The pound sign is one of the most identifiable symbols on our keyboards today. My joke is that the hashtag was invented by the “shift” key so it could stay in business… funny, right? All joking aside, the pound symbol has become so popular that people are intentionally misusing it. The hashtag is a brand of its own- a universal symbol. It was created to connect users with common interests. When done properly, small businesses can use hashtags to unite people all over the world under the same topic.
Let’s start by identifying the best Social Media network for hashtags and that’s Twitter. The entire concept of Twitter operates around hashtags. The short 140-character messages (tweets) keep us updated on live events and connect people by searching for keywords. People can discuss major social events and breaking news all by using the same hashtag. Other major Social Media networks like Facebook, Instagram, Vine, YouTube and Pinterest all use hashtags to connect users as well. The hashtag is truly a universal symbol in every sense of the word.
One of the easiest ways for small businesses to increase their brand visibility is to use “trending” hashtags. Twitter does a great job of displaying current “trending” hashtags so they are never hard to find. As you can imagine, they change often so the window of opportunity does not last long. As a small business, you can look for ways to relate to “trending” hashtags and topics to see if they are relevant to your brand. Even if you aren’t lucky enough to find a “trending” hashtag, chances are you can cash in by finding a popular hashtag. Did you know there is a hashtag for every day of the week? It’s true! In honor of Wednesday, also known as #WayBackWednesday, here is a picture of me from 1985. Now that’s way back!
Does the idea of a “trending” hashtag have you feeling lucky enough to create your own? I say go for it if you are a small business but have reasonable expectations. Chances are that your local hashtag won’t start trending (fingers crossed that it will) but hashtags can still be successful on a much smaller scale. They still unite people and develop an audience which can be a valuable way to promote your brand. I use hashtags in a lot of my creative work on the promotional side of things. I think they are a great way to create uniformity and organization when running a contest or giveaway. I recommend incorporating those “trending” or popular hashtags into your campaigns whenever possible as a way to optimize your potential visibility.
Join me today on #WayBackWednesday and post an old picture that will generate a laugh or two from your coworkers. Remember that hashtags were created to unite people with common interests. At this stage in the game you are probably well aware of your target market’s interests. Follow those interests and find a hashtag to increase your brand visibility today.