The hashtag, which is now 12 years old, has turned into a social media phenomenon.
It’s now uncommon to see a post on social media without one.
When and how did the hashtag become so popular?
The hashtag, which was originally known as the pound sign, did not appear online until it was used on IRC (Internet Relay Chat) in the late 1990s, where it was used to create and categorize groups. The hashtag craze we know today didn’t start until 2007 when Chris Messina asked his followers how they felt about using the pound sign to group conversions:
What Is a Hashtag, Exactly?
A hashtag is a label that is used on social media sites to make it easier to find information with a specific theme or content. Hashtags encourage social media users to look into content that captures the attention of their interest. Associations can use hashtags to reach their intended audience and to assist members in filtering information.
Hashtags increase campaign visibility and help you reach your target audience by using relevant hashtags that you know your audience is already following. When used to promote an event, the hashtag not only connects you to your followers but also your followers to one another.
Importance of Hashtags in Social Media Marketing
Despite many jokes and comedic sketches about the overuse of hashtags, they are an important part of digital marketing when used correctly. You can follow and interact with particular hashtags to stay up to date on a current topic/trend, create your hashtag to promote a new product or service, search for a hashtag to cut through the digital clutter, and find what you’re looking for, and much more.
If you’re still doubtful about using hashtags, we’ve highlighted some of the main reasons why hashtags are so important on all social media and apps in our opinion below. If you have any additional reasons why hashtags are important, please share them in the comments section below!
As with any business, it’s critical to understand who your competitors are, what they offer, and how they advertise so you know what makes your company the better option. Social media hashtags can be used to research competitor accounts, top posts, and the most-used hashtag.
Let’s imagine you’re a freelance web designer looking to expand your business. You’d be able to enter into your Instagram account and utilize the search box to find your competitors and learn about the most popular and widely used hashtags on the topic of “Web Designer.”
Furthermore, hashtags are always changing and evolving. What was once a trending hashtag today may become obsolete tomorrow. Keeping up with current events and popular hashtags will make your company appear genuine and trustworthy.
Visibility and Branding
Although technically reasons two and three, we organized them together because the majority of the reasoning is interconnected. Increasing your visibility will help your branding succeed, and vice versa.
The most effective applications of hashtags on Social media for branding and visibility. If you’re a new company, hashtags can help you reach a wider audience and raise brand awareness. Users will notice the relevant hashtags you’re using when searching for your brand, or when searching for specific hashtags, they’ll see your branded posts in the results. This frequently leads to the acquisition of new followers and potential clients.
You can also develop your hashtag for a product, service, or event you’re marketing, whether it’s new or existing. You can tell your followers and customers to use the hashtag when they buy or use a product or service from you, or when they attend an event you’re hosting. Using your hashtag (or a hashtag with limited usage) allows you the opportunity to have your brand dominate that hashtag. Including that hashtag in your posts on a regular basis not only helps you get visibility (as does all hashtag use), but it also helps users link your business with that hashtag, further developing your brand.
One of the main reasons hashtags have become so popular on social media is their potential to assist marketers and businesses in developing targeted campaigns. “Think of hashtags as the ‘word-of-mouth’ strategy when it comes to promotion,” Tweetangels said. In other words, if you mention a promotion on social media, your followers will use the same hashtag, and their followers will use it, and so on. Hashtags provide a campaign with a lot of awareness and help you reach your target audience by utilizing hashtags that you know your target audience is already using.
When used to promote an event, the hashtag connects not just you to your followers, but also your followers to one another. The amount of traction that a hashtag can generate before, during, and after an event is significant.
Another good strategy to advertise your brand with hashtags is to combine it with a giveaway. Hold a photo contest in which participants must submit their images using a certain hashtag in order to win a reward. Many firms use this strategy for Valentine’s Day promotions in February. For their fans to win freebies, jewelry companies hold the best couple photo contest or a share your finest love story contest.
With the entire globe at our fingertips, finding out about breaking news is simple. As a result, many political movements adopt their own hashtag to promote their cause. This works in a similar way to event promotion. People use the hashtag to announce that they are doing a fundraiser, and users share their posts before, during, and after the event. The creation of the #MarchForOurLives were victims of the Florida massacre wanted to raise awareness for school safety and gun legislation is a current example of this.
While many firms remain politically apolitical, others are not hesitant to express their political views. Many people are also loyal to brands based on their political views. As a result, depending on your brand, hashtags may be advantageous.
The process of locating (on a global scale)
Using geographical tags in your social media pictures has become a crucial tool in local marketing, especially since the introduction of Instagram Stories. You can also reach local, state, regional, and national audiences by labeling locations like city neighborhoods or popular cities.
“The location tag is an ideal method to promote local brick-and-mortar companies or improve exposure in a certain area, especially if Instagram pulls it into location-based Stories in the explore feed,” according to a pro-tip from AdEspresso by Hootsuite.