Hashtags: we know that you have seen them all over the place, and maybe you use them yourself. They have played a significant role on Twitter and now they are starting to pop up all over Facebook. But what does it really mean to use a hashtag – what purpose does it serve? Far beyond #BeiberFever, hashtags are now playing an important role in online branding for companies.
Hashtags originated as a conversation creator for specific topics on Twitter. Lets say someone was at the beach, enjoying the day with their family and posted a Tweet about it. If they used the hashtag #family or #BeachDay, it would start or join a conversation that has already been created about those topics. So when the hashtag is clicked on, you can view all the other “tweets” about that subject. Maybe other people in your area are enjoying a day at the beach with their families. Hashtags are just another way to connect people who are doing or talking about similar things. Now Facebook is utilizing hashtags as an additional way for people to connect and share information.
Recently we’ve been seeing how hashtags can play a key role in promoting a brand online. Similar to the way people use hashtags to connect with one another, hashtags can be used as a way to connect people to a brand. Lets use Red Lobster as an example. If someone is out to eat at Red Lobster and they post a status or Tweet about being there, they could use #RedLobster in their post. Now anytime #RedLobster is searched, everyone who has made a post about it will show up. This starts to create a buzz around a brand, and becomes a way for people to connect to the brand and help share the brand’s message.
Brands can also develop their own hashtags that are specific to their business. For example, McDonalds uses the hashtag #ImLovinIt – this is their brand slogan, which they have also developed into a hashtag. Now anytime that hasgtag is used, it’s associated with the McDonalds brand.
Social Media is a landscape that is constantly changing and evolving. If you are going to take part in this social environment – it’s important to stay current with the trends. Social Media will play a crucial role in business marketing in the future, just as it’s starting to do now. Hashtags aren’t going anywhere anytime soon, but how we use them will certainly evolve over time.
Here at Cliff Ross, our job is to keep up with the changing landscape that is Social Media. We are happy to answer any questions and help guide your business through the world of social media marketing. Give us a call at 610-829-1333.
Guest post from Kelly Joffe of Cliff Ross Design