The True Value of a Hashtag

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So often we see hashtags smattered about all over the web, on TV, in print, but do we really understand the true value of this marketing tool?

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Hashtags are everywhere.

They are all over your Twitter feed, they appear in Pinterest pins and on Instagram images and now they are even being adopted by Facebook.

But do you know what makes them so valuable?

The great thing about hashtags is that they are great for search but also for monitoring mentions of your brand or event.

Create a unique hashtag and promote it and you can measure the exposure you are generating by monitoring that hashtag.

Cool, huh?

Another good use of the hashtag involves generating a response from your target audience.

I recently saw a message broadcast on TV show The Following whereby viewers could win a special “prize” item from Fox if they tweeted the specified hashtag.

And it doesn’t have to be broadcast on TV, you can simply run a contest by posting on your webpage like PopSugar and St. Ives did here.

Another great use of the hashtag is linking your brand to another event that you are promoting like AT&T did with March Madness.

In this instance, AT&T actually posted via the @MarchMadness handle and maximized the #Marchmadness hashtag by tying their brand (and their sponsorship of the event) directly to the March Madness handle/hashtag.

Of course, one of the most important things about hashtags is actually using them correctly so here are a few tips:

  • Make sure that the hashtag you want to use isn’t already associated with another brand or effort
  • Remember to use capital letters for each word (and avoid problems like this one! J)
  • Use a different hashtag for different events or initiatives but remember to keep them clear or risk confusing consumers resulting in inaccurate engagement measurements
  • Don’t use too many hashtags in one tweet – it dilutes your message and makes things very confusing
  • Keep your hashtag short so other people can retweet it with their own comments

Do you have any hashtag success stories you’re especially proud of?  Please share them in the Comments!


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  • I find it confusing of course. It’s from EM, so a hashtag seems duplicative.

    • jenerositymktg

      Even though it seems redundant, you want to include the hashtag so that people can find it when they search and also so you can monitor mentions.