Remember when hashtags were just for Twitter? Well, those times have long since passed and now big-name social media platforms such as Facebook and Instagram have jumped on the hashtagging bandwagon. What people once saw as simply the “pound key” has evolved into a game-changing marketing tool that is hard to ignore. Read these 4 quick reasons why you should start using hashtags to market your business.
1. Allows you to become a part of a bigger discussion
The great thing about hashtags its that they’re both easily searchable. Now you might be telling yourself: “Well, I can search anything I want on Google and get instant feedback!” but, what’s so unique about adding a pound sign in front of an acronym or phrase, is that it is specifically designed for social media. By searching for a specific hashtag on, say, Twitter or Facebook, is that it enables you to instantly access a larger discussion about a particular topic. Speaking in recent terms, the disappearance of Malaysia Airlines Flight 370 has become a hot topic across the globe. By searching the hashtag: #MH370 on Twitter, people can voice their input regarding the topic, and also check out, and respond to what others using the same hashtag #MH370 are saying. The same goes for commercial products as well. Curious to join a discussion regarding Snuggie blankets? Just search #Snuggie to see what consumers are saying!
Hashtags are a great way to get some publicity for your brand. On the left side of the Twitter homepage, and right side of the Facebook homepage, the current trending hashtags appear to all users. Trending topics can be narrowed by country or set to global trends. Currently “#DWTS” short for the hit show Dancing With The Stars is a top trending topic according to my Twitter homepage. Without any paid promotion from ABC, the show has become a trending topic solely due to average Joe “tweeters” using the hashtag. Just like I had mentioned Instagram’s popular page is free publicity, so is a trending hashtag!
3. You can gather data from hashtag usage
Hashtags are a great tool for gathering data. Many companies track consumer response to their products through unique hashtags. Recently, an article came out covering Gatorade’s “Mission Control” office within their marketing department at their Chicago headquarters. The office has been dubbed a “social media command center” in which 6 monitors, and 5 people track data visualizations and dashboards. One specific monitor is specifically dedicated to tweets related to Gatorade products, Gatorade competitors, related sports nutrition topics, and the Gatorade brand itself. Much of this data is acquired directly from hashtags and provides information that is critical to Gatorade’s marketing department, and in turn the company as a whole.
4. Enables you to post the same content across multiple social media platforms
What originally started on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram. Now that multiple social media platforms use hashtags, companies can author a single post with hashtags and not have to worry about compatibility issues across various websites and applications. This cross-platform compatibility is directly increasing companies’ efficiency in social media postings.
No matter how tech-savvy you may, or may not be, "hash-tagging" is becoming a critical tool for businesses to have in their marketing toolbox. Don't let yourself, or your company fall behind the curve- stay current, see why hashtags are a #gamechanger.