#Hashtag 101: What Business Owners Should Know About Hashtags
101.1 – Meet the Celebrity of the Day
Hashtags are everybody’s best friend in social media postings this year. Those little searchable links with a hash (#) symbol at the beginning have come a long way. From Twitter, hashtags have crossed to other networking sites like Facebook, Instagram, Google+, and the rest. It has become social media’s and online content’s ally in connecting different people and every idea over the web.
For this reason, online marketing has been taking advantage of hashtags in the spreading of a brand name or a particular product or service. It is to their advantage to make use of it so they can make their content readily accessible for public consumption, thereby, multiplying a business’ audience share as they build better perception.
101.2 – How it all came to being
Early childhood recollection tells that this # was first introduced to cognition as a musical symbol. Called a sharp, it is a symbol that when reflected on a musical sheet meant that a change of pitch for half a note higher is in order. This was a function worlds apart from the function of a hashtag, today. Hashtags, of course, aim to pool together all like ideas in a search result to give out better options. This (#) proves to be one multi-tasking symbol. Surprisingly, that makes it very modern. Being that, multitasking is a most sought-after feature for everything including people.
Hashtags may have fully reached its domination this year, but it was first introduced for use on Twitter way back in August 2007. Users did not latch on to the idea readily. It was the fire incident in San Diego (#sandiegofire) two months later that really served as the push it needed to course along the site. It dwindled about in existence until Twitter embraced it fully when it started linking automatically everything heralded by a hashtag in 2009. Seeing the success and the genius behind the concept, other social networking sites followed suit. In January 2011, Instagram gave support to the power of hashtag, which was followed by Google+ in October. Other social media sites had a delayed reaction by discovering its use only this year: Vine in January, Flicker in March, and just this June – Facebook.
See this infographic from socialmediatoday.com for a more interesting source of hashtag history.
101.3 – The comprehensive formula
If you are a newbie at this social media trend, you might find yourself wondering how they are formulated. Well, College Calculus or Trigonometry, it is not! It does not even come close to basic Arithmetic. So, savvy grandaddies or granmommies don’t despair! It is an easy feat to tackle.
You only need to take note of two things, and then you’ll be all set to unleash your hashtagging expertise. These are:
- Spaces, punctuation marks, and any other symbol are not needed. They should not appear on your hashtag, just like how you make a url, else your idea or topic is broken down into different topics which defeats your purpose. And don’t you dare confuse “@” for “#”! They have different functions in social media.
- Cases don’t matter. The proper use of the uppercases and the lowercases (i.e. #TheRavenEdgarAllanPoe or #theravenedgarallanpoe) will not make a difference. Once you have a clear topic you want to search for, it will yield the same result as long as it follows the first rule above.
Read ‘em, understand ‘em, and you’re basically good to go!
101.4 – What business owners could get or do with hashtags
This practice is good and quite potentially an effective marketing strategy. It can be readily used and abused. We say abused because sometimes social media posts look like a collection of hashtags passing themselves off as a post. Hashtagging has a lot of room for opportunity, and the extensiveness of its reach is staggering – meaning wider range of readership.
For specifics and comprehensiveness, these are the uses, which can also be considered as your benefits, hashtagging can give your business:
- Keyword Optimization. As a business owner, most probably, you own social media accounts. You make posts and statuses that push your business. And, the best way to get traffic for that or lead others your account is to make hashtags out of your business’ content keywords, which will pool your content together with those same ideas for a search result. This will get your content more possibility of views. Here, you can utilize all your keywords to better your chances for website rank at the search results.
- Brand Building. As you keep on making hashtags, you steadily build up your brand. Keeping to your particular keywords, you make your business known on the web with their continuous presence in search results. Also, look into the trending topics of the day. Build a post around it, inserting your keywords as well to make sure you link and hint at your business for every post you make.
- Campaign Promotion. Create campaign-supporting hashtags, keep in mind that you make sure that it is also a trending campaign everybody is sensitive about and vocally-supportive of. You can also use hashtags for campaigns related to your business that you have come up with, specifically designed to either push your business or an advocacy you support. This also helps in building your brand. Supporting or making a campaign will build you up as a person who can take action. Additionally, having an advocacy will make you seem a concerned individual, which in turn will earn you more trust and your business more clout.
101.5 – Hypotheses to be derived
As business owners, you must use all possible resources to build your brand and push your products. With the proliferation of social media as the new solution for community formation, you need to conform to the times in order to secure your place in the market. Your trusty old world beliefs in business will only get you far, but they can be limiting sometimes. New trends like hashtags can do so much to help your business, so give it a try. It is fun, too.
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