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A Beginners Guide That is Not Just a Trend

Twitter has blessed the world with the hashtag (#). The hashtag is a simple way to track and organize content and discussion topics by a keyword. The marketing world is now able to utilize the hashtag on many other social media platforms. What may have started as a trend to spur on a conversation is now a major contributor in helping followers link to brands and products.

Where Can Hashtags Be Used?

Twitter is the obvious first choice for hashtags and the most versatile. Hashtags have popped up all over social media however, and have become a useful tool in marketing to get the conversation flowing and in making an easy gateway to products, promotions, and linking to your brand.
#Facebook, #Pinterest, #Instagram, #and any other #socialmedia platform can support the many uses for hashtags (see what we did there?). Check the platform you are using for how they use hashtags and their ways of applying them.

Proper Hashtag Usage

If you notice in the last sentence above, it does not matter if you use capitalization or not. However, spacing does matter since #socialmedia is much different from #social media. As soon as you add a space you are breaking the link. Once you placed the space between the words, you have now created the hashtag ‘#social’ rather than ‘#socialmedia.’
Capitalization, while it doesn’t change the meaning of your hashtag, can help the reader to understand it. #LampstandCreations is a lot easier to read than #lampstandcreations when scanning over a webpage. Remember your visitor is only looking for seconds before deciding to click.
Forget everything your second-grade teacher taught you – No punctuation necessary!
The great and powerful hashtag does not support punctuation. So as excited as you are about your new toenail polish – hashtag is not. Just add your hashtag and fancy it up with capitalization if you want, and you are good to go.
Any special characters will mess it up, and you will not accomplish what you are hoping to. Your hashtag hopes and dreams will be squashed before they start.

Hashtag & Marketing

When you begin using hashtags in for your marketing campaign, the best advice is to start simple and build up as you get used to using social media as a platform. Here are some quick tips:

  • • Designate one or two people – too many people can create a cluttery mess. Don’t overwhelm your followers…but don’t become boring
    • Keep it relevant – Keep your hashtags relevant to your business, but don’t be so trendy that you go too far off brand!
    • Create Buzz – promotions, contests, raffles, exciting new things!! Make people want to come to you – stay – and check in often!
    • Keep your hashtags specific to what you are talking about – don’t be too vague so that no one knows what the hashtag is referring to
    • Keep it simple – Hashtags should not be more than two words

Proper use of hashtags is mostly common sense. You are already paying attention to trends and how social media is being used in marketing. Watching how your competition is using hashtags and following these simple tips, will have you well on your way to #hashtagging your next promotion.
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