The Science of Hashtags

Why do marketers use hashtags? If you don’t know the answer, then we can guarantee that you are having very little luck with your own approach to hashtags.  You have to have an understanding of their value, or you simply cannot get the maximum benefit from them.

So, let’s answer that question first.  Marketers can benefit from hashtags because they are searchable and will lead others with similar interests to the post.  They may also use them to build a link between all of their related posts.

Shared Interest Posts When the idea is to lead others who share an interest in the topic to their posts, successful marketers will apply meaningful hashtags.  In general, many believe that the best way to do this is to use two hashtags – one that is very general, and a second that is more specific to a niche.  So another words, if a coffee shop was posting about a new flavor they were offering, they might choose to use hashtags, #GoodMorning and #CoffeeAddict.  The first is very general, but the second speaks to a specific market.

If you need inspiration for the best hashtags to use, search your industry along with the word ‘hashtags’ and you are sure to find a list of the top hashtags used for related topics.

Company Specific Hashtags Sometimes companies will successfully create their own hashtags.  This is typically done for the sake of an upcoming event, specific advertising campaign, Twitter chat, or webinar.  By using that specific hashtag for every post, it is easy to follow a conversation and to link all of the posts together.  A very popular example of this was the #ShareaCoke campaign.  On a smaller scale, Twitter chats, like #K8Chat and #NostalgiaChat are also great examples.

As a final tip, avoid using trending hashtags unless you can directly apply them to your company or industry.  Be sure that you understand the connotation of the hashtag as well.  Using a trending hashtag in the wrong way can earn you a lot of negative attention.


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