What are #Hashtags?

Ever wondered what or why people are placing those ‘#’ in front of their messages on social media and web page content? They are called hashtags and they began their life on Twitter. Their aim was to get your message out there without using too many words. They are now a useful part of a structured online strategy, and have spread outwards from Twitter across all the social channels and beyond.

Super B_owl

#Information

A hashtag, like all web content, is searchable , and therefore a method of finding information relating to a specific topic.  It is effectively a label for themed content, and a way of grouping information.  It is also a way of distinguishing content in a specific way and can become part of your overall identity.

Hashtags can go viral quickly if they are catchy, original or simply incite excitement amongst the general populus.  Try a web search on #SuperB_Owl, a hashtag of burrowing owls that went viral during the Super Bowl:

http://abcnews.go.com/US/cute-burrowing-owls-viral-super-bowl-hashtag-superb/story?id=28891480

If we think of an example of a brand that has really benefitted from using a hashtag, #JustDoIt from Nike makes a great example.  The hashtag is almost as well known as the name of the company, and it has become a term that is synonymously associated.

#Brand

A hashtag can be a great part of establishing a brand that we can associate with, and it can be powerful.  It can raise your brand awareness and become quoted as a statement of fashion, or simply be associated with your qualities and principles.

The power of social media marketing depends on your ability to interact with your audience through content.  By using a hashtag, people remember you more and can search for you.

If you are about to start a new campaign for a specific product or event, it would be a good idea to consider using a hashtag with it.  If the audience can use the hashtag, it can increase engagement and make it more memorable and interesting.

Add your hashtag to all of your related posts on the social channels and other content, when it is appropriate to do so.  They work particularly well with Twitter, Instagram and Google Plus.

Hashtag brand
Hashtags social

#Ownership

Nobody owns a hashtag.  It doesn’t work like a domain or company name, but it can work allied to an item of trademark or intellectual property.

Your hashtag can relate directly with a product or it can work as part of an association, skill or sector.

People are naturally free to use your hashtag too, either to support your own achievements, to associate themselves with your great principles, or simple to group information in search engines.  Don’t see this as a threat.  If you have a great product and strong principles, others using your hashtag will simply amplify and help what you are attempting to achieve.

Selecting the best hashtag #ForYou

Always take time to create a powerful and co-ordinated strategy.  Your use of hashtags should be part of your overall social and content strategy. Bad use of hashtag, overuse of hashtag, using inappropriate  language or copying others with the goal of gaining association by the work of others will only work against what you are trying to achieve.

By looking at existing hashtags that are related to your business or concept, you can get an insight into the interests of your proposed audience.  You can interact with your audiences using a specific hashtag theme, and they can help targeted campaigns.  Remember that an engaged audience is more likely to create active customers.

If you need help with hashtags, a social strategy or a brand strategy, please feel free to contact the team at UKDK by e-mail at admin@ukdk.net, or by calling (+44) 01244 94 0258 in the UK, or (+45) 65 74 19 99 in Denmark.
#InnovatingCreativity