If you have personal social media pages or if you interact with social media from a business perspective, then you cannot avoid hashtags. They seem to accompany every post and sometimes do not even really make any sense. So, what are hashtags and why should you care? Read on to find out what is so important about #hashtags.
First thing’s first: hashtags are not pointless. Instead, they are anything but pointless. In fact, hashtags are an incredibly powerful and versatile tool to drive audience engagement and to be a part of larger conversations and movements online. If you run a business and you are not utilizing hashtags, you are not helping your brand…you are actually hurting it.
The format of a hashtag is quite simple: it is either a short phrase or a single word that is preceded by a pound symbol (#hashtag). Hashtags are clickable and will take you to posts that share the same hashtag and show you a larger conversation full of content related to your own post. Furthermore, if you include a hashtag in your post and your profile is set to public, it will provide others with access to the content you put online. Essentially, #hashtags are really great conversationalists: they get the topic going and foster a lively dialogue.
So, how can hashtags help you? Especially for business owners, hashtags are a #simple, #easy and #free (!) asset you should be utilizing to your advantage. If there is a viral conversation that is demanding everyone’s attention, you should join in. This way, people will see your post associated with a certain hashtag and increase your visibility. Increased visibility lands to more brand awareness. More brand awareness leads to better business. It can truly be that simple.
Just because it is easy does not mean it is always simple. It is quite possible to mess up and pick the wrong hashtag. For example, if you are a butcher shop and see that an anti-meat hashtag, or a pro-vegetarian/vegan hashtag is blowing up, then you probably should not join in on that particular conversation.
Instead, you should strategically pick the optimal hashtags for your particular brand. In continuing with the butcher shop example, it would be a smart move to join in on a conversation about bacon, or national hamburger day. The more natural and seamless the hashtag incorporation seems, the better. The last thing you want to do is force a hashtag into your social post. If you do this you will come across as fake, which can hurt reputation and generally damage your engagement efforts. Hashtag smartly and responsibly!
Your next social media post is begging for a hashtag. Do some research and find out how to best incorporate a hashtag into your social media strategy and watch your engagement explode and your follower count rise. Need some help? We’d feel #blessed to help you find your perfect hashtag and get your business’ social media booming.