By, Marin Emrick
I remember when the pound sign suddenly became a hashtag upon entering the world of social media. It quickly morphed into a must have on every post to highlight like minded information or introduce a new conversation. Tabs labeled “Explore” on Twitter and “Tags” on Instagram were created to specifically narrow down searches of specific hashtags. Thus, the hashtag became an effective social media marketing tactic.
There was a booming period for a while in the first few years of the hashtag where every post seemed to have it included and specific functions were being released on social media to cater to its popularity. It was new and everyone wanted to use it. Today, I notice less individual use of hashtags on personal accounts. However, this doesn’t mean it doesn’t remain a highly useful tactic for a business’s marketing plan. Due to this trend being up and down over the years of its existence, I feel it important to recognize the benefits hashtag use brings to a brand.
Here are a few advantages to the use of hashtags:
- Increases discovery of brand
Including hashtags with your post immediately places your brand in front of more eyes than it would otherwise. By using popular hashtags, anyone that goes to filter their search that way could potentially view your content. Regardless of the size of your business or your number of followers, it will increase your chance of connecting with the public. The key is to use the right hashtags that people will actively engage with.
- Provides an opportunity to join conversation
By looking at the discover page on Twitter, you can see what the hot topic is at the moment and the hashtags that are associated. Using the trending hashtags gives your brand a chance to join the conversation and gain great exposure. It not only shows that your brand is involved with topics that people care about but also increases your overall audience. If more people see your content it creates a greater potential of it getting retweeted and gaining even further exposure of your brand.
Here is an example of how Twitter represents trending hashtags:
- Engages the public with your brand
Creating a catchy hashtag to go along with your post opens up the possibility of others using that same hashtag and beginning a trend centered around your brand. There are many instances in the past where a hashtag campaign has gone viral and contributed towards a large increase in engagement and exposure.
Here are some examples of successful hashtag campaigns:
- Coca-Cola- #shareacoke
Coca-Cola launched their #shareacoke campaign in which they placed a selected name on each of their bottles with the intent on someone being able to share their drink with their friends and family as they drank it. Along with this campaign they included the use of the hashtag #shareacoke. This campaign was very successful and is a great example of how hashtags drive engagement.
2. L’Oreal- #worthsaying
L’Oreal launched this hashtag at the time of their collaboration with the 2016 Golden Globes. The intent was to have the public engage in further conversation about sharing stories from every aspect of their life stemming from their tag line “because you are worth it.” The campaign resulted in an extensive amount of engagement including celebrities, Blake Lively and Jennifer Lopez, that drove use of the hashtag.
10 thoughts on “Hashtags are still #useful”
Hello Marin, interesting article. However, after reading your thoughts on how hashtags are currently used, do you think that hashtags have replaced brand slogans? As you said, it appears that individuals aren’t using hashtags nearly as much, and all of your examples feature brands or celebrities, people and organizations that rely much more on virality and branding. Thus, what role do individuals play in hashtags?
I absolutely love this article. It is a common misconception that using hashtags is “so last year” but I also believe that it is not. I have found that using hashtags is actually really helpful for generating more impressions.
I have noticed using hashtags has not been used as much. It seems like there is an extreme of either putting a bunch below a post or none at all. When done strategically I do think putting all those hashtags under a post can help boost a posts search engine optimization.
This was a great read! It was a great reminder on how important hashtags are from a business and creator viewpoint. Hashtags have been around for so long now that it just seems like a normal thing to include on social media.
I did not agree with the title at first. However, after reading your post I am very intrigued. I think it is safe to say that hashtags in captions and comments are more or less irrelevant nowadays. Yet we see hashtags in promotional posts all the time and heavy on Twitter. Can’t wait to see where hashtags end up living in the future.
Hi Marin, This is great content. I feel hashtag become a link with other posts and communities of people who think similar things. If Twitter doesn’t hashtag, it will be so boring. So many organizations use hashtags as an opportunity for social media marketing.
Your blog is very interesting because of the title and content. It is true that hashtags have taken over how we communicate on social media, and it is both for good and bad reasons. On social media, as you pointed out, it has been very useful to brands who want to bring awareness to a product or to their brand in general. It has also helped with public movements like #MeToo. But in general, for myself, I’ve found it really hard to take people seriously when they say, “Hashtag [fill in the blank]” in real life. It always feels like a shallow way of speaking, to me, despite how useful they have been on paper. It is strange how hashtags have taken over social media and that we are now at a point where it’s unavoidable to use them.
Hi Marin, I really like this blog post. Hashtags create so much awareness and highlight an important topic and can sometime be funny. It is a really good technique for smaller brands to get noticed or nonprofits to get noticed. Sakka is right Twitter would be pretty dull without hashtags!
I enjoyed reading your blog and your perspective on hashtags. I agree that they are not “so last year” and have a way of connecting brands and influencers with bigger causes and more. Twitter is most famous for their trending page being filled with the top hashtags to show that they are not dead nor going somewhere anytime soon.
This article was so informative! I did not start paying attention to hashtags until recently. Having said this, I think hashtags are definitely making a comeback in 2021! Having said this, it is so important to read articles such as this. Bravo!
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