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# I like Hashtags – they look like waffles

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Hashtags have become a prominent part of today’s technology and social media driven culture, it’s globally recognized and was added to the oxford dictionary in 2010 (#famous). It is therefore surprising to me that many businesses still don’t know how to use them or refuse to use them.

It seems like people are split between those who absolutely adore and obsessively use them to those who see them as spam and wouldn’t contaminate their posts with them.

To be honest, both sides have their ups and downs. For one hashtags have the ability of connecting your posts or tweets to the people that matter, your customers. It allows you to increase your visibility to an audience that doesn’t necessarily follow your feeds yet.

They can also be used to add a voice and feel to your posts, certain edge and brand awareness.

And yes there are always two sides to every story, which in this case is that hashtags can be abused (poor hashtags) to push spammy content into people’s feeds. I have noticed this behavior often on new brands that try to aggressively penetrate their market presence. This practice can come across desperate and can be more harmful than productive for your brand on social media. I mean who wants to buy a product of a person that seems desperate? Neither! ‘Hashtag bagging’ might give you attention for a short period of time but won’t help you to create positive brand awareness.

So on the positive side let me tell you how hashtags can help you to create a positive awareness around your brand!

Lets say your social media profile is public and you use a hashtag (e.g. #quoteoftheday) other users who search for this hashtag are able to find your post. Its like a inbuilt search engine and using the right hashtag can greatly broaden the reach of your posts to potential fans, followers or customers. Hashtags can help you to check out what the competition is doing by comparing industry relevant tags e.g. #marketingnews #brandchat it is viral to know what your competition is up to in order to stay one step ahead and hashtags make this process a whole lot easier! Using hashtags on Facebook or Instagram is an easy way to get involved with relevant industry conversations. Networking and building relationships with industry relevant partners is made easy with hashtags.

Another attribute of using hashtags is that it can help your brand to be recognized. Using familiar hashtags on all platforms helps you to create awareness for your brand as well as create credibility for your brand.

A hashtag if used correctly can help you to get likes, leads for your business and credibility for your brand, so really what are you waiting for? Smack your finger on that little waffle look alike #.

For more information email nami@marketingfuel.co.nz #letstalk #goodtimes !