The hashtag has been around for over a decade and rose to worldwide fame on Twitter. Due to its burst in popularity, other social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Youtube were quick to hop on the hashtag bandwagon. Its inception came about because of a clever guy named Chris Messina, a web marketing specialist who was looking for a simple way to be able to group related topics together.
What is a hashtag?
Because the hashtag has been in our lives since 2007, most of us will be familiar with what it looks like and probably come across multiple hashtags every day. For those of us who aren’t quite sure what a hashtag is, it looks like this: #
The official name for this symbol is actually Octothorpe, but presumably, the folks at Twitter thought the word hashtag would be more user friendly. I have to agree with them on that!
What does a hashtag do?
Using a hashtag is pretty simple. If you want to share content on a specific subject or theme, then all you need to do is put the # symbol before the relevant keyword (or label). For example, #travel or #fitness. If you then click on that hashtag you will be directed to all tweets relating to that topic or tweets that have used the same hashtag. Also, you can use a hashtag generator for help in finding the right relevant and trending hashtags.
You can include hashtags anywhere within your tweet, they do not necessarily have to come at the end of your message, although many people choose to do it this way.
When a hashtag becomes popular and is being used by lots of people, it is then described as ‘trending’.
What is the best way to use hashtags?
Using hashtags can help anyone increase their Twitter following, however, this can be an especially good thing for businesses. But, before you start using any old hashtag, you will need to do your research. Don’t just jump into using a hashtag because you think it sounds good.
Here are some tips to help you get the most out of tweeting for your business:
- The first thing you should do is check is whether anyone else is using the hashtag you want to use. If you were to end up using the same hashtag as another company you might end up confusing your audience.
- Make your hashtags short and sweet. This is so you can easily add it to the end of all your tweets without having to worry about your word count. There’s nothing worse than adding your hashtag after you’ve typed out your entire tweet, then realizing you are going to have to delete some of your messages to make space for your hashtags.
- You can add as many hashtags to a message as you like (as long as it is within the designated word count) but try not to overdo it. It is suggested that two to three hashtags per tweet are the perfect amount.
- Hashtags are not case sensitive so why not try adding some capital letters to make them more interesting and easier to read. This will also help your hashtags to stand out. Don’t, however, use all capitals as this can make it seem like you are shouting. Please note you cannot add punctuation or spaces to a hashtag.
- Make your hashtag something that is easy for people to remember as well as easy to type. Don’t use a hashtag that is complicated and therefore forgettable, and don’t have something that leaves room for typos to occur.
- You will need to encourage people to use your hashtag, they aren’t likely to do it without any prodding. Ask them to tweet about a product of yours or a positive experience they’ve had talking to a member of your team. Perhaps set up an incentive or a competition that will get them to spread your hashtag.
Another tip is to partner with influencers. This is becoming more popular amongst businesses and can lead to greater exposure for your hashtag and in turn your company.
- If you need help in finding the best hashtags to use then I recommend Task Ant. This site is designed to help you simplify the process of identifying hashtags that will help you to grow your account. So, you should be using Task Ant. You can read a review on Task Ant too.
If you weren’t already, start using hashtags now!
Since its birth, Twitter hashtags have evolved. Today, hashtagging not only groups tweets, but it also enhances social movements, it empowers people to share their voice and it starts global conversations. This is your chance to be a part of it, let people hear your voice.