For some of us, hashtags are just a social media fad that fancy Twitter users include in their posts. They are baffling for beginners and for those who don’t spend too much time online, but in fact they are quite simple to use and they can bring major advantages for organizations which want to promote their brand on social networks.
Hashtags are labels providing a simple way of searching for social media updates on a common topic. For instance, if you want to find out more information about nonprofit organizations, you can perform a search using the “#nonprofit” hashtag and you will be able to view all posts containing this specific hashtag.
Other ways that hashtags can be used are creating fun conversations about various topics such as #worstdateeverhad and encouraging people to share their experiences, or finding out information about breaking news. One of the first hashtags, #SanDiegoFire, was used in 2007 with reference to a series of forest fires.
Hashtags can become annoying when you don’t respect some basic rules and do the following mistakes:
- Using too many words in just one hashtag. Because you cannot separate words included in a hashtag, you should limit their number or the hashtag will become difficult to use and decipher.
- #Using #too #many #hashtags #in #one #tweet. By doing so, your social media updates will be considered spam.
- Using hashtags that are not relevant to your post. You will deceive people’s expectations and prevent them from finding out information they are actually interested in.
Hashtags have emerged on Twitter, but they are currently seen on each of the most important social networks: Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, Tumblr and YouTube, just to start with. Hashtags are definitely here to stay, as they help users organize data and make it easier to find.
Furthermore, hashtags can be used to help you track your social media activity. You can check how many people have used the hashtags you created, tracks retweets and favorites, and focus on those topics that your audiences are most interested in.
Other ways that hashtags can benefit your brand include:
- Larger social reach and increased brand awareness
- Being associated with the latest popular topics by using trending hashtags
- Encouraging interaction with fans and helping build virtual communities
- Less chances of random people joining the conversation without being part of your target audience
- Implementing viral marketing campaigns that can get your even thousands of followers overnight as hashtags create a buzz on social networks and attract people who are not part of your customer base
- Using hashtags to introduce a new product or service
You can gain more support for your nonprofit and the cause it promotes by using hashtags too. This effective online marketing tool is just one # away!
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