There are hundreds of marketing terms getting thrown around and new ones every day. Selfie, Meme, Gif, the list goes on and on. These terms are usually described using marketing jargon that can be extremely confusing.
Today, let's break down one of these terms simply...the "hashtag."
Think about what you last Googled. Maybe it was, "best Los Angeles date spot." What you saw next was a list of results. How does Google know which results to give you? There are many technical ways they decide, but one way that is useful to you is the hashtag. I'll bet that within your results was a piece of content that contained a hashtag similar to what you searched. For example, maybe someone tweeted that same day, "My wife and I loved our dinner at Gusto #LAdatespot." Since this person used a hashtag that was similar to what you typed into Google, it's likely this tweet will be one of your results.
Hashtags are used to classify and categorize content on social networks. It makes it easier for people to search for your posts by the designated hashtag terms.
So how does this relate to your small business? This is the important part, and I'll use one of our current clients as an example. The client is a pizza place in the city of Yorba Linda who complained about their business falling on page 3 of google results for "yorba linda pizza." We launched a campaign introducing hashtags likes #pizza and #yorbalinda within the company's social media posts. This, along with other tactics, improved the search result rankings over time.
To bring this back to the basics, use these simple steps when using hashtags:
- Decide which key words your target customers will be searching online.
- Use these keywords in the content you post on social media. Be sure to add a pound sign (#) in front of the word, which tells the website that this is a term you want to be found by.
- Keep it up! Hashtags are being used by millions of people every day. Make sure you are working hashtags into every post.
- Don't over do it. Use 3-4 hash tags at most. Using more than this clutters your post and lessens the chance the viewer will read the entire post.