We’ve all seen hashtags. For some people, they equate to trendy behavior or a passing fad. If used correctly, they are a tremendously useful branding tool. Hashtags are a word or phrase preceded by a hash or # pound sign used on social media posts that make it easier to find information with a theme or specific content. If used correctly, hashtags will help you reach your target audience. So, why jump on the #Bandwagon? Why take the time to research what the particular hashtag you are using actually links to? It’s simple, you are protecting your message. You are practicing Brand Management.
What happens if you use irrelevant or worse, inappropriate hashtags in a social media post? A worst-case scenario is that it could create negative sentiment around your brand. Additionally, it could theoretically make it much harder for your future posts to have the organic reach that you intended with your chosen hashtags. Ultimately, negative sentiment equates to SPAM. No brand wants their message to be perceived as unsolicited or undesired by anyone. Authentic posts with relevant topics and hashtags are a solid combination to reach your intended audience.
Social Media today requires consistent messaging to actively reach your target audience. Including the appropriate hashtags in your messaging will get your posts into the feeds of audience members who may not have heard about you yet. On certain social media channels, your hashtag automatically becomes a clickable link. Anyone who sees your hashtag can click on it and be brought to a page featuring any recent posts or photos that contain that particular hashtag. Your post and any other posts associated with that hashtag should be consistent with your intended message. It is well worth your time to research your hashtags. Using them appropriately and consistently will position your brand favorably in a busy social media universe.