Understanding The Dos & Don’ts Of Hash-Tagging!
Gone are those days, when the ‘#’ was just another button on the telephone dial pad. Nobody knew its precise use. These days that’s history for the reminiscent. So much so, that hashtags have become so popular they were included in the Oxford Dictionary in 2010 along with the Scrabble Dictionary on 2014.
The social media has taken up the whole world by a storm. There could hardly be anyone except those living under a rock all this while, to not know what this symbol means. But despite that being a fact, it is tragic to witness that the generation of internet savvy are actively misusing this effective element without realizing its true potentiality.
What is a hashtag?
The symbol of hashtag (#) is a pound sign which is used by all kinds of social media platforms including the likes of – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and more. But what is the idea behind tagging words and phrases?
As per statistics, Twitter is the foremost social media platform which has made the most strategic utilization of hashtags. They have been able to group the most popular phrases and words to bring about the best of what is trending and that ensues all over, transcending the different social media networks. This way more users get to know about the issue, affairs and other events be it funny or tragic.
Facebook in a way also emulated this trick and have their most popular stories piling up on the platform. Thus, it is understandable that Instagram would be the next to follow suit.
In fact Instagram the popular photo sharing social platform also allows using of hashtags, and has in fact mastered the system more than Facebook. Relevant pictures are grouped with popular tagging and are fed to users through search queries.
A brief history of hashtags:
It was the year 2006, when Twitter first surfaced on the World Wide Web. The whole idea behind it was very unique so, it gathered popularity of the netzen quite fast. This was a medium that opened the gates of social media networking which was an unfamiliar term back then.
Twitter was the pioneer in introducing hashtags, but at the time who could even imagine that its popularity would explode to tire our thumbs when uploading any post in 10 years henceforth. It was 2007, that this social media platform began using the hashtag symbol in front of words to build groups. Soon enough this trend took off with the users back then. So, Twitter started hyperlinking these hashtagged phrases which started the use of the first ever hashtag in its truest form.
Where are marketers going wrong with hashtags?
It is the human way to follow any trend up to its last drop. People follow them blindly regardless of paying heed to the fact if they are doing it embarrassingly wrong. So, the case was no different with this ingenious social media tool.
We bet you must have seen a few funny hashtags like – #nevermind, #justkidding or #happyme. But truth those are not even the closest to being used right. These people are so keen on tagging hash in front of their random thoughts, they overuse this symbol wherever they want. These random odd thoughts comprise of words that no one would ever search for.
Lost visibility and relevance of really good content under a pile of useless hashtags! Such a fallacy can even lead to the posts being treated as spam. Social media has also grown smarter as so many people misuse hashtags. They can now identify useful hashtags from spammy ones and can filter them out.
How to use hashtags as a great tool for social media campaigns:
Businesses can leverage their social media presence with effective use of hashtags, which is a great way to reach target audiences. Everywhere on the World Wide Web searches take place. All search engines are now smart enough to understand hashtags and can deliver appropriate results based on the input query. Thus, it is evident that hashtags can indirectly influence your Search Engine Optimization strategies.
How it works:
The concept hashtag campaigns are based on is simple. The more people use a particular hashtag the more will be the amount traction it gains and the higher it gets ranked in search results.
How? When more people start using that particular hashtag all the posts that contain the same are grouped together. Simply clicking on the hyperlinked hashtagged words will take the users to all posts which have that hashtag. These posts will be listed according to time. So, make sure when you use a hashtag, it remains relevant and meaningful for that post. If you use too many complex words in your hashtags then it may risk losing coherence and may turn it into spam. A spammy hashtag or a bashtag as they are called, can be counterproductive to your social media efforts.
Hashtags are more than just funny words placed together out of context. They are essential tools for social media marketers and digital marketing personnel. When used efficiently they can create proper awareness and increase visibility about a topic on social media channels. But they should be used with caution. With increase in use, it will lead to a social media buzz that can very quickly boil over, but its misuse can lead spam-tags which will have detrimental effects on your social media marketing efforts.