate with newfound friends through here. In a way, an effective hashtag creates a community online. They are also great for monitoring visibility of your message on multiple social media networks.

Things to think about when using hashtags:

  • Use hashtags that are relevant keywords to your post. In other words using hashtags as click bait is definitely a “no-no”.
  • Don't overuse hashtags. We’ve all seen tweets and posts that have!
  • When thinking of using a hashtag, do a search on the platform you are using to see how they are being used.
  • Make sure your hashtag is appropriate and not treading on any toes.
  • Whatever you do have fun with them and be creative. Use hashtags to help your posts go #viral.

Check out these links for some more advice:

Twitter - https://support.twitter.com/articles/49309

Facebook - https://www.facebook.com/help/587836257914341

Instagram - http://blog.instagram.com/post/17674993957/instagram-tips-using-hashtags