The more I am using hashtags in my social updates, the more I see the incredible power this tool has.  It allows people who are mutually interested in a topic through a keyword, to gather, albeit online, and have conversations.

For small business owners, the hashtags (#) represents an important social media strategy.

Hashtags famously started on Twitter, but now it is used on a variety of social networks, especially on Instagram.

Hashtag: What is it and what can it do for your business?

In social media, a hashtag is a word or phrase proceeded by the hash (#) or pound sign.

In social media age, the hashtag (#) is one of the most powerful tools to instantly connect or link a social media post to a group of others about the same topic in real time.

Marketers, sales people, social media managers and business owners use the hashtag (#) sign or symbol before a relevant keyword or phrase to draw attention and attract people who are interested or searching for such keywords.

Here’s a sample of my Instagram post using several hashtags:

Used correctly, hashtags help you get found online.  Although hashtags are more common with Twitter, Instagram, Google+, and Pinterest, I’ve seen it used on Facebook (but less).   Studies show that hashtags have no significant impact on Facebook.

How to use hashtags for your business

  • Own 1-2 hashtags for your business.
  • Use hashtags that are clear, easy to remember,  make sense, and that relate to your topic and brand.
  • Target local audience by using the name of the city. In my case, I use #Toronto
  • Use it to find people you want to connect with who are interested in the same topic.
  • Piggyback on popular hashtags to increase visibility and followers.
  • Use a hashtag to promote your sales special or campaign, such as #FridaySpecial #BlackFriday.
  • Lastly, use hashtags strategically and on purpose (not randomly).