How to Make the HashTag Work For You
What do you mean hashtag? I thought it was a ‘pound’???
According to Wikipedia “A hashtag is a type of metadata tag used on social networks such as Twitter and other microblogging services, allowing users to apply dynamic, user-generated tagging which makes it possible for others to easily find messages with a specific theme or content; it allows easy, informal markup of folk taxonomy without need of any formal taxonomy or markup language.”
So let us unpack that. A hashtag is a way for users on social media (facebook, twitter, instagram etc) to ‘tag’ their interactions or posts using meta-data tagging. By posting content with the pound symbol (# aka hashtag) users can tag content for future referencing by searching for said metadata tag as the symbol turns the following phrase into a searchable link.
The #History of the Hashtag
The pound sign was adopted for use within IRC networks circa 1988 to label groups and topics. Channels or topics that are available across an entire IRC network are prefixed with a hash symbol #. The use of the pound sign in IRC inspired Chris Messina, to propose a similar system to be used on Twitter to tag topics of interest on the microblogging network. He posted the first hashtag on Twitter:
How do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]Chris Messina, (“factoryjoe”), August 23, 2007
Messina’s suggestion to use the hashtag was not adopted by Twitter, but the practice took off after hashtags were widely used in tweets relating to the 2007 San Diego forest fires in Southern California (Wikipedia). And just like that, the practice of tagging content for quick reference across platforms took off, and the age of content tagging and sharing across a much wider public audience was born.
So, now that you’ve got the quick and dirty history, how can you leverage the hashtag for your business? It’s actually pretty easy. Let us break it down into 3 steps.
- Do Your Research. You need to find the tags that are applicable to your product, service and content. The best way to do that is to explore and see what other users in your product/service/industry are using in order to interact with eachother, and get their content out to a wider audience. Look up your competition, look up ‘influencers’ or users with over 10,000 followers and see which tags they are using. You may be surprised.
- Make a list. Do your research, write down your findings, and categorize them. If you sell T-shirts for men, write down a list of tags that would be applicable to mens T-shirts, make a separate list for the women’s tags and so on. You may be surprised at what you find.
- Use a variety of tags. The beauty of tags is that you can integrate generic tags, (#tshirt has 25million posts) as well as highly targeted tags (#wolfshirtwednesday has 4,200 posts) on one post. The issue is that YOU ARE LIMITED in the number of tags you may use. So tag wisely! Social Media platforms rank accounts, so that strong accounts (the more followers, consistent content and engagement an account receives, the higher it is ranked). So the stronger accounts will dominate the generic tag results. Don’t worry! This is where those niche tags come into play, though they may receive less traffic, your content will rank higher in the results for these tags, and will surely be more relevant to your target audience; resulting in higher engagement.
Now that we’ve unpacked hashtags, you should be ready to hit the ground running to make them work for you!
Our Tried & True Method to Multiplying Your Instagram Reach
Here at Firetower Marketing we have developed our own, in-house, hashtag finder and are ready to help you double your businesses reach on instagram and twitter to exponentially grow your account, and your business.
How do we do it?
We do an in-depth analysis of influencers, trends and their respective tags as applicable to your business. Then generate lists of tags for you to copy and paste into your posts to save you hours of time and energy, and result in immediate results from your pre existing content!
Step 1 – Identify post-types
Step 2 – Audit Competitors
Step 3 – Audit Influencers
Step 4 – Find ‘Sweet Spot’ and Niche tags
Step 5 – Add post-type specific tags
Step 6 – Generate segmented lists
The best part? We generate a fully dynamic spreadsheet with the results from our research that generates and displays lists of tags for you. However, trends are constantly evolving, to ensure that your lists are always staying relevant, our dynamic list generator enables you to alter and evolve your list of tags to stay relevant.
Interested in learning how to maximize your businesses reach on Instagram and Twitter? Give us a call today!
Call Grant at Firetower Marketing: 802.585.1470