#What #is #a #hashtag?

Hashtags are everywhere. Nowadays every social media platform, and even ads, has references to these words or group of words that are after the “#” sign (i.e. #msmdesignz) used to categorize posts.  They achieved fame on Twitter, where they were widely used for “tweet” chats, and now you can spot them in Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, and lastly Facebook (you saw that coming right?)

As marketers, advertisers and business owners, we can use hashtags strategically to help our business gain exposure on social media. They can really help increase the engagement of a brand in a certain market when used correctly. Also, in platforms like Google, these are searchable on their search engine; users can search a trending hashtag, for example “ThrowbackThursday” or “TBT” and get relatable results.



  • Hashtags are suitable elements for inbound social media marketing strategies; they work on several different platforms.
  • These are significantly useful for social media; they are traceable, which is great for marketing research, and have the potential to reach a wider audience.
  • Hashtags make marketing quick and concise; if you click on a hashtag you’ll see every tweet related to it in real time.


  • The popularity of certain hashtags can make it difficult to track what a specific person said
  • On Twitter, they occupy space as it was a regular word, which limits your capacity to write actual content. A turnaround to this is to integrate the hashtags into the content construction. (Example: We’re so glad it’s #Friday!)
  • Once you write content that includes a hashtag, nobody can delete it from the internet; be careful with what you say and how you say it.

The key is to use them as tools for your social media campaigns in a strategic way, so results can be tracked and derived from it. Hashtags are great tools for business, especially small businesses with limited advertising budgets who are seeking a good way to stay relevant in digital conversations. Proper usage of a trending hashtag can be the difference between having regular engagement or creating something viral. But, how can you make that happen? We thought about three main strategies that can be used to improve your results.

1. Brand your campaigns and events

When creating a campaign that involves digital, it is imperative to craft a #hashtag to be used along. These help create the buzz that digital campaigns need. You can create hashtags based off of your company name (i.e. for our company, MSMDesignZ a good hashtag can be #MSMDesignZ); also, you can create hashtags with your company tagline (i.e. our company’s tagline is “Join the Creative Revolution” which will make “#JoinTheCreativeRevolution the hashtag).

They can also be campaign specific (i.e. if a campaign’s premise is “Follow Your dreams” and your posts will be regarding situations in which people have followed their dreams, you can use “followyourdreams” or “ifollowedmydream” to engage with customers); and event specific (i.e. if you are going to create a 50’s inspired party, this will be a great way to use the approach: “Join us for our #50sparty tomorrow!)

Nike uses #JustDoIt and #Nike as branded hashtags.


2. Hashtag your content

A content hashtag is one that you insert in a post. These are not branded and generally are not trending, but if somebody searches for the word your post is very likely to be seen. They improve the SEO of the posts (i.e. if you are creating content about wine, you can type something like: “this is #chardonnay #wine”). Some of the hashtags that you can use are related to the event that you are mentioning, the location of the place you’re in, the lifestyle that you wish to represent or that your target has, or the product you are advertising.


Example of Product Hashtag (“#Chardonnay”)


3. Use trending hashtags

Have you ever seen these hashtags: #ThrowbackThursday or #Selfie? These are all time trending hashtags and have been so famous lately that they’re considered part of pop culture now. You may be asking, how can you use these for your business? Simple! Post content related to the meaning of these hashtags and put it into the message. It’s important to know the meaning of the hashtags you are using so the content you post has something to do with it. A good source to find out which content is trending is through Twitter and Facebook, since they both provide a “trending” section.


Facebook and Twitter trending #Hashtags, integrate them into your content.


So start now and use hashtags! Keep your brand voice current and enthusiastic, engage with your public and create trends. The results will be more brand awareness, buzz, and maybe generation of viral content!

What do you think about hashtags?

Do you know any other benefits of using them?

Clayra Morales is a digital media intern at MSM DesignZ, Inc. MSM DesignZ is a full service advertising and design firm based in Westchester County, New York.