Hashtagging for Business - The use of Hashtags Made Easy

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By Hector Cisneros

Want to get more business? Is getting found on the Internet a priority for your businesses? Are you suffering because you only have less than a thousand followers? Well, Hash Tagging may be just what the social media director in your company needs to extend your reach. In this episode of #WorkingtheWebtoWin.com, we will explore how to use and maximize your social media reach by using Hashtags. So, get ready to Hash Tag your way to success as we cover Hashtagging for business made easy.


Most businesses would like their businesses to be found on social media. However, with the increased use of filtering algorithms, this is becoming harder and harder. Read my article called “Is Facebook Losing Face with Business?” for recent changes in Facebook. Twitter and other social nets are also incorporating filtering algorithms as well, so this trend is not going away.

If you’re looking for a way to take your posts beyond your own following, using hashtags is a great solution. Adding a hashtag to your posts will broadcast them to anyone who’s following that particular hashtag.

Hashtags Were Designed to help Find Related Post
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For the uninitiated, “hashtags” were developed as a means to cluster tweets that are similar on Twitter. To initiate a hashtag, all you have to do is add a pound sign or hashtag (#) to any word or phrase. The trick is not to abuse the privilege. This means you don’t include more than one hashtag per post.

Hunting for business with Hashtags
Hashtags are very useful for finding prospects and vendors you need to connect with. You can search for hashtags on any subject you can think of. It's important to understand that both companies and individual subscribers use Hashtags when posting about something they are passionate about. Retweeting or reposting a person or companies Hashtag can be a way to get noticed. You can also thank people for using your Hashtag, and these tags can be the mechanism that gives you a reason to connect with the people and companies using them.

Hashtags Can Also Help You Find Interesting posts
The best part about hashtags is they’re like a two-way street so you can also use hashtags to research what others have posted under the same category in which you intend to post. All you’re required to do is click on a hashtagged word in any tweet, and you will be shown all other tweets in that category.

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Example: to the right, VegNews added the hashtag before the word “vegan” in its message. The word is now a link to search results for all posts containing “#vegan” in Twitter (and now, other sites that have begun using hashtags). You will also notice that any time you do a search on Twitter (and other social networks) the current related and other trends will be listed for your perusal. This is particularly true on Twitter and Facebook.

Hashtags are Everywhere
Today, hashtags are used on many social platforms. These include Twitter (where it started), Facebook, Google Plus, LinkedIn, Instagram, Tumblr, YouTube and other social networks. They can also be used in the Depop shopping app and can be used to drive traffic in eBay as well. If you do a search on Google that says, “How can I use hashtags on” then add a platform name – you will find hundreds of articles to help you maximize your hashtag usage.

It’s also a good idea to check to see if the hashtag you’re considering carries any weight. If no one else is searching for the subject, then it’s open for you to use and create your own trend. Of course, you will have to create the trend by providing a useful post with that hashtag, and you will have to share it with your followers.  How do you find out if a hashtag has any merit? Simply go to hashtags.org. You’ll find lists of the most popular tags. The site also provides a handy search box where you can enter your proposed hashtag and find out not only how many people will be using the tag, but also who last tweeted the hashtag and when. To get this analytical information you will have to log in and create an account. They also sell comprehensive hashtag analytics for individual, businesses, enterprises, and agencies.

The Care and use of Hashtags
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Used with care, hashtags can provide a helpful link for other users who are interested in the subject of your posts. Overuse can annoy, confuse or even frustrate followers to the point that they may choose to stop following you. The best policy is to use hashtags only to add value to the posts, rather than barraging the reader with tags. 

Also, don’t try and hijack other company’s hashtags. Doing so is considered bad form. It’s OK to use a hashtag on a generic word like “#marketing or #realtor,” but hijacking someone else’s campaign by using their hashtag to connect your product or company to that trend is considered a no no! It’s OK to post, “check out the latest #iPhone,” but it would be in poor form to post, “myabc company is launching a new xyz product today so we won’t be at #AppleLive.”

Straight from The Web
For example, let’s say you wanted to find out what Twitter users are talking about right now on the topic of Social Media. You can type the phrase “Social Media” (minus the quotes) in the Twitter’s search field, and you’ll get related results. You’ll notice from the above-linked results that “social media” is bolded but not clickable.

