The Evolution of Hashtags to the Present
As technology has advanced, so has the usage and popularity of hashtags. Today you will see hashtags inserted into posts on most top social media sites as well as a lot of blogs. Hashtags can point visitors to specific topics, companies or even celebrity figures and events. As an illustration, in 2010 Twitter introduced what they called “hashflags” during the 2o10 Word Cup in South Africa. On April 10, 2015, hashflags were used again during the UK General Election. When a tweeter would insert a hashtag consisting of a three letter country code, Twitter would automatically embed that country’s flag emoticon. Users of popular social media sites like Facebook, Google + and Instagram, and many more, are now able to go to pages that are provided by these sites and have instructions as to how to use hashtags in their posts on that site.
“Try and hone in on a passionate community that shares an interest in one specific theme. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be—and a targeted audience generally means better engagement. If you don’t have your own business hashtag, find one or two existing ones that really fit the photo. To use an example from Instagram’s own tips for using hashtags, if you’re after Volkswagen lovers the hashtag #vwvan will earn you a lot more of your desired followers than #van will. Twitter has created a helpful infographic to help you choose the right hashtag.”
Who has time for updating your business Facebook page and Twitter status? Hootsuite is a super easy way to post in one hour a week! #SmallBusiness #SmallBiz #Twitter #Facebook #Followers A photo posted by Tiffany Youngren (@tiffanyyoungren) on
LePage goes on to warn against using branded hashtags.
“Brand hashtags don’t have to (read: shouldn’t) mention your brand name, but should represent your brand and what you stand for.”
If you are using hashtags for the first time, note that spaces, numbers, and special characters (@, %, &, etc.) are no-no’s.
Get Your Business Up to Speed by Incorporating Hashtags
If you’re not using hashtags to grow your business, know that you are leaving money on the table.
By Anne Schabert and Tiffany Youngren