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What is a Hashtag and Why is it Important to Businesses?

Hashtags
Charlotte Coverley
10th November 2017

Social media is a dominant tool in today’s marketing domain and can feel quite overwhelming to new users. One of the biggest social media mysteries is hashtags – what are they and what is their purpose? We’re here to clear that up for you.

During 2007, users on Twitter began placing the ‘#’ sign before a word or phrase so that they could form groups, based on similar interests. A couple of years later, Twitter decided to turn these hashtags into hyperlinks so that, when clicked on, the user can see all other public posts that include the same hashtag. This allows users who aren’t necessarily following you to find your profile and interact with you based on your similar interest. Nowadays, hashtags are a huge part of almost every social media platform and used for both personal and professional reasons.

The use of strategic hashtags when posting can be extremely beneficial to businesses who wish to expose themselves to a wider group of potential customers/clients. As well as targeting specific audiences that are relevant to your product or service, hashtags also allow you to keep an eye on your competition and stay up-to-date on industry news.

This may sound fairly straightforward so far, but if you’re new to hashtags, you might not know the right and wrong ways to use them. What works well for one business may not necessarily work well for yours and vice versa, but there are some general guidelines you should follow if you wish to have successful social media accounts. For example, it’s not wise to use too many hashtags because they can come across as spam-like and be off-putting to your followers. However, not using any at all is also a big mistake because then only those who are already following you can see your posts and you won’t reach anyone new. It’s best to do some research and find out what relevant terms are trending so that you can be tactical about your choice in hashtags.

Since social media is ever-changing, you shouldn’t be afraid to experiment and try new things. Even if you find the premise of hashtags quite confusing, step out of your comfort zone and give them a try. Through trial and error, you’ll find out what works and what doesn’t and you’ll be a pro before you know it.

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