What's the deal with them?
They're over used by teenage girls, and misused by most of the older generations.
They're just an annoying fad, right?
Or so I used to think.
Once I learned how beneficial, informative, and purposeful they actually were, I became a huge supporter.
Now, I use them on a daily basis - yes on my own social media accounts, but more importantly, for my business's!
How They Came About
The idea behind a hashtag was birthed by Chris Messina, a former Google developer, in 2007.
He wanted to create an easy system in which people who were interested in the same groups, topics, and trends could easily find and connect with each other.
However, the official name "hashtag" came from Stowe Boyd.
The hashtag became more publicly known, and utilized, during the San Diego Fire of 2007, and in 2008 when conservatives used it to get Congress's vote on a bill.
The hashtag became a phenomenon, and is still, to this day, a cultural craze.
What's Their Benefit?
Because the purpose of a hashtag is to bring together people of common interest or group, using the correct hashtag will increase your chances of gaining the recognition you desire from a specific group of people.
Let's take the election for example.
Whether you are Republican, or Democrat, once you have voted and posted your selfie on Instagram or Twitter wearing your "I Voted" sticker, you could use the #Republican or #Democrat hashtag.
Then anyone interested in trending news, photos, or finding people of similar political interest would find your photo based on the hashtag you used.
Similarly, if your business is marketing a certain product, you can attract the right customer's, who would benefit from your product, by using the right hashtags.
What Do I Mean By The "Right" Hashtags?
I refer to hashtags as being "the right one" when they are being properly used to help attract your target audience.
Utilizing the social media platforms to market and promote your business is only half the effort.
You want to attract the right people who will actually engage with your business and become potential customers.
In order to do that, you need to know what those people are searching on social media.
Welcome To The Research Phase
Knowing what you sell is only part of the equation.
Knowing who benefits from your product or service and why will help you in your marketing efforts.
Once you've established who you're selling to and why, then you can start promoting your business in a way that will capture their attention.
Hashtags are meant to pull a certain group of people to your post.
What hashtags are your target group of people using and/or searching?
There are different hashtag genres - some of the most common being: local, trending, related, and brand.
You want to identify which hashtags are most relevant to your content in each one of these genres.
Taking the time to research this information will increase the efficiency of your social media marketing.
How Do You Research The Best Hashtags?
These sites will keep you updated on which hashtags are getting traffic, and which ones aren't.
This will help you narrow down which ones you can use to attract your target audience.
As well, you may prefer to do hashtag research before creating your content.
If that's the case, then you can identify what is trending, and form you content around that hashtag.
Hashtag research requires time, but is ultimately worth it in the long run.
You can use any 'ole hashtag that is relevant to your business, but focusing on ones that are already attracting people will increase the traffic drawn to your posts.
Test and trial different hashtags you have researched and see which ones bring you the most quality traffic.