The Hashtag - it quickly became a buzzword and can now be found in most social media settings - started as a simple idea back in 2007 when Chris Messina @ChrisMessina posted a simple message:
How do you feel about using (#) pound for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?”
Not only did Twitter not see the value in this, but it took years to catch on. The first big splash for the # sign was during the San Diego fires in 2007 when #sandiegofire, became the first viral hashtag.
Today it is widely used by not only Twitter, but:
and recently Facebook added the code to optimize the (#) hashtag symbol.
The first sign that the now infamous (#) was going to be a worldwide sensation was in July 2009 when Twitter started adding hyperlinks to every (#) hashtag group. With this one simple move Twitter created not just search functionality, but a whole new type of Twitter (#) community. Today there are (#) hashtag communities that schedule synchronized chat events that are attached to #chats. Titles like #landscapechat, #gardenchat, and #businesschat are now becoming regular weekly chat sessions, places to post your ideas, answer questions for others, and so much more.
Companies are creating complete marketing plans based around #ideas. For years we have put so much value on the keywords that we use for our websites - those keywords today are now being used as search words in social media. Now you can go to Pinterest and put in #girlsbows and a whole community comes up.
Let’s take a moment to look at how this simple little tag can help you and your business. This is just a brief look at some of the options available.
Create your own Chat
Find the keyword that best describes you and your business. If you have done a keyword evaluation, you will know what your most successful keywords actually are. (If you don't know, contact your website manager and ask them for the list. A well-researched, successful keyword list, can be used to define every one of your marketing plans.)
Once you have picked your chat name, start creating a series of posts, using your (#) hashtag. Post frequently with relevant information that intrigues others to join in. Don't be afraid to ask questions, and specifically ask for interaction. One of the best ways to find out what people are thinking & talking about is to simply ask them.
Create your own Buzzword
Once again, let’s take a look at those well researched keywords. Let’s find a keyword that has excessive amounts of monthly searches on the search engines. These can be found using your Google keyword tool. Now let’s turn that into a hashtag and start building great post, blogs, links, etc., using our brand new (#).
Spread the Hash around
Now that you have started your very own hashtag marketing plan on Twitter, try spreading it to all of your other social media. Just take what you have already started, copy it and add to it. You already have great links and images for Pinterest, just add your (#) to the description.
One of the biggest ways to catch your customers’ attention is with a simple 2 minute-or-less InfoVideo. These videos are simple & catchy, usually set to some really fun music, and very easy to post on your YouTube or Vimeo channels. Make sure your video has your (#) hashtag listed clearly in the description.
Also very popular and much easier to create is the infographic. This is usually a simple animation, using graphics that are eye-catching, and full of information that is relevant to your topic of discussion or keyword. This one is easy - all you have to do is post it on your website, blog, or network. Don't forget to add your hashtag to the Alt tag of your image, and once again, you have a searchable & measurable way to put your hashtag to work.