My name is Jen and I am a former Hashtag Hater.
Like so many others, I found them incredibly annoying and couldn’t help but cringe at the sight of them in posts from my Facebook friends. What was my reasoning? THIS ISN’T TWITTER! I was oh so WRONG and in a BIG WAY. The main reason for my aversion to hashtags was simply due to a lack of knowledge and experience with using them.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase (without spaces) preceded by a # sign (i.e. #boating or #SeaStarSolutions) that is used to categorize posts on social networks like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and more. By using hashtags, it allows your posts to show up easier in a search. If a hashtag is used correctly, it can allow your posts and promotions to reach beyond your existing audience.
Where was my turning point? Once I learned how to effectively and efficiently manage a company’s Social Media Marketing presence, I truly appreciated just how valuable hashtags really are. Through exploring their usage, mainly trial and error with SeaStar Solutions’ Posts coupled with a little time; I have become a hashtag groupie and I’m not ashamed to admit it!
Now that I’ve confessed, let me explain Why YOU should be using Hashtags too.
- Hashtags organize your posts and make it easy for people to find YOU!
Making an impression on these fast moving social networks can be an extremely difficult thing for companies and/or brands to do. Posts with hashtags are able to enter into larger conversations across Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. Each platform will hold conversations for your CURRENT and POTENTIAL fans to see and participate in.
For example, the Facebook Posting shown here for SeaStar Solutions was strategically put together so that if someone was searching for any of the following hashtags – #Hydraulic, #Boat, #Steering – this post about Hydraulic Fluid would appear. This allows SeaStar Solutions to come into conversations that previously wouldn’t have been accessible AND look how easy it was to be found!
- Hashtags allow you to join the conversation… even the Real-Time ones as well!
Companies and Brands need to be Current and on Topic with what’s going on in order to participate in the discussions that capture the attention of potential customers. Prior to hashtags, conversations were spread across hundreds of thousands of Walls or Feeds with nothing to connect them together. Now, by using the hashtag, all these posts are able to be consolidated and are available for ANYONE to jump in and join the conversation. The best part is that it allows you to target and find your ACTIVE and SUPER FANS rather than hollow likes.
- Hashtags WILL get you more LIKES & FOLLOWERS
By using Hashtags, you put your posts in front of those that are INTERESTED in them. Essentially, it’s SEO for Social Networks! What is the result? This often leads to an increase in likes and/or followers because not only are you targeting a topic, but you’re also targeting your audience as well. You’re finding those people who want to find YOU!
Hashtags are here to stay and you can choose to moan and groan about seeing them across more and more platforms (as I did up to a few months ago) OR you can embrace the amazing things they can do for your business or brand.
I would encourage YOU to test them out for yourself! Search hashtags of things you LOVE the most, and then begin to incorporate them into your posts… Try it, I bet you’ll like it! Share your thoughts with me as well! I hope to see you at the next gathering of #HashtagHaterAnnonymous.
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- Using #Hashtags On Social Media: From Hate to Appreciate - July 8, 2013
- Blogging: Keep It Simple, but what DOES that mean? - June 9, 2013