A simple symbol, the hashtag or #, has solidified its place on many popular social media sites starting with Twitter and migrating onto Facebook, Google+, and YouTube. It offers a simple way to group conversations or ideas in a very large social space. Many businesses are expanding their reach with multi-channel marketing and the hashtag can connect those efforts. Similarly, Microsoft partners can benefit by harnessing the power of the hashtag.
As indicated in “What The #Hashtag Am I Supposed To Do?!,” written by Barbara Pfeiffer from The Partner Marketing Group, the hashtag makes a word or phrase searchable in a seemingly endless sea of online conversations. Major social sites, including Twitter and Facebook, use them today and their ease of use will likely extend onto other online communities, including LinkedIn and Instagram. Microsoft employees, partners, ISVs, customers, and others can use hashtags to organize posts by creating a single thread of conversation around a unique topic. For example, you may have seen #CONV15 used to join vendors and attendees at the Microsoft Convergence event in 2015. This hashtag was used to advertise the conference, connect participants in conversations about activities at the event, and to extend conversations after the event. Here are a few tips that will help you understand the mighty hashtag:
- Put the # at the start of your word or phrase.
- Don’t use spaces in your phrase and use uppercase letters to make your phrase readable. For example, #LearningToUseHashtags
- Different platforms have space limitations and your hashtag phrase may count against your word count. Avoid lengthy phrases that take up the space and make it harder for peers or customers to share.
- You can use numbers but avoid punctuation and symbols.
- Combine hashtags if space allows. For example: Meet us at #rocknrave at #GPUGSummit.
As Barbara suggests, you can take the ‘follow the leader’ approach and participate in a conversation by using the hashtag that has been created for a special event or conversation such as #CONV15. If you are starting your own conversation, you can define or register your hashtag with the free tools offered at www.twubs.com and www.hashtags.org. This process makes it easier for people to find and participate with the right conversation or thread.
Hashtags are a bit mysterious until you get used to the process, then they can be a powerful way to connect with prospects and customers as well as strengthen marketing campaigns. Contact The Partner Marketing Group for more information about using the hashtag in your future marketing efforts and for other marketing support and advice.