What is a Hashtag?
What is a hashtag and how can I use hashtags to benefit my business? Hashtags can be explained in simple terms, because in actuality, they are rather simple. A hashtag is a label or category tag used on social media networks to make it easy for users to find messages, images and videos with a specific category or theme attribution. It’s a fantastic way to bring together ideas, categorize topics, exchange thoughts, images and more.
Here’s how to use a hashtag: Place a hash character or pound sign (#) in front of a word or unspaced phrase (#shoplocal not #shop local). Hashtags cannot include symbols like !, $, %, ^, &, *, +, . Symbols are not recognized, only the unspaced phrase (in letters and numbers) following a hashtag is recognized and then turned into a clickable link.
For example, a user on Instagram may post an image or video with the following caption: We have great new arrivals in store this fall! Come check out our great new gear today! #newarrivals #fallstyle #shoplocal Or, the user may post social media content with the hashtags within the text, similar to this example: We have great #newarrivals in store this #fall — come #checkout our great new collection today!
Hashtags for Business
Businesses across the globe are utilizing hashtags to expand their reach in various social media networks. The most popular hashtag usage is within Instagram and Twitter, but is growing in Pinterest, Google+ and Facebook. Social media marketing research suggests that hashtags can not only expand reach to new or untapped markets, but have the ability to target specific audiences, boost your brand recognition, improve your search engine optimization (SEO) and so much more!
Independent retailers are taking advantage of Instagram for business as well as Twitter for business purposes, especially with the benefits of hashtag usage. Imagine this … a “millennial” whom uses Instagram for social shopping purposes begins a search for #fallstyle under tags on Instagram. If you’re a savvy Instagram business user, your recent fall arrivals will pop up in the news feed of recent activity.
When you focus your retail or online marketing strategies on social media, you will need a way to manage your online initiatives. Try looking into a social media marketing platform, there are multiple available to different business types and industries. For instance, Boutique Window is a social media management service that focuses on independent retailers and small businesses. Check out the 15 day free trial of the social media service that has helped so many independent business owners manage their online marketing efforts.