If you were to go up to your grandpa or grandma and ask, “what does # mean?” they would probably tell you it’s called the number sign or pound sign and if anyone disagreed, you’d probably have them chasing you with the slipper. Now for any millennial reading this, you’re probably thinking “what the &%$@… That’s a hashtag obviously” which takes us to welcome you to the reason for this article!
The origin of the modern social media element started in 2007 by a fellow named Chris Messina who first introduced the concept to Twitter. His purpose was to create a group chat to a particular topic by linking certain words or phrases.
Chris may not have realized at the time, but he started an online revolution.
Now here in 2019, the hashtag game has evolved tenfold. For businesses it’s become a powerful portal to acquire new likes, followers and customers; but it’s not just the fact of finding high traffic saturated terms to tag, they have to be specific to your product, service, corporate identity, and personality.
So let’s take a swan dive into how you can master the hashtag game for your business in today’s day and age.
- Research, Research, Research
While the whole concept might seem simple and straight forward of putting the “#” symbol before any word or phrase, it’s much more than that. The research comes down to figuring out the “social terminology” used within your industry and which hashtags people utilize more. If I’m an Ice Cream Shop, hashtags like #BestIceCreamEver, #IceCream, #ComfortFoodGoals or even #FoodPorn have emerged as trending terms that gain solid traction. Different hashtags are trending at different times throughout the day, week and month so staying on top of the trends as you can imagine will consume some time and require constant attention to be a part of the “trend.” Doing so will ensure your business receives maximum exposure for that post.
- Generalize Your Hashtag
If you get too specific with hashtags, you’ll find that the exposure dramatically decreases. Just think of it this way, if you were looking for a new Ford vehicle would you type in #FordF150FullyLoadedWithBoseSpeakersAndRedLeatherSeats or would you type #FordF150? I think you get the point. When thinking of the appropriate hashtags put yourself in the customer’s shoes as if you were searching for something and what you would search.
- Know Different Social Media Platform Limits
Hashtags are a portal for new conversations for your business, but each social media platform has different rules when it comes to incorporating those “conversations.” Twitter doesn’t have any limitations when it comes to hashtags, but unlike other platforms and because of the character limit you’ll see hashtags within posts #like this. Facebook doesn’t have any restrictions either, but it looks messy if you’re putting too much emphasis on them, especially as a business. Then there’s Instagram which is the king of kings when it comes to hashtags. The social image sharing site allows people to use up to thirty hashtags to promote their post(s) to the world. If you’re a business owner and reading this, you should be drooling right about now as that means your business can be a part of thirty different conversations.
- Cater To Your Brands Strengths
Whatever product or service you sell or market, catering to your specific brand is going to be important when brainstorming the appropriate hashtags to use. Think of it this way, if you were a pizza shop would you put #sushi on your post? Probably not. Sit down with your team, make a list of what words describe your business and cater it to the millennial generation, for example, instead of putting #BakeShop, put #BestBakeShopToronto and whatnot.
We’ve dedicated a team to hashtag research on each social media platform to maximize a business’s exposure online. Our forward-thinking team of entrepreneurs is always keeping up with trends to ensure your company is staying ahead of the curb and always striving for more and pushing the limits to reach the next level. Don’t wait, click here to send our team a message and we will respond to your inquiry within twenty-four hours.
Photo citation: 12:125 PM August 23, 2007 from PocketTweets via Mr_Messina