The hashtag, once only recognized as the number symbol or pound sign, is now a marketing must-have. But why? What exactly does it do, and how does it contribute to your overall marketing campaign? Read on to learn about the hashtag’s history and how it can help your social media content reach a wider audience free of cost.
The original hashtag, the pound sign, can be traced back to Roman times when it was used to recognize pounds in weight. Flash forward to the twentieth century, and the symbol was used on the typewriter to indicate numbers. At some point in the 80s, touch-tone phones appeared, and the pound sign became the ever-meaningful, official number sign.
In 2007, just one year into the rise of the #twittersphere, a software developer named Chris Messina tweeted, recommending that the symbol be used as a way for people with common interests to quickly locate one another on the platform. While Twitter was initially skeptical, the hashtag was used to inform others during a fire in San Diego in 2009, and the idea stuck.
So what does all of this have to do with social media and digital marketing? Today’s hashtag is a word, or words (keyword or keyword sequence), used within social media posts to help others with similar interests easily find your content. Users can look up or follow their favorite hashtags on their social media accounts to tailor their feeds to their likes and interests.
By strategically incorporating commonly used hashtags into your social media content and posts, you organically increase the chance for your content to be viewed by someone outside your following. This often leads to more followers, more engagement, and, for business owners, more conversions (this means more clients and more money in the bank!).
So at this point, you are probably thinking, “how easy – the more hashtags, the merrier!” But that isn’t necessarily correct. As with all things digital marketing, not all hashtags are created equally (you’ve heard us say this before). For example, simply creating hashtags to match your post will not help you gain views. You’ll need to take a more calculated approach.
A better strategy is to research commonly used hashtags that relate to the content you are promoting. We recommend following industry leaders and known content creators to see which hashtags they are using. What you should avoid (if your goal is to increase your views and convert more clients) is making up clever or personalized hashtags.
The hashtag is an essential and valuable marketing tool that is free of cost and only requires a touch of footwork and research. Step up your social media marketing game by incorporating vital, easy-to-understand, widely-followed hashtags, and you’ll see the benefits.
And at the end of the day, if you’d rather focus on what you do best and what makes you money – consider giving Axiom Digital Promotions a call. With many years of experience in the digital marketing industry, our team can take on your light work and let you focus on your business goals.