Understanding Hashtags and how they can help your business

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

About Barbara Kotua

Barbara Kotua has a 30 year history in Media, Marketing, Digital Marketing, Administration and Customer Service learning all the tricks of the trade along the way. Spending over 25 years in print media and marketing, Barbara has marketing, sales, sponsorship and events experience under her belt. She has an uncanny knack of knowing what will work for you and your business. Barbara is the person to call to manage your marketing project.