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How to Use Hashtags on Social Media

DATE PUBLISHED: September 20, 2013

At this point you’re most likely at least aware of the presence of the pound sign, aka hashtags on your social networks. hashtags on social media

If you are not a diehard Tweeter of Facebook user, you may not see hashtag phrases as much more than topical references, but you may be missing out on an important marketing technique if you are not hashtagging. 

Hashtags designate the topic of the tweet, which is extremely helpful on open platforms like Twitter. This clever way of categorizing comments helps followers recognize what discussion the commenter is engaged in. 

Check out these creative ways to use hashtags:

  • Creative topics—Many of the most talented Tweeters in the blogosphere utilize creative hashtags to identify their company.  Some of these include #letsdolunch by Domino’s Pizza or #CaptureEuphoria by Ben and Jerry’s.  A hashtag that captures people’s attention can often be an effective marketing tool that highlights playfulness, creativity or humanity.
  • Traffic—The appropriate use of hashtags can help your tweets get noticed.  With over 400 million tweets being produced daily, it is sometimes hard to make those 140 character comments stand out. A hashtag allows users to identify what topic you are discussing and as hashtags become live links, it helps users searching social media platforms find you and your content.
  • Cross platform topics—If you are engaged across LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook or Google+, you can use hashtags to spread a comment across all of these platforms.  Not only does this save you time, but it also alerts followers to activity on other sites.
  • Highlights promotions—Many companies have used hashtags to promote a special offer, which can boost brand awareness.  American Express has effectively used hashtag promotions to market a wide range of products, which its member can purchase at a discount using hashtag; for example
    "Tweet #AmexJCrew, get $10 back 1x on $75+ purchs @jcrew w/synced Amex Card! (RegLtd Exp 09/30) Terms: http://t.co/6PjACrXV1S"
  • Consolidate—While it can be attractive to produce a wide variety of hashtags to cover every possible topic related to your organization, it is usually more worthwhile to choose a select handful and work on building up the audiences for them.  You should reserve some hashtags for special events or product rollouts, which can be immediately topical to your followers.
  • Learn from the pros—As the popularity of hashtags has grown, so have sites supporting the use of them.  Sites like What the Trend and Hashtags.org provide the most popular examples of current hashtags.  You will find most of these are simple and memorable.

Hashtags are a clever tool for social media users to find information and discussions about the topics most important to them.  This can also be an extremely important marketing technique for organizations that want to popularize their product or brand.  

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