#Hashtags! #Hashtags Everywhere!
#Weallknow you’ve seen #hashtags on about every #socialmedia website you come across these days with Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Facebook leading the way. You know, those absolutely mind-numbing, hair-pulling, make you want to scream-at-the-top-of-your-lungs posts where literally every word has the pound symbol, (yes, I’m going old school) and you’re pleading with the social media gods for them to please go away. Albeit, #hashtags are misused and abused by a majority of users; when executed properly, they can be a great resource for you to tap into your field of work and not only connect you with other professionals, but to also track trends, find new insights and most importantly garner new clients.
First and foremost, the most vital piece of the puzzle: knowing WHAT words to place a #hashtag in front of. Haphazardly placing the symbol in front of random words will not work in your favor, you want to isolate the key words that will connect you with others in your industry. This can be tricky however, as you want to be specific enough to capture the right audience, but you don’t want to be so specific that no one else in the Twitterverse will ever use the same #hashtag.
For example, #fashionmerchandising will enter you into a conversation with a whole slough of users, while #fashionmerchtally could leave you at the mercy of the infinite abyss of the Internet (I would suggest #fashionmerchandising #tallahassee to get the best exposure). This does not however, preclude you from creating your own unique #hashtag that others can use when giving you a shout out online. We encourage this!
When I’m home plugging away on my social media marketing accounts, it isn’t uncommon for me to include a #MarketDone when sending out one of my many tweets or Instagram posts. This type of guerilla marketing can not only extend your reach to those not yet exposed to your business, but it also helps with tracking your online chatter. The final piece of the cryptic #hashtag puzzle is for you to go online and explore what others are using as #hashtags. What key words is your competition using? What are the industry experts talking about? Be sure to click on their #hashtags to get all of the information trending, most likely you’ll find a never-ending resource for news, blogs and commentary about your field to keep you in the know, usually to the day. So, what’s the lesson of the day? #Hashtags are a fantastic resource for not only tracking trends and industry standards, but also for creating your unique signature in the field and to also extend your connections locally, nationally and at times, globally. Just remember one thing; friends don’t let friends #hashtag irresponsibly.