Hashtags for Business

Using Hashtags for BusinessBefore we dive into learning how to use hashtags for business let’s explore and get familiar with hashtags.

Did you know the term hashtag was first coined back in 2007 by a blogger named Stowe Boyd. However, the term started to take off around 2010 when Twitter latched onto them. Now, hashtags are prominent and here to stay.

How To Use Hashtags for Business

1. Don’t Settle for The Suggestions

Google+ and other popular social media sites are more than happy to offer “suggested hashtags” for your posts. These hashtags are typically based on a quick analysis of your content and on what happens to be trending at the moment. While you should certainly utilize relevant suggestions, you should also go beyond them. Most importantly consider what’s trending and what your demographic is interested in and create effective hashtags using the keywords associated with this information.

2. Keep the Hashtag Short and Sweet

It’s trendy right now for people to string together long sentences in order to create funny and obscure hashtags. What works for the casual user, however, doesn’t always work for businesses. When it comes to your business hashtags, keep them short, simple and searchable. Long sentences might be funny as hashtags, but are they really going to start trending or even be easily found? Just as you’ve learned (hopefully) to keep your content quick, engaging and to the point, you will want to do the same thing with your hashtags.

3. Market Your Branded Hashtags

Great hashtags don’t just happen. You have to get the word out about the hashtags you’re using and encourage others to start using them too. A pet supply store, for example, might want to make use of the hashtag #lovemydog. A smart thing for the store to do would be to let their online community, as well as customers in their store, know that the hashtag exists and encourage them to make use of it. If the company is lucky, it will soon find that its customers are using the hashtag to post pictures of themselves with their pets using the company’s products. That’s how great slogans and brands are born and go viral, so think of a creative hashtag that relates to your business and then encourage people to promote it.

4. Get to Know Your Niche

Common hashtags aren’t necessarily bad. If there are some commonly used hashtags related to your business or industry, search them on social media sites from time to time. By doing this, you’re likely to find relevant content and news that you can use in your own materials that will help you stay abreast of what’s happening in your niche. You can also use these common hashtags to connect with businesses and individuals who could provide good networking or marketing opportunities for you.

Hashtags are what everyone talks about these days, so tell us, how do you use them to help your business prosper?