I wrote about hashtags this week for the West Sussex County Times. Only a short article, explaining what hashtags are – especially on Twitter. It did get me thinking though – always dangerous! – so I thought I’d share some more thoughts about digital marketing and hashtags here in the blog.
What is a Hashtag?
A hashtag is used to group messages together. For Twitter it takes the form #tag (hash tag). For example, #cricket for Tweets about cricket, #horsham for Tweets about Horsham and if you’re watching television, then maybe #DrWho or #wimbledon.
You can either log in to your own Twitter account and search for a hashtag, or go to Google and search for Twitter #drwho
You can see all the people Tweeting about Dr Who (who’d have thought it was so popular!).
HashTags in Digital Marketing
Three ways to HashTags in digital marketing (there are more!):
If you’ve been to an event such as a seminar, launch party or conference recently it’s likely that the organisers would like you to tweet about the event and use a hashtag so more people can see the popularity of the event. How do you do it? Hand out a card or programme or show the hashtag on a screen and ask people to use it – they will.
- PRODUCTS and BRANDS
Hastags are often used to group messages about a brand or product together too. Try your car #bmw #volvo or your favourite …biscuit? #oreo #bourbons Shoes? #nike #prada
- LIVE ONLINE DISCUSSION
There are frequent and regular online discussions that work just through the hashtag. It’s as simple as informing interested parties (e.g. clients) of a time for a discussion and the hashtag to use. Everyone can then join in using the hashtag and see all messages which include the hashtag.
The Big Question – WHY use Hashtags?
From a marketing point of view, why would hashtags matter at all? They can help build relationships. If you can find a relevant audience with a common interest and then interact with them, that’s good marketing.
A word of caution though – you need to be genuine and you need to be ready for honest interaction. As with many things online, being genuine and authentic is a more efficient policy than trying to keep up a front.
Hashtags can be used by you to get more from the web and with a bit of creative thought they can help you with your digital marketing too.