May 6, 2013
Hashtags organize tweets and posts into categories. The pound symbol (#) followed by a keyword or phrase comprises a hashtag. According to Twitter, hashtags were created organically by users as a means of categorizing tweets.
Where to use Hashtags
Twitter is the social network that is most associated with hashtags. After all, it's where it all began. A new hashtag can be created by any user. Instagram is another great place to use hashtags.
On Pinterest, hashtags are a way of organizing pins such that when users search using that word or phrase, your pins will appear in results. With Pinterest, hashtags are effective when used within pin descriptions, but not in titles or profile pages. Clicking on a hashtag in a pin description will not only result in searching out other pins that include that hashtag, but also in displaying other pins that include the same words anywhere in their descriptions.
Currently hashtags are not clickable on Facebook; meaning Facebook treats them like all other text, no organizing or categorizing. If your brand has created a hashtag in hopes of it becoming popular, occasionally using the hashtag on Facebook is another way to get it in front of users to grow in popularity. Some brands take it so far as to include hashtags in their print materials to increase awareness and use. The more consumers see your hashtag, the more likely they are to include it in their tweets and posts.
Why use Hashtags
Hashtags are a way for social media marketers to join conversations already in progress or start a new conversation for followers to join. Utilizing hashtags will enable your brand to engage in communication with followers and customers that otherwise would not be possible.
Crafting the Perfect #hashtag
There are many things to consider when creating a hashtag for your brand. What are the objectives and the message you are trying to convey? Not every hashtag you create will catch on, but here are few things to keep in mind.
Not every hashtag your brand creates needs to include your name. The purpose may be to get people talking about the need your products or services fulfills.
Prepare for the worst; hope for the best. Bear in mind that your hashtag might catch on in the wrong way. You could create a hashtag intending for people to share positive stories about your brand, but users could take it in any direction and possibly share negative feedback.