Hashtags have infiltrated the culture. In fact, there's a new generation that doesn't even see a pound sign. So, other than #liveauthentic and ironic quips, are hashtags actually useful?
If you're building a brand and have a specific message to spread, then the answer is "yes."
Hashtags amplify messages and help to tell stories in ways that media hasn't previously seen. When paired with other tools like video and images, hashtags illuminate perspectives we most certainly never would have experienced. Think front row seats to not only your friend's wedding across the country but to global events like the Olympics.
So how can you use hashtags, in practical terms, today? Here are seven ways.
7 Surprising Ways to Use Hashtags
1. Hashtags can be used to expose you to new audiences on Instagram. Hashtags can be used to find new images or to expose your work to a new, relevant audience.
2. Hashtags are integral to Twitter chats. Did you know there are tons of organized conversations on Twitter around specific topics on just about any subject? Twitter chats help you connect with others around a given topic. It’s a great way to grow your audience and contribute to relevant conversations.
3. Show your audience more of your brand by adopting your own hashtag. This is a great way to not only brand each of your Instagram posts but also for your fans to get involved and share their photos of your product or event.
4. Use trending hashtags to increase views on your tweets. Do you have something relevant to add to a trending topic on Twitter? Using a hashtag that already has a lot of eyes on it means your tweet will be exposed to more people.
5. Encourage fans to use your hashtag. Build community with brand loyalists by encouraging them to adopt and own the hashtag.
6. Use hashtags across social media channels, connecting your message across Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and even YouTube.
7. Utilize hashtags for social listening. Determine which hashtags and keywords people are using when they are talking about a topic relevant to you. For example, in my work with Broadway shows, we regularly monitor hashtags and keywords that include names of our lead performers and alternate spellings of show titles.
Social media, as a whole, affords pretty incredible opportunities to find and connect with people who are interested in what you have to offer. I encourage you to try using hashtags in a new way and see what kind of results you get.
What's the biggest win you've experienced thus far using hashtags?
Mine are finding people with similar interests on Twitter because of Twitter chats + seeing my own wedding from about a hundred different angles. #Hilos1021 if you're curious. ;-)
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