Hashtags have been a part of social media since 2007. The first hashtag was used by blogger and product consultant Chris Messina, who proposed it as a way to group or associate certain messages together. The hashtag was made a permanent part of the social media landscape when Twitter started to hyperlink hashtags in 2009, allowing users to click on a particular hashtag to see messages or tweets associated with it. Google and Facebook followed suit soon after. The hashtag has become a great way to associate your social media posts with a group, idea, or event, and thus, a powerful marketing tool for those in the know. How can you use hashtags to up your business’s social media presence? Read on to find out.
Hashtags work very much like keywords on websites. They are added to the end of a social media post by adding a pound (#) symbol to the front of a word or phrase without spaces. A hashtag serves as an indicator to both an algorithm and other users that your content relates to a specific topic or category. Hashtags make specific social media content easier to find for other users, and when used effectively, can greatly increase the reach of businesses to bring in new customers.
Here are five great ways to use hashtags to make social media marketing more effective:
- Local Hashtags. Using a local hashtag for your dealership’s primary location can make social media content easier to find for others looking for businesses in that area. For example, if your dealership is located in Nashville, adding #Nashville to the end of your post tells the platform’s algorithm that other users looking for businesses in that area might want to see your content. Hashtags can focus your marketing efforts on where they’re needed most.
- Trending Hashtags. Hashtags are a great way to attach your social media content to trends on various platforms, such as breaking news stories or events. A good example of using trending hashtags was the famous #IceBucketChallenge started by the ALS Association in 2014. Associating your content with trends like this can be a great way to reach customers outside of your area.
- Holiday and Event Hashtags. While hashtags are great for hyper-local marketing, they can also reach a wider audience by using tags with a broader scope, such as national holidays or seasons. For example, adding a #MemorialDay hashtag to your post during the month of May will make it visible to anyone searching for that tag. Tagging your post with events such as dealer conventions can also be a useful tactic.
- Keyword Hashtags. Any social media marketing likely includes some keyword research, so use some of the more popular keywords you’ve found during your prep as hashtags. Examples may include #buyherepayhere, #DealerName, or #NashvilleCarDealers.
- Brand Hashtags. Create a hashtag for your unique brand and add it to the end of every social media post you make. This places your brand name front and center, increases popularity and grows your brand identity with each post. If your dealership name is long, consider abbreviating the hashtag to make it easier to identify and remember.
The effectiveness of hashtags on social media varies by platform, so do your research before using them and watch as your exposure grows over time. If you need assistance making hashtags work for your business, consider speaking to one of the Social Media Specialists at The Automotive Advertising Agency. We can craft a comprehensive social media strategy that puts your brand ahead of the competition. Call us at 512-610-7300 or contact us at TheAutoAdAgency.com/contact/.