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How Hashtags Can Fuel Your Business’ Social Media Strategy

The hashtag, which is really no more than a keyword with the “#” symbol preceding it, was at one time primarily the tool of the power user on Twitter. Today, however, use of hashtags has spread to all of the major social media websites, and they’re being used by an increasing number of everyday users.

Our team is projecting an ever-increasing need to integrate hashtags into social media efforts in my role in web development in Fort Collins. If your business wants to make the most of its social media presence, you’re going to have to master and utilize business hashtags tool as part of your social media strategy.

Hashtags are a user-driven resource

It’s important to understand how hashtag users operate in order to help shape your social media presence. Hashtags are, in essence, keywords or key phrases set of by a hash (“#”) prefix. Social media users in a number of ways, including:

  • Participating in ongoing discussion with others on a given topic
  • Commenting on a current news item or event
  • Offering commentary or criticism on a link or topic

A recent survey shows that 58% of social media users use hashtags regularly, and of those users almost three quarters use them from their mobile devices.

Using hashtags in your business

So, what can your business do to utilize hashtags? There are a number of potential ways these keyword-driven resources can help your business:

  • Promotional rewards for hashtag use. Your online business, for example, could offer a discount code when a user includes a hashtag in a post linking to your website. In addition, you can use business hashtags to promote special events related to your business, such as #FortCollinsWebDevelopment or #DiscountBakedGoods.
  • Social media unification. While Facebook may be new to the hashtag game, it’s also the largest social media player on the block. Many small business I’ve worked with simply don’t have the resources to spread their social media marketing across several platforms, and so they put their efforts into a single one (usually Facebook). Hashtags can let you create a social media campaign that spans across social network, with users on many platforms using the defined hashtag for your business, product or event.
  • Brand conversation. Promoting the use of hashtags related to your business among your customers can help you keep tabs on how your brand is being perceived. Not only that, creating a hashtag gives your customers a much easier conversation starting point than a URL. Perhaps the best example of this was the #SuperBowl hashtag, which received more than 4,000 tweets per second.

You need to realize, as well, that hashtags really are still in their infancy. Just how prolific hashtag use will be on Facebook remains to be seen. In addition, there’s plenty of innovation going on right now in the area of business use of hashtags.

While it’s hard to predict exactly how users will be handling hashtags even a year from now, two things are certain: hashtags aren’t going away any time soon, and a successful social media marketing campaign is going to have to incorporate hashtag awareness and use.

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