Once upon a time (aka 2006), using “#” in a sentence meant that you either (1) neglected to check it for typos or (2) were referencing the number of typos you made in the aforementioned sentence.
Flash forward ten years, and hashtags have become a truly unavoidable aspect of life. They’re everywhere: in movie titles, on magazine covers, sprinkled into casual conversation (#seriously). Twitter was the first platform to hyperlink hashtags to search results, and that practice has since infiltrated the digital marketing world. Of the world’s top Interbrand 100 brands, 97 percent had embraced the hashtag by 2015.
As a small business owner, it’s unlikely you have the cash to fund a massive marketing campaign. Hashtags are free, fun, and a truly valuable method of connecting people with your brand. Case in point: Tweets with one or two hashtags show 21 percent higher engagement than those with none.
- Come up with a unique hashtag and ask your employees/clients/friends/family to use it whenever they mention your company on social media.
- Hashtags enable users to categorize an often overwhelming amount of content. Use the same hashtag on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram to identify and organize posts about your company retreat, conference or other special event.
- Ride the wave of an already-trending hashtag. Check Twitter for a popular tag that relates either directly or abstractly to your business and join the party! But be careful to research the context first – you don’t want to follow in DiGiorno’s footsteps.
- Make your hashtag actionable. Audi’s wildly successful #WantAnR8 campaign encouraged car enthusiasts to use the hashtag for a chance to get behind the wheel of an R8. Even if you don’t have a $160,000 sports car to use as bait (which, unfortunately, most of us do not), you can still offer your customers incentive to use your hashtag.
Still want help nailing modern usage of the symbol formerly known as “pound sign”? #CallCounterintuity!