Hashtag trends, tools and tips continue to evolve through grassroots adoption and internet thought leadership.
Born as a method to connect with others through shared interests online in 2007, hashtags have since grown to become a powerful marketing and communications literary tool. Now earning a reputation as the new URL, it is important for marketing and communications professionals to stay current and consider the past, present, future #andbeyond of the hashtag evolution.
“In 1995, using an actual URL in advertisements was commonplace. In 2010 that evolved into Twitter and Facebook brand pages. Today, hashtags are the new URL,” – Chirpify Founder, Chris Teso, 2013
When used correctly, hashtags can increase content reach, build community, support marketing and branding efforts, promote events and support social activism. Most social networks support hashtags including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, Pinterest and Google+. Read on for recent marketing news and trends, useful tools, tips, and industry best-practices for hashtag marketing success.
Hashtags Marketing Trends Spring 2015:
- Hashtags Are Part of Our Vocabulary – “hashtag” was added to the Oxford English Dictionary last June and in August of 2014, about 42% of all tweets contained hashtags.
- Hashtags Grow Offline – Last week the Oxford University Press declared hashtag the “children’s word of the year” for their creative applications as literary emphasis tools in children’s stories.
- Instagram Now Supports Hashtag Emojis – Instagram is the first social media platform to support hashtagging emojis, this is huge news for hashtag evolution.
Up-and-Coming Tools For Hashtag Marketing:
- Tagboard – This Seattle based hashtag search and display platform company is pioneering hashtag marketing through aggregate hashtag dashboards at live events, broadcast television, sporting events and embedded website displays. In June of 2011, Tagboard welcomed Chris Messina, “the godfather of hashtag,” to their team of visionary internet thought leaders.
- HashtagSear.ch – This Santa Monica based company (still in beta), is owned by Totally.Dot and claims to be the first search engine for hashtags only with search results from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and Youtube. Their hashtag search engine can search up to three hashtags and displays results via tiles pulling from different social media channels.
Tips For Hashtag Marketing Success:
- Do Your Research – Before you use a hashtag on your campaign look it up to see how popular it is, what conversations are taking place and consider your audience.
- Be Unique – Tagboard suggests avoiding “common words or phrases that will produce a lot of social noise” and keep your hashtag visible for your intended audience.
- Build A Story Around Your Hashtag – Consider REI’s recent success with #rei1440project and give a purpose or story to your campaign surrounding that hashtag.
Past, Present #andbeyond
In the eight years since the idea for hashtags was born it has transformed communication culture both online and off, and it seems like things are just starting to pick up in speed. Check out the hashtag growth milestones infographic below featuring this ever-evolving communications tool and keep on the lookout for the future of the #hashtagevolution.