In Defense of the Hashtag
The marketing world moves fast. When it comes to trends and best practices it can be overwhelming to keep up. That’s probably why you hired (or are considering hiring) a dedicated team of marketing professionals, like us, to guide you. Whether talking SEO, social media graphic sizes, or whatever the newest evolution of ‘Stories’ you trust us to know what’s current, what strategies are important, what’s going to get you seen and convert those eyeballs into consumers.
With each new introduction of a trend, we discuss as a team whether our current process needs to be updated or continued. We recently had this type of conversation about the use of hashtags (not pound signs) in social media posts. Not about how many to use, although that is always up for debate, but whether or not people actually use or pay any attention to the catchphrases we try to cleverly craft.
Our team is comprised of men and women, parents of human and fur children, and a variety of ages. With passion, all of us agreed that we DO use hashtags. Not just as marketers, but as consumers. Here’s a few ways I learned my peers use hashtags in their free time.
Several on our team said they search hashtags when doing research. Whether it’s while shopping for a new car or looking for the best place to eat in a new town, hashtags help us cut through the clutter and find information.
Hashtags help me connect and learn from my preferred communities. Whether I’m trying to help my son with a tae kwon do form or supporting a small shop, a hashtag can quickly guide me to an appropriate group. They make the World Wide Web feel more accessible.
Virtual Shout Out
Related to community, but still a separate use, hashtags help us spread the love. When we discover a product or service we like, we’ll use hashtags in our personal posts to publicly announce our joy.
From a marketer’s standpoint
Hashtags are not a trend. They’ve been around for more than a decade now and they are everywhere! While once considered only for Instagram, even LinkedIn has embraced the culture of a hashtag. They are a quick and fun way to boost your post.
I believe they do help your post get seen by more people.
I believe your brand or product is more likely to be discovered organically by a buyer that fits your buyer persona. Bonus – you might even be discovered by a consumer closely related to your persona that you weren’t originally targeting.
I believe hashtags aid in your positioning.
I believe they add to your voice and personality.
I believe they help in word-of-mouth and UGC marketing tactics.
Simply put, I believe they are #NotDead.