Why are all the young folks using the pound sign?
First off, the kids are calling it a hashtag and not a pound sign. While pressing pound helps you get to the operator quickly when placing a phone call to a large corporation, the hashtag in social media is a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#) that is used to identify messages on a specific topic.
Hashtags were made popular by Twitter in 2007, and have since been embraced by social networks including Instagram, Vine, Google +, Pinterest, Tumblr, and Facebook, according to top marketing firm Offerpop.
So, how does it work? When you click on a hashtag, you will be transported to a feed of all of the posts that are also using the hashtag, updated in real time. The World Cup just finished last month. If you saw #WorldCup2014 trending, you could click on that hashtag and see what people around the world were saying about the World Cup.
But, how is this information valuable to you as an emerging or established brand in the natural products industry? The hashtag is one of the new ways to communicate with your customers to establish brand loyalty. When you use social media tools and your customers use those tools as well, you increase your brand visibility to all of the people your customers interact with on social media. So, not only are you talking to your immediate customer, you’re also talking to the their Facebook friends, and their Twitter and Instagram followers.
There are different ways that you can use a hashtag. Do you want to introduce new or current customers to products? Consider providing a #coupon hashtag that gives information about a new promotion. Here’s some great advice from the folks at Offerpop:
“You should add a hashtag to all of your brand messages, whatever the medium: email, TV, paid search, print, even Jumbotrons. They encourage people to respond to your advertising. They help you spark conversations, get feedback, give answers and move consumers down the sales funnel. And their hashtagged posts appear in their friends’ feeds, helping you spread word of mouth.”
Search Engine Watch suggests using hashtags to drive engagement with your customers. "When compared to Tweets without a hashtag, tweets with hashtags showed 12 percent more engagement (RT, favorite or @ reply). Tweets that included a link and a hashtag, showed the highest engagement rate of any other type of tweet."
So, now you know what a hashtag is. The next step is creating the ideal tag that will get your customers engaged and talking about your product. That’s where Compass Natural can help. Our team of seasoned public relations executives and social media savvy team members will help you connect to your customers in this new language. Email, tweet or Facebook message us for a consultation to explore ways to develop loyalty among your consumers.