Hashtags seem to be everywhere these days. Now they’re on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Google+, and a host of other social networks. Basically, a hashtag enables people on social networks to quickly find conversations about a topic they’re interested in. So if you were on Twitter and tweeted #surefirelocal, you’d be able to click on the hashtag and see all of the conversations about #surefirelocal. They’re also searchable, which is handy for people who want to jump into a conversation about a particular topic.
Hashtag Rules for Beginners
Anyone can create a hashtag—as long as they follow a couple basic rules. First, the hashtag can contain multiple words but no spaces. #thisisanexampleofahashtag Also, as you can see, all hashtags must begin with a # symbol. The best hashtags are easily remembered and understood. As a general rule, it’s best to keep it to fewer than two hashtags per post; otherwise it may be difficult for people to read and understand.
How Hashtags Can Improve Your Social Media Marketing
Although most local marketing experts have at least some idea of what a hashtag is, some small businesses are still unsure about how to use them. Hashtags are an easy—and free—way to target and connect with your audience through social media.
Connect with Other Influencers
On Fridays, try using the #FollowFriday hashtag on Twitter to recognize people and organizations that provide useful online content. With any luck, they’ll thank you for the #FollowFriday, and they may even give you a #FollowFriday shout out, too. Just include the person’s username and #FF or #FollowFriday in your post.
Hold Twitter Contests
Contests on Twitter take some planning, but they can definitely be worthwhile. Facebook’s rules for contests are more stringent, so be sure to review them before you start a Facebook contest. If you hold a contest on Twitter, people can use a specific hashtag to enter the contest, which enables you as the local social media marketing manager to keep track of the entries.
Host a Chat
Hashtags keep conversations organized on Twitter. Some of your customers may be interested in chatting with your business about a particular topic. You can even use your website, blog, and social media networks to announce the date and time of your chat, and to let people know which hashtag to follow.
Use Hashtags with Your Own Content
If you use an appropriate hashtag with your post, more people are likely to see the original content that you post- a win for any business looking to expand its online reach.