Now try searching for the hashtag “#socialmedia” instead. (Note: Hashtags have to be one continuous keyword, with no spaces in between words — and words aren’t case sensitive). This time you’ll find the hashtag “#socialmedia” is actually a clickable link. If you click the hashtag in any tweet, you’ll display a live feed of every tweet that has that particular hashtag in it. You can find the most up-to-date tweets by clicking the bar that says, “x new tweets.”

Twitter describes hashtag expressions as being “themes” for your tweets. In other words, when Twitter users include hashtags in their tweets, they’re deliberately assigned a unique theme to that tweet by virtue of its ability to link to all other tweets containing the same hashtag. Furthermore, users who include a hashtag in their tweets are assuming it will be searched by other users who are interested in the same topic.

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For the most part, hashtags can be used to search for the related social post in any of the social media platforms mentioned earlier in this chapter. In fact, you can even do a Google search using hashtagged words. Try Googling “#Workingthewebtowin.”

Have Your Posts Seen by Millions
Using “Hashtags” allows your posts to potentially be seen by millions of users throughout the world who are searching for a certain hashtag. This is a powerful tool because it allows your posts to be seen even by people who don’t normally follow you.

Start a Trend
There are even different classifications of hashtags, depending on their popularity. For instance, if a hashtag is used by thousands of users simultaneously, it becomes what is referred to as a “Trend.” Trending hashtags have the added benefit of appearing right on the Twitter homepage in the “What’s Happening?” section. Your “Trend” could be exposed to hundreds of millions of Twitter users! Also, hashtagged items in a post can show up in Google Trends (https://trends.google.com/trends/). A placed researched by millions looking for trends.

The Ins and Outs of Using Hashtags
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·         #Don't #spam #with #hashtags. That is, don't over-tag a single post. (Most recommend using no more than one or two hashtags per post.)
·         Use hashtags only in posts relevant to the topic.
·         Don’t Hijack hashtags used by other campaigns.
·         You may employ a hashtag anywhere in your post. For greatest impact, it should be employed as close to the beginning or end of the post as possible.

Here’s what your post should look like:
I’m Hector Cisneros. I’m an award-winning #Internet marketing consultant for Social media. Please connect with me on LinkedIn.

Here’s what you don’t want your tweet to look like:
My name is Hector Cisneros in Jacksonville, Florida. I’m an #Internet #marketing #consultant that specializes in Internet #results.

Make hashtags relevant – If you’re posting about tropical fish, don’t add #viralvideo to the post. If your post is about golf, make it #golf. Don’t use frivolous hashtags that are out in left field.

The Last Word on Hashtags
Properly researched and employed, hashtags can help you build followers and find followers, connect with other companies, broadcast your message to potentially reach millions of people. Abuse them, and you’ll be considered as nothing more than just another spammer. Go too far, and the abuse can get you unsubscribed. If you want to grow your following, increase your reach and succeed in social media, using Hashtags is a must. I recommend you start using Hashtags in all, if not most of your post. Doing so will greatly increase your social media reach and put your social posts on steroids.

That’s my opinion; I look forward to reading yours.

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This article provides details on the ins and outs of using Hash Tags in social networks. The article makes it easy for the reader to understand the purpose and use of Hashtags and explains how to use them to maximize your return from social media posting. The article includes links to other articles and resources for the readers use.

Please feel free to contact us with questions and or requests for articles you’re interested in by emailing me, at  hectorc@workingthewebtowin.com. We love reading what you think about the articles we publish. If you have a comment related to any of our articles, post them at the end of this blog in the comment section. If you would like to advertise on this blog (it receives 50,000 page views a month minimum) contact me by email.

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Hector Cisneros is COO and Director of Social Media Marketing at Working the Web to Win, an award-winning Internet marketing company based in Jacksonville, Florida.  He is also co-host of the weekly Internet radio show, "Working the Web to Win" on BlogTalkRadio.com, which airs every Tuesday at 4 p.m. Eastern. Hector is a syndicated writer and published author of “60 Seconds to Success.

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