The power of a hashtag is expected to take off and all businesses should be prepared for this. Facebook recently announced that it would begin supporting hashtags. Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, and other social networks have already been supporting them. Depending on the user some words following a hashtag are written with no spaces and others have only one word following it. The intent of the hashtag is to allow readers to read all the responses with the same phrase or word.
In a recent survey conducted by ad platform RadiumOne, it was revealed that 58 percent of participants use hashtags on a regular basis while 71 percent of regular hashtag users do it from their mobile devices. The hashtag is now a ubiquitous symbol and businesses are being more creative with their uses of them.
According to the survey, if users were rewarded with discounts for sharing product-based hashtags, 51 percent of respondents would share hashtags more often. Small businesses can use their imagination to come up with promotions and compete with larger firms using these little symbols. In addition, it’s easier to track promotion activities using hashtags.
Social Network Unification
New tools such as Tagboard allow you to track hashtags on major networks or filter them to each network. Now you can promote your product while engaging with consumes across all platforms without having to create a special landing page or campaign for each platform.
According to the survey, out of all respondents 43 percent think hashtags are useful while 34 percent use them to search and follow categories or brands they are personally interested in. Using your website’s URL doesn’t promote conversation, but a hashtag will. There’s a lot that can be learned from all the chatter, but you may want to filter out all that is not relevant to you and your brand. Even though the chatter surrounding this year’s SuberBowl was impressive (4,064 Tweets per second), initiating a hashtag will make it easier to filter out irrelevant or unwanted chatter. Just remember to keep the social buzz in mind and attempt to use it to your advantage.
When you want to reach a certain target market, you can use new marketing tools to advertise based on hashtags. Even though you can currently target ads on social networks by category or interest, you’re less likely to get a general web surfer. However, people who use hashtags are those who are engaging in social conversation and more likely to share positive experiences about your brand.
The use of hashtags is still fairly new to the marketing scene and social world alike. Hashtags are so simple and omnipresent that you need to be creative with how you use them. Putting power behind your hashtag seems to be a key to effectively using it. For example, American Express announced earlier this year that cardholders could make purchases using hashtags with its new program Amex Sync. With Facebook joining the hashtag revolution, we can expect to see even more innovative marketing strategies using the hashtag this year.