In search engine marketing, we focus on keywords. That’s because we want to attract targeted traffic. Web visitors who are actively searching for information on relevant topics are more likely to be interested in the products and services that you have to offer.
Similarly, in social media marketing, hashtags help to attract targeted traffic. What are hashtags, and how do they work?
A hashtag is a keyword or phrase without any spaces in between. It is not case-sensitive, and starts with the symbol #.
When hashtags first became popular, they were mostly used on micro-blogging platform Twitter. So if you are to post a short tweet, you can include some hashtags in your tweet like so: “I’m having #coffee and #bacon for breakfast today.”
If you prefer learning visually, watch this video:
The hashtags #coffee and #bacon will be converted into clickable links. Anyone who sees your tweet will then be able to click on the tag and see what else is being posted regarding #coffee and #bacon on Twitter. In a sense, hashtags are like topics. They allow web visitors to quickly check what is posted on social media sites regarding certain topics.
To use a hashtag, simply add the symbol # in front of a keyword or a phrase and post it. There is no need to register for a hashtag.
Keep in mind that when you add a hashtag, your post will appear under that particular hashtag. So if your tweet is not about a certain topic, do not add a hashtag.
Also, just because hashtags can help get a Company on the radar quickly doesn’t mean that you should add as many tags as possible to your message. About two to three tags will do just fine. Otherwise, the message appears spammy.
Hashtags are largely about conversations.
You can use them to find out what others are saying about your Company, or the products that you are offering. You may or may not wish to join the conversation, but it’s a great research tool if your intention is just to find out what your customers are saying about you.
You can, of course, choose to start your own conversation by creating a hashtag like #dearCompany or something similar.
Be careful how you wish to engage consumers online though. Sometimes, consumers like to take the opportunity to post negative experiences on the Internet. So if you start a conversation and the viral effect gets out of hand, your marketing plan can back fire.
Hashtags can also be used as a promotional tool. For instance, as Christmas is just round the corner, you can give away something free and use the hashtag: #christmasgiveaway.
In addition, websites like Hashtagify.me 1 shows you (for free) the top trending hashtags. Such tools are particularly useful if you wish to reach out to your target audience. Simply find out the most popular hashtags and then use them in your tweets to join the conversation. What are your customers talking about? Will you be able to offer them anything?
In sum, you can use hashtags for the following purposes:
1) Start or engage in a conversation with your target audience.
2) Run a promotion.
3) Use hashtags as a market research tool.
4) Reach out to your target audience.
The following popular social media sites support hashtags.
3) Google Plus
To enhance the discoverability of press releases distributed by ePressDistribution.com, all PRs will have proper hashtags when we post to our Twitter account. The hashtags are added by our system automatically.
Thank you for your continued support, and we will certainly continue to do our best to provide you with the highest quality web marketing services.
Merry Christmas, happy new year, and see you soon next year!
Signing off for the year,