So What’s the Deal with Hashtags?

We see hashtags on every single social media platform imaginable. It’s hard to think of how social media would be without them. They serve a very important purpose and is really one of the key features that makes social media so social. Do you know how they work and where they came from?

Where did Hashtags actually come from?

Hashtags were first proposed by a man name Chris Messina with the intention of creating a place for people to come together and share a discussion on the same topic. His first attempt at creating this was actually by surrounding the proposed phrase or tweet with question marks. It seemed he wanted to name the feature Whispering Tweets since his first tweet using the system was “? Whispering Tweets?”.  A few days later he tweeted out “? how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]??” to connect people worldwide to talk about barcamp, a technology unconference gathering activity. The use of the pound system to create discussion groups online quickly spread to all social media platforms and has become a staple in the social media industry.

So… What do Hashtags actually do?

Hashtags actually do a lot of things. In a technical sense, all posts on a social media site containing hashtags will be grouped together and when a hashtag is searched, the full list appears. It’s an easier way for people to find information on current celebrity news, world events, or even your kid’s graduation party. Hashtags have also been used to bring groups together and start social movements. People post on sites like Facebook and Twitter using the same hashtag to post about their feelings, experiences, or thoughts surrounding a particular topic to build a repertoire of information to use. Hashtags have even been adopted by law enforcement to spread information about criminals and missing persons. By posting this information, eventually there are thousands, sometimes millions, of people looking for whoever needs to be found. Creating this enormous social network of people wanting to participate in social justice, law enforcement along with people in many different communities. Hashtags do a lot of things, but the main purpose of them is to bring people together for a common purpose.

How can Hashtags be used to help your business?

Hashtags can and should be one of the most important tools in your social media toolkit. Any conference your business participates in, award ceremonies and promotions are just some of the opportunities you have to create a personalized hashtag and spread your name. The more people you get to use and share your hashtag, the wider audience you are going to reach. Besides specialized hashtags, using basic hashtags is a great way to expand your online reach. For example, when posting about a 2 for 1 promotional strategy, you could attach hashtags like #deals, #savings, are a few examples to reach your intended audience. Another way to use hashtags is posting with the predetermined hashtags that represent the award shows you’re attending. Using one of these hashtags on your social media accounts helps to get your brand noticed by people who are searching for that hashtag, as well as increase engagement for those tweets. People are much more likely to engage with a post that they feel connected to and being at the same event is a great connection to utilize and interact with new people.

Our company was recently invited to the The Nationals, a prestigious competition through the NAHB (National Association of Home Builders), where Mitch Levinson, President and founder of Marketing Relevance, took home a Silver Award for  National Sales & Marketing Associate of the Year. This awards show unfortunately did not feature an event hashtag, however they could have used something along the lines of “#TheNationalsAwards2019” for guests to post and interact with each other. This would have been a great way for them to gauge how everyone felt about the event in real time as it was happening as well as create a social media report overall of how the event went, what the most attractive parts were, and which parts may not have struck home with the attendees.

We invite you to come check out our new space and see what we’ve done with it! For more information on Marketing Relevance or our team visit our website. We’ve been building successful websites and creating powerful marketing strategies for our clients for almost 20 years. Let’s talk about how we can help you.