In social media, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign (#). It turns that word or phrase into a searchable link. When you click that word or phrase, it will populate other social media posts with that same hashtag. For instance, clicking #StarWars on Twitter or Facebook will bring up the latest and top posts about Star Wars. Below are 3 ways you can start to use hashtags to promote your business.
1. Create a unique hashtag for your business.
Use your business name. Use a clever variation of your business name. Something that isn’t already popular. You want it original enough so that when people use the hashtag for your business, most of the posts will be for your business. Using #coffeeshop, for example, may be too generic and it will be hard to find posts that are from your customers. Using something more unique such as #oldtowncoffeecafe or #oldtowncc will be more successful.
2. Host a contest with a unique hashtag.
Hosting contests or promotions with a unique hashtag is another great way to get your business known. You’ll want to come up with a hashtag that hasn’t been often used (or lately used) so that it’s easy to keep track of people who are entering your contest. Create a social media post and include a sentence that says, “To enter, simply re-share our post. Make sure to include [hashtag here].”
If doesn’t need to be a contest, either. You can run a special. If you’re a coffee shop, create a hashtag called #CareToShare or “CareToShareCoffee where customers can pay for someone else’s coffee in advance. It’ll be anonymous and a great way for them to brighten up a stranger’s day. Anyone can participate, and it helps to create a unique and friendly atmosphere at your cafe.
3. Use trending hashtags on social media.
On the social platform itself, there’s usually a designated area for trending hashtags / topics. Take a look there to see what people are talking about and create a social post for it. Some examples are #throwbackthursday (where people post nostalgic pictures of their past) and #ootd (where people post their outfit of the day – great for local boutiques / clothing stores). However, hashtags don’t always need to be trending at the moment. Try hashtags that are commonly used or that you think people would look for. For instance, if you’re a restaurant, definitely use #happyhour if you have it.
It’s very rare to go wrong with hashtags. Stick to using about 3 hashtags per post. You don’t want to drown your customer in reading only hashtags especially if they’re unnecessary. Need help creating some hashtag ideas? Call us today for a social media consultation.