Hashtags for Dummies

Hashtags are ubiquitous in social media.  If you frequent social networks you’ve likely seen or used one in your Tweets, Instagram photos and Vine videos.  Hashtags placed on Facebook however did nothing. That’s all changed with the introduction of Facebook Hashtags.  They now have a purpose and can become a useful social media ally for marketers.  To give you some background, hashtags were first widely used on Twitter.  Adding a hashtag, aka the pound sign or tic tac toe board, in front of a term or phrase creates a clickable link. When clicked, you are taken to a stream of other Twitter messages that have also included the term in a hashtag.  The most widely discussed hashtag topics become Trending Topics.  Promoted Trending Topics are a popular native ad unit brands can purchase on Twitter.  This is not on Facebook, but industry experts expect Facebook to monetize hashtags soon.

So how does this help marketers?  Here are a few useful ways to get some marketing mileage for your brand with hashtags:

  • Organize topics: Make searches easier by using a hashtag across networks for a campaign.
  • Competitor and industry analysis: Discover and analyze hot topics around your industry.
  • Keep tabs on what’s getting buzz: Find what current or pop culture events people are talking about and inject your brand into the conversation when relevant, tastefully of course.
  • Reputation and campaign management: Keep a stream in your social media management dashboard monitoring your brand to access real-time feedback about your product or campaign.
  • Get in front of new users: Search topics and at the same time find new users who could be potential new client prospects.
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