Hashtag infographic (edit)

If you know what this means: #tbt – you can skim over some parts of this blog. If you don’t know what it means, pay attention, because the following information about hashtags could help grow your business presence on social media platforms.

No Longer A Pound Sign

 Unless you’re using it on your phone, “#” is no longer known as a pound sign. It’s now famously called a hashtag and when used properly can make your company’s social posts more visible and increase engagement.

Simply put, a hashtag is a word or phrase, spelled out without spaces, with a pound sign (#) in front of it.

The hashtag in my introduction, #tbt, is an acronym that stands for Throwback Thursday, a popular trend on social media where people post photos or events from years past.

How to Create a Hashtag

 An easy way to get quick exposure is to use already existing hashtags (like #tbt). If a holiday is coming up, make sure you hashtag it. For example, you can wish your followers, “Happy #StPatricksDay.” When people search for St. Patrick’s Day using a hashtag, your post could show up on their results.

A custom hashtag is also a great way to make your business stand out. Consider using your company’s tagline as a hashtag. Here are some examples:

  • Hershey’s Kisses: #EverydayDeservesAKiss
  • Home Depot: #MoreSavingMoreDoing
  • Coca Cola: #ShareACoke
  • KFC: #NationalFriedChickenDay

Do you have a catchy tagline that would make an excellent hashtag? Use it!

How to Use a Hashtag Without Being Annoying

 When you write out a post for social media, you don’t want every word or phrase to be a hashtag. It can be confusing, annoying and people won’t like reading it. Use a hashtag only when it adds value. Your goal is to show up in the right searches, not every search.

You want your hashtags to be distinctive and simple, yet not too broad. The hashtag, #food won’t set you apart if you’re promoting your restaurant on social media. However, #farmfood, #organicfood, and #localfood will yield a better search.

Warning! Research Trending Hashtags Before Using

This is a very important tip. Trending hashtags can be beneficial to your business, but do your research first. DiGiornio Pizza tried to join a trending conversation by using a popular hashtag. Problem was, the hashtag was related to a domestic violence incident by an NFL player. The company removed the Tweet and had to issue an apology.

Before using a hashtag, it’s wise to see what comes up in search results.

Hashtags – A Great Way to Engage with Followers

 Once you get the hang of it, hashtags can be a great way to engage with followers on your social media platforms. Use them to grow your business and introduce new products or services, or gain publicity for an event. Don’t worry, #YouGotThis!