We have all seen the often used Hashtag (#) sign on social media posts, although it is possible that many of us do not really understand how it works and how helpful it can be.
A Hashtag is a label or sign on social media sites that makes it easy to find information or posts that have a theme or contain specified content. Hashtags are created by adding a sign (#) before a word or key, without space.
The world of social media usually has an information overload that easily results into users being stuck with too much information that eventually overwhelms them and they lose focus. Using a hashtag makes it easy to cut through the digital traffic and helps users to remain focused on the information they are interested in.
Over the recent years, hashtags have become a big part of Public Relations social media outreach. PR experts have got to understand that hashtags can help to spark conversations about the brand, content outreach, target audience engagement and make information easy to discover.
Hashtags help to indicate where one is posting from (#JinjaCity) or what is being talked about in the post (#happeningnow), they give a theme to the message. They have shaped and launched social movements and gatherings, earning them a trade mark of being symbols of definition in the Digital age.
According to David Olajide, a PR Consultant, Hashtags were first used in 2007 and slowly gained traction, before they suddenly went viral in 2009. At the start, they were mainly used by Tweeters, before they escaped to Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Youtube and other sites.
While designing a social media strategy for a public relations campaign, PR experts need to understand that coming up with that coming up with most suitable hashtag will attract new audiences and encourage public engagement. Customized hashtags help to showcase who you are as a brand and distinguish a brand from others, demonstrating brand’s core values, passions and revealing a clear image of the intended audience.
PR experts still need to understand that to effectively use hashtags, there is need to set SMART social media goals that fully align with their PR Plan. This will help shape your messaging, enable the right choice of images, at the best timing. The hashtags should align with the goals of the plan and must rotate around the topic of discussion.
It is always wise to keep it simple. Sometimes a topic may have more than one relevant hashtags. However, there is need to remain specific, to reach the target audience. Specific and focused hashtags make it easy to measure the success of a campaign and it easily achieves the proper kind of attention.
Hashtags can be used for all social media posts relating to topics like Fundraising campaigns, CSR, marketing, politics, charity among others.