Hashtags are everywhere. You can see them on Facebook, Twitter, & Instagram, at events, or even on ads and movies trailers.
They are taking a high place in our life !
We speak a lot about them on our blog, because it enables our customers to highlight some topics to aggregate them on a Social Wall.
Given their importance in today social life, you can really wonder:
“What is this “hashtag” ? Why does it have such an importance for my company ?”
The Hashtag story
Before 2007, this symbol was already well known but its use was far different from the one we have today IVL (In Virtual Life) : in musicology, hashtag tells you to play a note with a 1/2 higher ton. Today we still don’t know the signification of it on social networks but be sure we will be the first to talk about it on these day ;)
From 2007, Twitter users began to put the # sign before words and phrases to classify groups inside their network. Two years later, Twitter draw lesson from this use and began to implement hypertexts links in hashtags inside tweets.
In 2014, this usage became a common practice on main social networks.
When someone click on a hashtag, it is immediately directed to all public posts mentioning the same hashtag. This turns out to be an incredible communication tool, because it makes your content reachable by a large audience and promotes it.
If someone makes a search on a social network with the hashtag you put, your post will be displayed without needing you to have any connection with anyone (but only with a common interest: the one of your hashtag).
Hashtag and marketing
What marketers should keep in mind :
- Hashtag grants a visibility to your posts that largely exceeds your direct community.
- Hashtag perfectly shows the shift from “push marketing” towards “pull-marketing” : the user is not passive about your content, he discovers it because he is in an active search process for the topic you are talking about.
Let’s take an example (at random) of a startup specialised in the integration of social media contents on website. Let’s imagine (yes this is crazy) this startup is Dialogfeed.
We know your target communities are essentially people working on topics about marketing, social media, picture-marketing and events.
It is up to you to choose the hashtags bringing you the most visibility on topics concerning you (see our list of search tools on popular Hashtags).
Dialogfeed can for example communicate on :
For this article, you can then imagine a tweet such as :
No, hashtag is not only 1/2 a ton higher ! (Tweet this)
And add the #socialmedia and #marketing hashtags. Make the test !
On the basis on listed and choose hashtags, you should assure that when you make a search, your target can find your content with a high probability.
In other words, have your contents match to hashtags massively or precisely searched and used by your core target (for example #socialwall hashtag is few used but users populations are very good for your activity). Second step will be to be qualitative and use the right tone (but it’s another story).
3 Best Practices to use hashtag :
- Use hashtags but don’t go beyond limits ! Too many hashtags can harm your implication and get you blacklisted.
- Publish contents in direct relationship with your hashtags : use trending topics to promote inappropriate contents is a bad idea.
- Do neither use space nor symbols in your hashtag, otherwise you will break the hypertext link.
Keep in mind that working on social networks is always an expérimentation. Hashtag use is done in empirical mode: each social account, each topic, each community lead to different performance.
[Also read: The social media tool that goes up: the hashtag! #INFOGRAPHICS]
photo credit: pilllpat (agence eureka) via photopin cc