Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Why #Hashtag? Because We Love It!

The first time I saw a hashtag was when I was a child watching Wheel of Fortune with my parents.  I asked what this symbol meant and my parents explained that it was the number sign.  Today it is so much more than just a number sign.  It has become how we index the happenings in our day-to-day lives.  I’m not sure how this trend came to play such a big role in social media, but I am pretty sure we have #Twitter to thank for it. 

Retailers are scrambling to incorporate hashtagging into their social media campaigns.  Why?  Because it allows them to track how many people are talking about them and respond accordingly.  It gets their names out there with little expense to the company; and if they are smart, they have recruited all of their team players as official hash-taggers of their brand.

One of the biggest hashtagging platforms right now is #Instagram.  Users are indexing pictures everyday with this tool to gain followers and stay on top of trends in products.  We have emotional attachment to the things that we purchase and can’t wait to show it off to our friends — and in many cases, even strangers.  If I want to see who is wearing the latest #ALDO shoes, I can do so by searching for the hashtag on Instagram.  Perhaps by doing so, I have also obtained some inspiration on different looks and styles.  This also gives people the opportunity to interact with others that have similar interests.

Employers are starting to encourage employees to use their social media in the workplace and employees are jumping on the opportunity.  They are excited to not only keep up-to-date on their viral connections throughout the day, but also to be contributors to their brand.  This is especially true for retailers in the fashion industry, where the employees have a passion for the products they are selling.  After all, that’s why most of them started working there. Well, that — and to get the employee #discount as an added bonus.

Marketing strategies are evolving on a daily basis, especially when it comes to social media and mobile technology.  If your target market has gone social, then you had better embrace the change. Resistance could result in the extinction of your brand.  Encourage your employees to interact with you and on your behalf.  It strengthens their loyalty to you and further builds on the foundation of your business.  And you will find that the younger members of your team really enjoy it!

Jump in with two feet first and have some fun!  #Just #don’t #get #too #hashtag #crazy!  Though a hashtag is now more than just a number symbol, too many of them can put people off and the right amount can help increase your customer base and have a positive effect on your overall sales. 

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