There is a hilarious video on YouTube of Jimmy Fallon and Justin Timberlake emulating what a Twitter conversation would sound like in real life. 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 has the hashtag symbol in front of it. For example: #RateMyHorsePRO 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.
As 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 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 for Using 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 because it’s easy to spell and 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 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!
Jamie Samples is one crazy country chic with a passion for marketing and social media. She is known for her contagious energy and never-ending smile. She started her riding career on a Welsh Pony when she was about 2 years old. She has participated in disciplines such as western, hunt seat, jumping, showmanship and trail riding throughout her show career. From starting her own business at age 13, to being awarded the sportsmanship award at the World’s Largest All Breed Youth Show at 14, her passion for horses and business just skyrocketed. In 2011, she was selected to be the co-anchor of America’s Favorite Trail Horse, which aired on HRTV in September. She is 38-years-old now, still riding, president of her own company, Yellow Barn Media and still riding a Welsh Pony! She prides herself in bringing out of the box ideas to the equine industry through creative social media strategies. Her company offers one-on-one social media coaching & complete management, brand development, networking training and marketing consulting.
I am often asked about the most successful advertising/marketing options to ensure the highest visibility. The list of options is long, and can include print marketing, Google Ad words, social media, banner ads, word of mout... Read More