Long before social media sights such as Twitter and Instagram began using hashtags as a major attention grabber, they served many purposes on the web for things such as internet chat and IRC. Now, since Twitter first began using the hashtag in 2007, they are widely used as grouping functionality to draw more attention and filter communications.
Tweets and Instagram posts that have attached hashtags get twice as much engagement as those that don’t. Hashtags are greatly beneficial for marketers as they can categorise their content in order to assist them in reaching their target audience and consumers that may be interested in their brand or product/service offering. It has been found that tweets with hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted than tweets without hashtags.
Marketers can take advantage of hashtags by creating their own brand hashtags, and building up a following of these hashtags through using other hashtags whom their target audience is familiar with. Companies can create hashtags with their brand name or brand slogan in them to increase brand awareness and recognition. When using products and posting about them on social media platforms, consumers can include the brand name or slogan hashtag on their post, to continually boost the brands brand loyalty.
Marketers can also use hashtags for brand campaigns. They often use campaign hashtags to promote a special brand campaign they have for a short period of time, and increase awareness about this campaign, to further increase their brand recognition and loyalty. For example, Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke was used to encourage sharing and gifting personalised Coca-Cola bottles. Creating these experiences for customers which they can share with their followers online creates a positive reputation for a brand.
Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools in social media to capture audiences attention and ensure your target audience witnesses your brand and its offering. They allow brands to connect with different customers around the world through social media platforms.