From Facebook in 2004, Twitter in 2006 and Instagram in 2010, the use of the hashtag grew quickly across all three major platforms. Hashtag popularity began to pick up on the internet around 2009 and now is a key factor in marketing techniques today. Hashtags developed from inside jokes among peers, into a way for marketers and brands to grow their audience, categorize and more.
When it comes to marketers and brands, seeing your engagement levels on posts and followers increasing is always a great indication that your content is resonating with your audience. With this in mind, a great way to grow your audience reach would be hashtags. Although small, the symbol has a ton of power.
Hashtags allow your content to be discoverable, providing an outside reach for anyone searching under that topic. For example, the left photo below was posted in 2020 and had one hashtag but no keywords highlighted. The photo to the right was posted in 2021, including hashtags and similar keywords. Take a look for yourself, the numbers don’t lie.
One of the benefits of hashtags is allowing your posts to be collected under popular categories. As of January 2021, some of the most popular hashtags used in marketing and brand development are #project and #newpost across Facebook, Instagram and Twitter.
When it comes to a brand, you know your audience, keywords, and their interests for your content. Using hashtags to categorize your posts and content is key in watching growth on your platforms. By using keywords specifically for your audience, you can easily group and locate top performing posts for research. B2B best practice is to include popular hashtags along with your keywords relating to your post. This way your post is included with trending hashtags, but standing out in comparison to competing brands.
For some B2B marketers, brand awareness is a large goal. If so, having branded hashtags is always an option. Make sure that your branded hashtags are unique and not used in other conversations on your perspective platforms. Sometimes a hashtag may be free on one platform, but used on another. A best practice for branded hashtags is to create them specific enough that across the board they are free to use.
Having branded hashtags allow conversations and collaborations to work in your favor. Overall, hashtags can improve your audience reach, locate topics and categories that relate to your posts and allow your brand to be more marketable.
Although hashtags have been around for over a decade, their relevance in B2B marketing should not be overlooked. Enjoy posting and #startreaching.