Hashtags are used everywhere. Almost no one can avoid them.  As a marketer you cannot ignore them.  In fact it’s important to understand what a hashtag is and how to use it strategically.

What is a (#)hashtag?

Hashtags are clickable links in online posts. When a hashtag is clicked or searched, a feed of all the posts related to that particular hashtag will show up from different users.

To make a hashtag, type the number symbol (#) infront of a word or phrase, leaving no spaces.  For example, #globalVCard and #Fintech are hashtags.

Why should a marketer use hashtags regularly?

If you are not using Social Media as part of your Marketing strategy then you need to start now!  If you are then hopefully you are using hashtags strategically. Hashtags connect your content with people talking about or looking for something on the same topic.

They are used on all major social media platforms like Twitter, Google+, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest to increase visibility of a post. So no matter what platform works best for your business, hashtags could help you expand your contents reach, increase your brand and campaign awareness, target your audience, improve SEO and help with social monitoring.  Who would not want to do all that?

Five best practices for using hashtags:

1.  For content hashtags, use relevant keywords to your business and your target audience.  Content hashtags are not used to brand your message but to assist with improving SEO and the reach of the post.

2.  When creating a hashtag for your brand or event, keep it short and simple then search to make sure it is new.  Make sure that your hashtag is not too long, especially if using on Twitter.  You also want it to be something that is easily remembered. And do a quick search to make sure that the hashtag is not already being used to another product or event.

3.  Experiment with the success of the hashtags you use.  It is important to track the performance of each hashtag to find which ones work well most consistently.  The popularity of hashtags are always changing.  Hashtagify is a great resource for finding and analyzing hashtags.

4.   Join the trending hashtags if they are relevant to your brand or message in some way.  By using a trending hashtag you can increase the audience of your message in a exponential way.

5.  Don’t Hijack/Spam a sensitive or controversial hashtag! If you use a trending hashtag that is not related to your topic in attempt to gain attention there could be some serious PR backlash or it could even risk getting your account suspended.

Join the conversation! What tips do you have for using hashtags?

I want to inspire you to travel! Whether you explore your city, state or the world, just get out and see, do and eat new things! And I strive to encourage women to pursue their dreams. In addition to my favorite job of being the mother to two crazy little kids, I am the Digital Editor for a local magazine publisher, a freelance travel writer, and manage digital marketing for small businesses. Let's connect!