#Hashtag Mania: The Power of Hashtags
Hashtags are everywhere, marked by that little symbol historically known as the “hash” symbol: #. Now that Twitter posts are officially a part of Google search results, your Twitter engagement is more important than ever, and what better way to let social followers find you than through relevant hashtags. Even better, go one step further and take part in online chats and #hashtag conversations as a company. Do your reach out research!
A Little Hash-tory (That’s History If You’re Not Punny)
Hashtags have been made popular by social media website, Twitter. However, hashtags have been used as a search function for much, much, much longer than Twitter’s existence. The hashtag concept was adopted from computer developers that have used hashtags for years before social media even existed. In programming, hashtags are used to search for or “call” a common subject into the program. Without going full-fledged nerd on you, we’ll just leave it at that. How’s that for a little bit of history?
Hashtags and Advertising
All technicality aside, hashtags have become one of the best ways to tie your marketing together. Popular television host, Jimmy Fallon uses hashtags weekly as part of his shows – receiving instant engagement from his fans and bringing them into the show, encouraging not only a continual viewership, but an involvement of a younger demographic that other television hosts struggle to have.
However, Jimmy doesn’t involve hashtags just to involve the younger generation. While that is desperately important to a variety of businesses, the use of hashtags in advertisements, television, and print, is a way of connecting with your audience. By researching and creating a unique hashtag to you, you’re allowing viewers from a variety of avenues to come together and discuss. This is a great way to ask for social involvement.
Just like social posts, guest articles, or even your roadside billboard lead to more online searches (ya know, where SEO becomes you’re best friends), hashtags are your “social search” best friend. Think about that. The analogy totally works, I promise.
How Do You Hashtag?
Restaurants hand out napkins or post small flyers at their tables that include a hashtag, subconsciously making you aware of what kind of hashtag to include when sharing a picture of your amazing dessert online.
Why is this important? Socially, hashtags create a snowball effect of increased engagement, and this popular little symbol allows business owners to tie together marketing in a whole new way.
For example, let’s say someone snaps a photo of their food at a restaurant, including the hashtag that’s artfully posted there on their table. At the same time, a viewer from home watching Hulu, pauses for a brief commercial for the same restaurant. The commercial includes the hashtag. So, that TV viewer decides to bring up Twitter or Instagram to search for that hashtag. Now they see your photo and hundreds of other photos bragging about amazing dishes.
This form of advertisement goes well beyond the 15 second commercial spot. Now that person is convinced this food is a must-try and goes to Google to find a location near him. With that, we’ve come full circle. The art of the hashtag has resulted in a Google search.
To beat the online competition, this restaurant will need an active website with quality content and a good SEO strategy. Otherwise, all that advertising effort leads to someone else lurking at the top of search results.
Quick Hashtag Tip:
On Twitter one or two hashtags in a post are found acceptable. However, up to 30 hashtags at a time on Instagram have proven to get more engagement. Don’t over-clutter your tweets, but do your research on Instagram.
Post your hashtags as a separate comment from your photo caption. You don’t want to bother people with your hashtags.
Super Instagram Cheat:
Your photo appears in hashtag searches when you type the hashtag in. So, copy/paste 30 hashtags as a new comment. After a few hours, erase them and copy/paste 30 more. Want to revive a recent post that isn’t necessarily your most recent post? Do it again! When you comment with the hashtag pertains to when your photo reaches the top of hashtag results, not on the date your photo was originally posted.