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I first became aware of hashtags circa 2009 when I was taking a social media course about using Twitter for organizations. They appealed to me for a lot of reasons, but primarily, I saw them as a way to get your message out to a wider audience, even if you yourself didn’t have a ton of followers. But while Twitter may have brought hashtags into the mainstream, today they apply to social media platforms across the board. Facebook, Instagram and even LinkedIn now recognize them in public posts. Here are some ways you can use them to your advantage when sharing your company’s message.

  1. Live-tweeting events: FGIA uses hashtags for our conferences and even our online webinars (#FGIAconf and #FGIAwebinar, respectively). Our tweets with these tags keep our followers informed about what the Association is up to and what topics our members care about.

  2. Getting organized: You can use hashtags to find like-minded people who are motivated to work toward achieving a common goal. Plus, you can organize them quickly over social media. If something happens legislatively and you want to find people who are on the same side of the fence as you, scour social media for hashtags related to that issue or legislation.

  3. Sharing with the industry: Use industry-specific hashtags to get out news and updates about your company. For example, if you are attending GlassBuild next week, make sure your posts about your new products include #GlassBuild and your booth number. Other industry tags include materials like #aluminum or things like #glazing.

  4. Promoting a new product: If you have a very special rollout happening soon, consider creating a specific hashtag to include in posts surrounding its promotion. Be consistent and use that hashtag every time your product is mentioned. Then, search Twitter’s results of that hashtag to see if industry media or customers have picked it up and what they have to say!

  5. Finding new customers: Customers use hashtags, too. It can be as simple as finding social media users who are asking for advice about #windows. Consumers use social media to get product advice all the time – be there when they reach out and look for you.

And now, for some bonus tips about hashtags:

  1. If you come up with a great hashtag, whether it is for an event or a product, do a quick search for it before you commit. Make sure it’s not already being used for something else!

  2. Don’t use spaces, punctuation or any kind of symbol in your hashtag. They won’t work or be hyperlinked if you do.

  3. Make sure your accounts are public. Otherwise, the hashtags and the posts you write won’t be seen by anyone who doesn’t already follow you.

  4. If your hashtag has multiple words, start each one with a capital letter. This is for accessibility purposes, so those who cannot see will hear each word individually.

I hope this was helpful! Let me know in the comments how your company has used hashtags to great effect.