So for many of us, hashtags has the meaning of ways to search for things, but try explaining that to a pre-teen or teenager that it used to mean the number sign or pound sign on a phone. Hashtags have evolved into a searchable way to find things on social media platforms and on the web.
Hash tags were adopted in the early years of social media, for the computer savvy to talk to each other. This was the easiest way for them to get information to each other with simple clicks.
Then, it just took off. Everyday people started to use it for everything, #justsaying. It became a quick way to meet other people going through things in life that were similar. Whether it was #chilling on a weekend or just #hangingout on a weekend. The teens and twenty somethings went crazy with it.
Even Jimmy Fallon had fun with it in this sketch he did with Justin Timberlake in September of 2013.
As it is still used for fun, businesses have adopted it to show their brand awareness, information and for consumers to research their products. The best part of the hashtag is the search ability it creates. Assuming your social media profile is public, using hashtags make your posts visible to basically anyone who shares your interest. No longer are your posts limited to just your followers; your content is now accessible to all other users interested in similar topics. Choosing the right hashtag can greatly broaden the reach of your social media posts to thousands of potential followers, fans or customers.
Searching a hashtag is the best way to get information. Whether it is for an event, company, saying, product or anything these days. In each social media platform you have the ability to just search that hashtag and anyone and their posts will come up in the search for you to see.
But to make things even bigger try it on your search engine. Yes you can search the word or phrase on Google (or the other search engines) and it will bring up all the platforms, blogs and anywhere else the saying or word is used. One search and it is all in front of you. Try it know, take those famous ones , #justdoit, #justsaying, #thesocialleader, #FireMeUp11 and others and search them. See how powerful it becomes.
Now sometimes there may be more than one person using the hashtag, so do your research before you adopt it for your business or event. You cannot own a hashtag, so other people could use it also, but you can register this hashtag to at www.Twubs.com this will not mean you own it but it does help you in your research that what is being used under that hashtag and that you can see what others are doing.
Another great way to boost your brand’s visibility is using existing hashtags that have grown popular among millions of users, also known as ‘trending’ hashtags. Before you hashtag trending topics, remember to first ask yourself whether your social media posts are adding value to the existing conversation. If your post does not add value, it is highly likely to be ignored and lost in the plethora of posts. If however your post is informative, funny or viral, it would get re-shared by fellow users and this greatly enlarges awareness of your brand.
As St. Valentine’s Day approaches, there are many brands and companies who have hopped on the #ValentinesDay bandwagon.
Hashtags can now be used in a variety of ways in life and business now. Twitter is the largest use of them. They have Twitter discussions or meetings now using a hashtag. You can use them for events to put out information about what is going on at the event. Speakers like them at conferences. They give out there hashtag at the beginning and ask the audience, that if they are tweeting to use that hashtag. And guess what? People do it. They like to provide information to their followers and at the same time they give credit to where they got it from. YOU!!!
Whether you are using them for fun or business, hashtags have become a reliable way to be online. All the platforms are accepting them, (Facebook, Instagram, Google+, Twitter, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.)
When using hashtags on posts, try not to use too many of them on one post, it could become overwhelming. Instagram gives you the ability to put 30 Hashtags on a picture, however this is overkill. I suggest no more than 5.
So what’s your hashtag you like using the most or for business? Let me know.
Robert Stern is the CEO and Founder of The Social Leader. Helping companies and individuals harness the power of Social Media for business. Please Like us on our Facebook Page or follow us on Twitter.