Hashtags have been around since the dawn of creation, otherwise known as 1988. Back in the 90s, hashtags had a more utilitarian purpose: indexing conversations in chatrooms so users could find the topics they wanted to read about.
But, since then, the hashtag has been reborn like a phoenix rising from the dust of the chatroom. Today’s hashtags are modern signposts that perform the very important job of helping people find their tribes on social media.
Remember the Arab Spring in 2010? The hashtag was responsible. #ArabSpring
Remember Occupy Wall Street? Hashtag again. #OccupyWallStreet
Hashtags like these can rally people, unite them, and launch movements that change the world. It all started with a fire in San Diego. #SanDiegoFire became the beacon of information for a scattering, frenzied crowd looking for updates, news, and missing loved ones.
So, the tiny tic-tac-toe board that we now know as the hashtag was created as an organizational tool, and today it’s become the symbol of everything we want out of life.
The tiny hashtag is now a very big deal, which means, of course, that businesses should tap into its power when they do any type of social media marketing.
A few things about hashtags that create real impact:
They’re self-created. (#GivingTuesday)
They’re original. (#IceBucketChallenge)
They say it all in one tiny phrase. (#BringBackOurGirls)
They inspire. (#ReachHigher)
They relate. (#ThingsThatGiveMeAnxiety)
They connect. (#GameOfThronesFan)
Ripe for use in marketing, wouldn’t you say? Companies who’ve used self-created hashtags are drawing attention to their brands in ways that make their followers see them in a new, better light.
They show creativity.
They display a sensitivity to what your followers want.
They show that your brand is a culture, too, with ideas and thoughts and vision…not just a store.
They also give happy customers an easy way to share relevant content about your awesome brand (#WantAnR8) (#WeAreAllbirds) (#ShareACoke)