Using Hashtag as an Effective Marketing Tool
- Oct 10, 2014
- Madhurima Gupta
Now, you can see hashtags almost everywhere, from real life to different websites. It has become more than an essential tool. Why the marketers are so keen to use hashtags online and off-line?
Hashtag is an effective marketing method to get your words out and reach several channels. This humble little symbol (#) can connect conversations on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, and Instagram. Other than the social media network, the single hashtag can be used on sites across the web. Not only it has impact on your online marketing approaches, it can be used off-line as well.
In a nutshell, hashtag is a symbol that can be used in front of a word, phrase, picture, or video that makes the item easily findable. So whenever a user adds a hashtag to their message, it is immediately indexed and searchable by other users. But, where do the concept of hashtag originated from?
Origin of hashtags
Though there are many people who believe that hashtag originated from Twitter, it is not so. It was conceived several years before the micro-blogging sites even came into existence. The actual place of origin of hashtags was Internet Relay Chat. There hashtag was used to search, create, and join the chat group already present in the network.
This simple symbol has changed the way social interaction used to take place on the web. It was there on Twitter from 2007. However, on July 2nd, 2009, Twitter officially embraced hashtags and make it clickable. The hashtags can be hyperlinked to the search results. Other social networks follow the suit.
While hashtag has been accepted as a popular means for social conversation, but why marketers are attracted towards it?
Hashtag emerged as a marketing tactic
When the marketers follow that the hashtag can successfully establish a social connection, the idea to connect with their target audience with this simple symbol click in their mind. If used well, hashtags are powerful tool to build community, increase reach, drive brand recognition, positively impact the loyalty of the customers, and create buzz.
Traditional marketing is a one way pipeline, where the consumers only receive information from the company. However, the modern marketing concept differ a lot from that. Today, consumers are also active participants in the marketing efforts. When hashtags are inserted in to any of your marketing messages, the consumers are alerted that the brand is seeking their participation. And if the hashtag can be coupled with contests, giveaways, or sweepstakes, response from the consumers can be even better.
But, where will you place your hashtags online and off-line?
Networks supporting hashtags
Most of the networks use hashtags to organize data and making it easier for the users to consume it. However, each network use it differently.
Twitter: Hashtag is most popular on this site. Almost all the tweets contain a hashtag. The trending topics can be found on the left hand side of your Twitter stream.
Facebook: the trending topics are seen on the top right hand corner of the page. Clicking a hashtag on Facebook page, you will arrive at a different page with posts that you may see based on the privacy settings of the users.
Google+: Google+ also uses hashtags, but it has a difference. Here, hashtags can be added to the content if it is a popular keyword and relevant also.
Instagram: Using hashtags on Instagram is also very popular. If you want to see the photos similar to the ones you have taken, you only have to add a hashtag to your picture. It will automatically create a link to the page with other pictures on this same subject.
Pinterest: On Pinterest, hashtags are not searchable. You will have to type the keyword to find a content.
YouTube: Hashtag is most prevalent in the comments section. Users can leave comments with hashtags which if clicked will land to a page with videos that contain hashtag in their title.
Other than these popular social media networks, other networks that support hashtags are:
It is quite comprehensible that in the social media world, hashtag is an effective way to make your brand go viral. Can hashtag be used off-line as well? Hashtag can be a way to bridge the gap between a customers’ online and physical experience.
Using hashtags off-line
There are two ways to use hashtags in your off-line marketing endeavors. You can promote your existing popular social media hashtags by incorporating them in newspaper and magazine advertisements and television commercials. In fact you can use them on your product packaging as well.
Another way is to create hashtag for the off-line event and then promote it online through hashtags. You can include hashtags in your banners and advertisements both online and off-line.
Marketers by now are aware of the fact that hashtags can be used both online and off-line. They are also implementing it in their marketing approaches. How will you be different from them? And, how you can make the most of your hashtag marketing?
There are a host of marketing applications that you can rely upon to understand:
- Trending topics
- Popularity of a hashtag
- Usage pattern
- Other people’s tag
So choose your hashtag and select the platforms where you want to promote it. For hashtag marketing, it is necessary to consider every platform from where you can expect customer engagement.
Madhurima Gupta is a digital marketing enthusiast and takes interest in online marketing, social media promotions and search engine optimization. She is associated with content writing, blogging and social media engagement. She is a content developer in Softz Solutions.
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