Table of contents
  1. 1. Definition of hashtag
  2. 2. Overview and development of hashtag usage in influencer marketing
  3. 3. Advantages and disadvantages of hashtags
  4. 4. Relevance to influencer marketing
  5. 5. Best practices

Definition of hashtag

The term hashtag refers to a word used to categorize and topically identify social media content. Think of it as a keyword for the post. By including the pound identifier, the # symbol, in front of the keyword, the user adds the content piece to a navigable list. The id makes the content piece a part of an online collection with other content pieces using the same one and leads to more social media impressions

The hashtag has existed for 11 years and become one of the most powerful influencer marketing tools available. It can instantly align a brand with a trendy topic, a celebrity or a content topic. The tags used to become the keywords to describe a brand, individual or firm. For example, the tag #girlboss brings to mind a tough, business-minded woman, while #femmefatale brings to mind a vampish, sultry model or movie star. The tags can categorize information, too. For instance, tweets carrying #TurnAroundDontDrown pertain to a national campaign to get people to stop driving through flood waters. As a result, The hashtag has become a powerful tool for information gathering online. 


Overview and development of hashtag usage in influencer marketing

Twitter introduced the keyword id concept to social media in 2007. Eventually, the concept caught on and every social media network joined the fray. While Instagram and Twitter use them for information gathering, Facebook underutilizes them. It doesn’t offer a search for the identifiers. The user can access related content by clicking on the tag used in a post. Youtube and Pinterest also use the identifiers to collect related posts. Their function is more descriptive on those two sites though. Google Plus features them in the post, similar to how Twitter shows them. Using them on most networks leads to more social media engagements. 

Anyone sharing relevant, related content can add the brand’s hashtag to their content to include it with others. This means the brand’s influencers’ followers can also use the hash tags and further extend reach. The little pound sign with a word or two behind it carries powerful weight. It becomes the index listing in the Internet’s index. Users can even search for #hashtags in Google to find more information on the topic or whatever information follows the # symbol. 


Advantages and disadvantages of hashtags

Tagging done the right way can increase visibility, therefore reach. It makes it easy for people to find the content. 

However, if used inappropriately, it negates brand credibility. They can decrease your social engagements. 

It provides ready-made keywords for brand influencers to use. Influencers can use branded keywords to create an online collection of the brand’s and their collective posts. 


Relevance to influencer marketing

The tag used helps influencers engage with existing branded content and link their created content for campaigns. The tag identifiers require their own strategy, part of the campaign strategy within the marketing strategy. They also require analytics to track the performance of social media impressions. 


Best practices

Use helper apps to identify the tags the brand or company should use. Use Twitonomy to identify the tags often used for content topics the company posts to Twitter. RiteTag provides tag discovery with usage data. Hashtagify.me identifies trending Twitter keywords. Also, use the search mechanism for each social media to find appropriate tags on it. 

Research and use proper etiquette. Each social network differs. Instagram and Twitter use them to identify topics or describe content. On Facebook, the audience essentially ignores them so they do not lead to more social media impressions. The identifiers should fit the brand and its personality. Rather than relying on trends, stick to tags that function as keywords for your post content. 
Create custom tags for promotions and influencer marketing campaigns. 

Make the tags short, easy to remember and descriptive. This leads to more social media impressions. 

Use a headline case. That means to capitalize the initial letter of each word. It makes it easier to read multiple word tags. 

Use a custom tag for each Twitter chat the brand or company hosts. It helps build audience and engagement.