Behold the #.
To some it is called the pound or number sign, but to today's social media raised generation, it's known as a hashtag.
A hashtag is a word or a phrase without spaces preceded with the # symbol and is used to group updates and easily search to see those updates on a social media platform. If you use social media at all, you've surely seen hashtags on websites like Twitter, Facebook and Google+. You can find brands marketing their hashtags as part of their digital marketing campaign, such as Coca-Cola and its #ShareACoke campaign.
Search social media, and it's clear to see that the power of the hashtag is real. Here's why you should use hashtags if you're using social media.
As a small business, social media is a great marketing tool for your agency and using a hashtag can enhance its effect.
If you run contests or giveaways on social media for your clients, it's a smart idea to start using a hashtag whenever you talk about your contest. A contest hashtag will engage your followers and allow you to monitor how well your contest is doing.
You should also encourage your contest participants to use your hashtag because when the participants use it, it then reaches their social media friends. That's a whole other group of people you wouldn't have reached without the hashtag.
Making a unique hashtag for your agency can increase brand awareness, especially if it's used consistently.
A hashtag works great as a unifier. If your agency has several offices with different social media profiles, using a hashtag like #ABCInsurance can help clients identify that although there are multiple profiles for the various offices, you operate as one brand.
If you sponsor or host live events, hashtags are a great way to promote and bring together all of the social media updates from you and your event attendees. People who missed the event or wanted to see what others thought of it could easily see what happened by following the hashtag.
If you're not ready to create and use your own hashtags yet, you should consider using hashtags that are already trending to your advantage.
Google+, Twitter and Facebook all will tell you what hashtags are trending at the moment. Click on one to check out the conversation, and join in by using the hashtag and adding your point of view on the topic. This is an easy way to humanize your agency and engage your followers.
Using hashtags can be a great way to join online discussions and connect with new people.
Do you currently use hashtags on your agency's social media pages? Has it worked for you? We'd love to hear more about it below.