Nowadays, the power of the #hashtag is stronger than ever. Hashtags are literally everywhere, online and offline! Even Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake reminded us of it on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.
The hashtag is one of the most powerful tools in social media. It instantly links a social media post to a group of others about the same topic whilst updating a group of likeminded users on that topic in real time.
Even though hashtags are used in a variety of social platforms, they were originally made famous by Twitter and then adopted by the rest of social media networks.
Its power can be used by everyone and for small business owners, the hashtag represents an important social media strategy. For them, the right hashtag can do wonders! It can help with brand recognition, boost reach of an advertising campaign and positively impact customer loyalty. Let’s start with the basics of a hashtag:
- Use the hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase to categorise tweets and help them easily show up in Twitter search.
- Hashtags can occur anywhere in the tweet, at the beginning, middle or end.
- Hashtags will not come up in search if your account is protected or private
Our advice when using hashtags: Don’t spam or over tag a single tweet! Twitter officially recommends no more than
two hashtags per tweet. Using too many will devalue the strength of the hashtag and will make each additional one more meaningless than the last. According to Twitter this could lose you followers and cheapen your brand’s social media reputation. Learn to develop your brand under a single hashtag, this will help strengthen consumer awareness.
As we all know, the hashtag was born online but this doesn’t limit its powers. Hashtags can generate giant amounts of buzz outside of the internet as well. Placing a hashtag in a well trafficked public location or somewhere that will be seen on TV or in pictures, can drive up hashtag use.
Whilst we understand that not every small business has an advertising budget fit for being broadcasted on TV, the strategy and execution could be similar even on a smaller scale. Example of material used can be posters or hashtagged stickers.
Choosing a hashtag is not always easy as it needs to be remembered and understood. Even if acronyms or multi-word phrases might be more specific and make it easier to eliminate false positives, complicated hashtags don’t always work as intended.
And remember, most of the time, simplest, shortest and sweetest is the best!