How to Use Hashtags for Marketing and Get Social Traffic

April 26, 2014 - Holly Cardew

If you use social media, you’ve probably seen hashtags. They’re everywhere!

Hashtags are ubiquitous for many reasons. One reason is because they’re really fun to use and people love including them in social media posts. Another reason is because they help people find things they love.

And it just so happens that you can use hashtags for marketing to help potential new customers find and fall in love with your online store.

A quick crash course: What is hashtagging?

If you’re not aware of what hashtagging is, here’s a rundown. A hashtag is a word or phrase written with no spaces and is placed after a hash (#) sign used to identify a specific topic. With hashtags you don’t use punctuation marks like commas and exclamation points, but you can use numbers.

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Hashtags first became popular with Twitter. On Twitter the hash (#) sign will turn words and phrases into searchable links. Your readers will be able to find your posts and photos based on the keyword or phrase used in the hashtag.

eBay is one example of a company that uses hashtags for marketing. The company uses #ebay — when you search #ebay in Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest or any social media platform that uses hashtags, all posts or photos that used the hashtag will appear.

Hashtags are also used on a ton of other social media platforms.

 

Use hashtags to group your photos

You can use hashtags for marketing to group and organise your photos.

Try using hashtags on Instagram, where you could use the hashtag #yourbrandnamehere when customers post photos about you. So if your customers want to see what other people are saying about you, they can just type in that hashtag and all related photos/posts will be visible to them.

You can also use hashtags to group your products. For example, if you carry apparel and shoes, you can create the hashtags #brandxapparel and #brandxshoes. If your customers only want to see and search for your apparel, all they have to do is use the hashtag #brandxapparel and all of your photos with this hashtag will appear.

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Use hashtags to create a buzz

You can use hashtags in your business to promote campaigns, events or contests.

Swatch, for example, created a promo on Instagram called #fromthestreets, where they asked people to send in their best photos that represent the streets. The winning photos were featured and winning contributors won the latest Swatch watch.

The promo not only turned into a huge contest, but Swatch also gained many more followers. They successfully created a buzz around their brand and their new campaign. Swatch now has more followers on Instagram than on Twitter.

swatch instagram winner

Use hashtags to get more followers

To get more followers or to let people with similar interests find you, we use content hashtags. These hashtags can be used for locations, products, events and lifestyle topics.

For example, if you are selling fashion accessories, you should use the hashtag #fashion in your posts. People who are into fashion can search for you and find your posts and photos.

It’s also important to interact with people who have your same interests. If you are on Instagram or Tumblr, when you search for the hashtag #fashion, make it a point to comment and like others’ photos so people will also notice and take interest in you. This is a good way to get more followers.

Using hashtags for marketing can be great for your online shop. Make sure to use hashtags relevant to you and your business. You do not want people to think you are spamming them if you use hashtags with no relation to what you are trying to sell or represent! Using hashtags the right way can get you the attention you want and need for your business.

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