Everywhere you look, Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to name a few, hashtags are being used to curate content, build a community, and amplify campaigns around various topics, events, and brands. This hashtag symbol has taken over the social media world with it becoming a part of our everyday dialogue. A company that knows how to properly use this symbol in their online conversations can expect to see a growth in followers and the potential for those followers to become actual customers. With that being said, if your business is not yet on the hashtag bandwagon to better connect with consumers it’s missing a digital opportunity to grow business and missing this chance is a #fail. Here are some helpful hashtag tips that will enhance your marketing strategies:

Hashtags Promote your Brand

Hashtags give a brand greater visibility on social networking sites. They create searchable content for social users to click and explore. This appeals to consumers because they get to see feedback from other social users, which generates brand interest. Hashtags that are used less as a message and more as a call to action lead to greater brand engagement. Instead of hashtagging every word, it is important to create a single hashtag that can generate positive feedback, like Coca-Cola’s #ShareACoke campaign. In just a few short months, this campaign reversed the decade long decline in Coke consumption. Not only did Coca-Cola print more than 1 million personalized cans this past summer, but the campaign’s website also let visitors type names to make “virtual” Coke bottles that they could share on social media. This was a huge success as well, with more than 6 million bottles shared. Just to show how far this little symbol has come, agencies dedicated to hashtag campaigns are popping up. Even corporate marketing departments now staff people whose primary function is to create hashtags and track their usage.

Hashtags Generate Loyal Customers

Because marketing has moved from a personal face-to-face communication style to a more digital communication style, it is important now more than ever to maximize customer loyalty. Customer loyalty is marketing’s Holy Grail. Building a relationship with customers is guaranteed to pay off because it secures their faithful return. Using hashtags allows your business to reach beyond your loyal customers so that your content is viewable by anyone who has an interest in your hashtag. According to SearchEngine.com, hashtags help drive engagement. When compared to tweets without a hashtag, tweets with hashtags showed 2X more engagement. However, you need to be cautious when choosing a hashtag. Studies show the shorter and more concise a hashtag is the better of a response it will generate. Another helpful tip is not to overuse the symbol because this will have an adverse effect and scare off consumers.

Hashtags Generate Sales and Income

Giving a brand visibility allows for more consumers and with more consumers comes greater sales and revenue. Creating a successful hashtag campaign can put an unknown company or brand on the map in a matter of hours. When a hashtag generates a social following, there is no telling just how huge this following could become. Take, for instance, #BreakTheInternet. This hashtag originated when celebrity Ellen Degeneres took a selfie with ten other celebrities while hosting the Emmy’s. This selfie blew up social media and for a moment actually broke Twitter. Kim Kardashian and Paper Magazine later teamed up and used this hashtag to promote her cover photo, which generated a massive amount of feedback and publicity and of course, made them big bucks. Tactics like this show just how influential and successful hashtags can be when it comes to marketing strategies.

One thing is for certain: tactics like this show just how influential and successful hashtags can be when it comes to marketing strategies. Millennium Integrated Marketing is no stranger to proper hashtag usage and I’m always available to chat social media strategies. Feel free to email me, Jess Chabot, at jchabot@mill-im.com or let’s strike up a conversation on Twitter.