Social Media Bootcamp: Using Hashtags for Your Business

From television commercials to billboards and t-shirts, it’s obvious that hashtags are a trend that’s here to stay. Research shows that tweets with hashtags get two times more social media engagement than those without tags. This makes the hashtag one of the most effective and fun ways to participate with your audience.

What is a Hashtag?

How did a simple pound sign become what we know of today as the hashtag? Chris Messina originally proposed on Twitter that the hash symbol be used to group conversations and topics. At first, this idea was rejected, but in 2007, during the San Diego fire, #SanDiegoFire became widely used to spread news and updates. Since then, the hashtag has taken off.

Hashags have spread from Twitter to many other social media platforms to create searchable links, making it easier to categorize current trends in social media. The hashtag is also used to convey emotion, give context, share an idea and promote a brand. It’s something that everyone can use in their social media engagement.

Supported Platforms

The hashtag is now used in multiple social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, Google+, Tumblr, Vine and Pinterest. On Facebook, businesses are the primary hashtag users, so although it is growing, it hasn’t become popular with most consumers yet. It is used heavily in Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. Pinterest uses hashtags to search for content directly from the description. Even Tumblr has a “tag” section where you can enter keywords that are similar to hashtags. All of these hashtag uses make it easier for others to join the conversation.

Tone

In the Twitter realm, hashtags are often used to give your message a voice and render a sense of humor or sarcasm. This is something that can be used to your advantage on Instagram as well, and it can help to attract more followers.

Here are a few sample tweets that show hashtags giving voice:

It’s time for the weekend! #TGIF
After years of hard work, I have just received a promotion! #happy
Today is all about coffee, coffee and more coffee! #Mondays

Trend Setting

Possibly one of the most important aspects of utilizing the hashtag is being aware of trends. Trends on Twitter and Instagram are real-time, hashtag-driven topics that are currently popular. Many use these trends to increase … continue reading at Appleton Creative.