The hashtag is a ubiquitous word on the internet and was even declared word of the year for 2012. The ingenious method of linking all things under the same topic with the humble “#” symbol has taken over the wired world. It was first used in the earliest Internet Relay Chat programs in the early nineties. Its purpose was to create groups or channels where users joined in conversations in the vast network of IRC.
However useless the IRC chat groups seemed back in the days of dial-up internet, it paved way for the evolution of the hashtag’s use in the popular social network, Twitter. Nowadays, when people simply want to know what people are saying about a certain person or issue, they simply type in “#” plus the keyword so that all related posts come up on Twitter. The hashtag is also used in Instagram, Flickr, Google and Tumblr among others. Facebook seems to be the last of the popular social networking sites to realize how important hashtags are. But it’s not just Mark Zuckerberg who is last to acknowledge the hashtag. Most business owners have not embraced the symbol fully. Here are four reasons on how businesses and consumers can utilize hashtags.
- Using the right keywords has always been the secret behind internet marketing. Hashtags serve as the SEO for Twitter, Facebook and other networks. With the team up of the hashtag and social network, advertisers could easily be included in the related searches result with equal opportunity as other big companies.
- When wanting to target a specific community or consumer, a hashtag is the best and latest marketing tool there is. For instance, someone has a product that promotes hair growth. He simply includes #hairgrowth or #hairthickener and even #balding to his post. People who need his products would also be searching for these keywords and eventually be directed to the seller’s business site.
- People tend to rely on product reviews before purchasing a product, especially when it comes to technology. But some reviews are not so reliable. When wanting to know more about a product, people simply read the collected posts under a hashtag. This way, there’ll be more honest information directly from the consumers who are not paid to write product reviews.
- Hashtags can make the job for market researchers and brand developers easier. The internet has allowed people to express what they want and most of that expression gets hashtagged in social network groups.