They once only infiltrated the Twitterverse, but since the popularity of them became apparent they have started to surface on every social media platforms. From Facebook to Instagram to Tumblr – hashtags are being used in a capacity that never has been done before.
So what’s the point? Are they just there to annoy those who seem to already have a disregard for social media? Where did they stem from? And what can we use them for?
According to About.com, the history of hashtags began as early as 1988 on a program called Internet Relay Chat for doing the same thing that they are being used for today – grouping topics into relevant categories that pertained to one another. When Twitter was created in 2005 the new social media site saw how something of this could be used in a unique way. And thus, the hashtag became it’s own entity.
The conceptual idea of hashtags is a genius one, and a lot of brands have increasing seen the potential that hides behind this little character. It’s a great asset when attempting to monitor one’s social media campaign – something that was not prevalent during traditional marketing plan implementations. Before there seemed to be an up-in-the-air mentality on whether or not a campaign was getting the traction that one wanted. Was that commercial being viewed? And by who? Did it have an impact? Now, and this was especially true in this year’s Super Bowl commercials - more than 57% of the ads used them, hashtags are being incorporated into the actual commercial – encouraging the demographic to get on their smart phones and have a conversation. Brands can then go back and just by clicking that link see what is being said about them. It really is creating monetary value in the usage of social media – investors AND clients like that.
There are tons of tools available to monitoring hashtags specifically. Steam Feed highlighted 21 of the Best #Hashtag Tools to use, though the article was written back in November of 2013 new tools are being created everyday – as it is with the rest of technology and social media.
Learning how to correctly use this little character on your keyboard is a vital asset in this growing market tactic – it can physically allow you to watch your campaign grow and spread through the world wide web.