The Beginners Guide to #Hashtags – and why you should start using them now

Some American blogs have recently reported the announcement by Google Search that hashtags will soon be featured on Search Engine Results Pages (for now only available in the USA and Canada). A hashtag is a word or a phrase (without spaces) preceded by the # symbol — for example, #Cooking — that helps people find and join conversations about a particular topic. Clicking on a hashtag will show related content.

Google recently announced the inclusion of this tool in its search results opening a new avenue for online marketers to assist in content marketing strategies. “It remains to be seen how popular this feature will be. Most users, I think, would probably prefer to see this feature work for Twitter hashtags. It’s doubtful that all that many Google users were clamoring for a better way to search for Google+ hashtags on Google Search, but maybe this will give this feature a bit more visibility.” reportedTechCrunch  in a recent post.

How does your institution or company benefit from hashtags in Google+

Plan and implement a #Hashtag Strategy

Radiumone recently reported that hashtags are more likely to engage readers – and 50% of the social media followers in the sample have agreed that they are more likely to follow posts and conversations using hashtags. They even reported a rise of 70% when using mobile devices or smartphones.

Research relevant hashtags

Start by researching what is popular with your prospective students or candidates. Start by analysing what they are sharing and join the conversation. There are numerous websites available where you can research relevant hashtags and find out what is trending. Always check that the hashtag you are planning on using is not already in use or associated with negative or derogatory comments.

Create a few hashtags

Associate your hashtags with your website keywords for optimum results. This can also be added as an additional tool to enhance search engine optimisation (SEO).

Flaunt your hashtags

Integrate them into your multi-channel marketing strategy and ensure that they are clearly visible in all your digital marketing activities. You can also increase your presence by re-using the same hashtags on sites such as Twitter and Instagram.

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