Are you using hashtags in your social media posts? A hashtag is a word or an unspaced phrase with the pound (#) symbol in front. Hashtags were introduced on Twitter, but they can also be used on Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, and other social networking sites.
Hashtags make it easier for people to find and follow discussions about brands, events, and promotions. You can search for the hashtag and get the set of messages that contain it.
Hashtags can be inserted anywhere within a post: at the beginning, inside, or at the end.
For example, you can type #CanadaDay on Facebook and you’ll see all the posts that contained the hashtag #CanadaDay. Last year I posted this flag on Facebook and it was shared almost 12,000 times!
Many businesses use generic hashtags like #socialmedia or #business, so you can imagine how many people may see your update. But, you can also make up a word to use as a hashtag. A good hashtag should be memorable, unique, and relevant to your campaign.
Subway Restaurants had a #januANY campaign: if you included the hashtag on that day, you could get ANYthing from them in return.
Burger King used the hashtag #SATISFRIED and encouraged fans to upload photos of fries with the hashtag #SATISFRIED and post on Instagram. A unique hashtag is easier to track.
Chris Messina posted the first hashtag on Twitter in 2007, but was originally turned down by Twitter because “These things are for nerds. They’re never going to catch on.” Find out why he never applied for a patent: http://www.businessinsider.com/chris-messina-talks-about-inventing-the-hashtag-on-twitter-2013-11