The power of the #hashtag

“Great sales content is the best sales tool in the world.”
— written by Marcus Sheridan, author of The Sales Lion Blog.

The Power of a #Hashtag

Hashtags. Those little fuckers on Instagram use them all the time to tag favorite topics and create their own trends. But, in this world of online communication, why are hashtags so powerful and how can they benefit your business?

What is a #hashtag?

Placing a #pound sign in front of any word turns it into a searchable link that allows user to follow it directly. This helps categorize user-generated content while making it easier to participate in online conversation. By highlighting the keyword in any online conversation, users can receive instant updates about a trending issue.

When did #hashtags originate?

Hashtags were first used in 2007 by computer developer, Chris Messina. In a tweet, Messina proposed that Twitter should begin grouping topics by using the hash symbol. The idea was initially rejected by Twitter, but according to mashable.com, citizen journalists began using the hashtag #SanDiegoFire, to tweet updates on a series of forest fires in San Diego.

Eventually, the hashtag became a trend in social media by allowing users to not only follow and organize, but participate in newsworthy events (#Remember9/11) or entertainment topics (#JustinBieber).

Why is a hashtag important?

Hashtags generate a form of self-expression and self-identity. If the hashtag is carefully researched and created to customize content, it can motivate users to join your movement and spread the views you support.   

But, if it’s redundant and ambiguous, users will get confused and you might become the laughingstock of the social media community. #Loser.

How can a hashtag benefit your business?

Using hashtags creates a self-sustaining identity. By creating a searchable signature, Hashtags can help brand your business and let others know what you specialize in. Did you just post something on Facebook? Hashtag it. Express your sentiments on Twitter? Hashtag that too.

By utilizing hashtags the right way, your business will be ranked higher and receive more feedback, conversation and questions from users.