The humble hashtag is perhaps the most misused and misunderstood social media tool. If you have any social media account, chances are you’ve seen the hashtag abused in a hundred different ways. Its repeated misuse has led many to believe that the hashtag has no purpose. In actuality, that one little symbol holds great power for mobile marketers who learn how to use it. Here are a few things you may not have known about the hashtag and how it can be used to enhance your business’s mobile marketing strategy
The beginning of the hashtag
The hashtag as it is used today, got its start on the social media site, Twitter. With millions of tweets, the hashtag gave people a way to organize and sort through all the mess and read about certain topics. By placing a hash or pound symbol next to a phrase, a person can tag that phrase allowing others to search that phrase and pull up that tweet. Though Twitter made the hashtag popular, it has since spread to many other social media sites such as Instagram and Facebook.
The hashtag advantage
The hashtag when used properly is extremely powerful. Hashtags allow brands to inform their target audience about a specific topic instantaneously. A hashtag can also connect one post to hundreds or thousands of others that are about the same topic. The right hashtag phrase can boost brand recognition, extend the reach of social media ad campaigns, and foster customer loyalty.
If you’re unfamiliar with using hashtags in your social media posts, here are the basics you’ll need to know. Most importantly, you need to know where to place the hashtag symbol. It goes immediately (no spaces) before the keyword or phrase you want to tag. Hashtag phrases can be embedded anywhere within a post or tweet. It doesn’t have to be at the end as it is most popularly used. Your hashtags will not turn up in search results if your account settings are set to “protected” or “private.”
Some dos and don'ts
The absolute worst thing about the hashtag is that it is often overused into oblivion. We’ve all seen the Facebook post with 14 hashtag phrases at the end. The more hashtags in a post, the less likely they are to be seen and the power of the hashtag is diluted. Even worse, hashtag spamming makes your brand seem annoying and clueless. Instead choose one or two good hashtag phrases.
A great hashtag practice is to choose one hashtag to represent your brand. While you can continue to use other hashtags, your primary hashtag phrase can be used by your customers whenever they talk about your brand on social media.
Finally, make sure your hashtags are simple and easy to remember. No one wants to read a transcontinental run-on sentence. #theyarereallyhardtoreadwhenyougoonandonandon. Remember, the more simple and memorable your hashtag, the more likely your customers are to talk about it on social media, and that’s exactly how you want to spread your brand.
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