The ever so popular #hashtag was revolutionized by Chris Messina in August 2007 with his twitter tweet “how do you feel about using # (pound) for groups. As in #barcamp [msg]?” Since that time the #hashtag has been adapted to other social media platforms such as Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, Google+, and any other digital platform you can think of.

#Hashtags are a beneficial tool for businesses as they Increase Brand Awareness and create online engagement with your Target Market; Build Relationships with your Target Market because you can click on a #hashtag and see what your market is talking about and are interested in; as well as Increase Brand Loyalty by providing insight about your brand and allowing them to learn more about your brand history.

The great thing about #hashtags is the can be created specific to you and your brand. Although there are some General Rules you have to freedom to be as creative as you would like. You can create a #hashtag built specifically for your brand and then have sub-#hashtags for #contests,#giveaways, or #events.

Many brands today take full advantage of the use of #hashtags as a way to increase and promote their brand. One specific promotional use is through #contests, #giveaways, and #events. Most of the big name brands such as Starbucks, Disney, and Charmin, to name a few, use #hashtags to promote their brand during their #contests, #giveaways, and #events. When a brand is having a #contests they use the #ContestEntry words as a way for participants to enter, and view other entries, on a social media platform. The #contest developer will find a way to bring all of their social media platforms together for contestants to view the rules of the contest and the other entries.

When a Brand makes a decision to have a #contest, #giveaway, or #event and exploits the social media platforms to their advantage they are also reinforcing their Brand value to their Target Market and potentially reaching out to new customers through brand recognition. There have been many times when I have been on a social media platform and have seen many #contests throughout my news feed. Those #contests have helped me realize how many of my family and friends use a specific brand and in all honesty it has embedded brand value within me and on many occasions I have sampled various brands based on those values my family and friends have for the brand.

So yes, in my opinion, a #hashtag is a very beneficial tool that is used positively in todays marketing world. It helps brands bring their target markets together in a fun way while promoting their brand to potentially new consumers. So when you are looking to increase brand awareness and recognition it may be worth it to incorporate #contests, #giveaways, and #events into your marketing strategy. Yes, of course, those #contests are added expenses for your brand but I believe those costs are heavily outweighed by the positive expansion you will have.

#GoodLuck in your efforts to increase brand awareness and recognition, I am sure the right #hashtag will increase the your brand popularity.

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