What’s the Deal with #Hashtags??

You see them everywhere: on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, and even print and television. So what are hashtags and what value do they offer? The short answer:Hashtags were originally developed as a simple way to organize, assemble, and track topics of conversation online. The concept has rapidly become a very popular tool for digital marketing and research.

Here are four tips on how a business can use hashtags to boost awareness and engage customers:
1. Expand your brand’s message – not only can you use hashtags to categorize your products or service, but you can also post a hashtag to further describe the purpose and value of your product/service to your audience.
2. Extend the reach of your message by including popular “trending” hashtags on your posts. Good sources for seeking trending hashtags include Hashtags.org, Twitter, and Tumblr.
3. Start a topic trend by creating an original hashtag. This has worked for brands like MTV, which coined the hashtag #FollowMeMTV as a twist on “Follow Friday” (#FF) — a Twitter custom in which users recommend other users to follow on the site. Or you can adopt an existing hashtag and put your own spin on it.
4. Caution: use hashtags wisely and sparingly. As useful as incorporating hashtags can be, it’s also possible to overdo it. Too many of them in a single post and your message will read like spam, which could alienate social media content consumers, or cause them to tune you out. Limit your hashtags to one to three per post.

Hashtags have become very popular in the digital world so it makes sense to utilize them in your social media strategy. Hashtags are simply a matter of knowing how and when to use them. Stay up to speed on social site developments and hashtag trends to help your content thrive.

“The key to organizing an alternative society is to organize people around what they can do, and more importantly, what they want to do.” ~ Abbie Hoffman