Horses and #Hashtags for Equestrian Marketing stock photo © Larry Lamsa

Horses and #Hashtags for Equestrian Marketing

by Jamie Samples

The Dollars and Cents Sense of Hashtags

There is a hilarious video on YouTube of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake emulating what a Twitter conversation would sound like in real life (check it out below). The whole conversation consists of the two saying the word hashtag before every other word.
While funny, it drives home a good point.  Many people are confused by what hashtags are and why they are used. They can play a huge role in your marketing strategy when utilized correctly.

So what is a hashtag?

A hashtag is a keyword or keyword phrase without spaces that have the hashtag symbol in front. 
For example: #HorseAuthority or #HorseShowTips

What does a hashtag do?

Very simply put, hashtags make your content searchable. They allow you to add your own content to a larger content stream that is made up of conversations on a particular topic, using the hashtag. If you are using Twitter, even if you are not connected with another user, they can connect with you based on the hashtag you are using or searching. You can search Twitter and Instagram specifically for a specific hashtag and it will bring up everyone that is talking about and using that hashtag.

When hashtags are being used, the most popular Twitter hashtags will often become trending topics, which just means that the hashtag is being used in large numbers by many users. Hashtags are really helpful if you are trying to focus on conversations around specific events or products.
One good example of a trending topic is #throwbackthursday. Many of you have done it yourself or seen it done where a photo is shared from years back and used the hashtag #throwbackthursday to signify the photo was taken years ago. It’s fun, but when looking at it from a marketing perspective it can really be beneficial.

Best Practices: Horse Business Hashtags

1. Keep it short – The use of mobile devices is through the roof, so when choosing a hashtag to use for your business select something easy to type, spell, and remember.
No one wants to type out something like #PtHaPHBAAphcABRAcolorcongress. A great hashtag for the 2015 Color Breed Congress could be something like #ColorBreedCongress or #2015Congress.

2. Select a hashtag that is original – You can do a search on Twitter for hashtags. Search for the hashtag you want to use and see if it is being used or if it’s unique. You want to know for sure your hashtag is unique to you. For example, I use the name of my business as a hashtag. It’s easy to spell, remember, and no one else is using it.

3. Select Industry keywords – You can use a tool called Hashtagify to find words that are trending for your niche and then choose one that best applies to your business.
Try and use two to three maximum. Instagram etiquette makes it acceptable to use up to 10+ hashtags on your post; however, for Twitter, you really want to limit yourself to use no more than two to three.

#Hashtags for Horse Lovers (like you)

Hashtags are another tool as you build your marketing strategy. As always, we are here to help. We have tips and helpful marketing strategies on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Here’s to a wonderful month of growing your horse business!