Hashtag? You Mean Pound Sign?

Whether you’re an active Twitter user or not, the truth is that the use of the ‘hashtag’ has invaded most mainstream social media platforms, like Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. Former Google developer and inventor of the hashtag, Chris Messina states in an interview with WCCO-TV, “It was one of those things where I had so many haters in the beginning that I thought this thing would never pick up… But, secretly, I sort of felt like, come on guys, this is the simplest thing that could work”.

The hashtag, once considered a trivial Internet fad, has now rewired an entire generation’s understanding of a single, special character – the #. Certain members of that generation are destined to inherit the family dealership or even start their own, so in order to remain current and provide a solid platform to build on, let’s #EmbraceTheHashtag

#Hashtag or #PoundSign? What is it?
Previously known as a pound sign, the symbol comes from the abbreviation for weight, lb. This shorthand was incorporated into typewriter keyboards and eventually the modern computer. Now, as the reinvented hashtag, the symbol is a popular way of categorizing “like content” across social media platforms. Appropriated by Twitter in 2007, a hashtag allows content to be searched more effectively. Searchable content allows users to engage and connect with relevant individuals and businesses that they previously may not have had access to.

Think of hashtags as keywords for tweets and posts. If your dealership is having a huge sale or event, hashtags will help you gain visibility from people interested in that particular topic. For example, if you are having a huge Labor Day sale, include the following hashtags to expand your social media reach: #LaborDaySale #EndOfSummer #Sale.

Don’t be a #HashtagFailure be a #HashtagSuccess
Don’t have more hashtags than words.
BAD – #Keep #It #Simple #And #Sweet
GOOD – #KeepItSimpleAndSweet

Don’t over-complicate it and keep it relevant
BAD – @XYZDealer is having a huge Labor Day sale! Come and celebrate. #WeGotItAll4You #Celebrate #Sale #BestTrucksBestPricesBestProducts
GOOD – @XYZDealer is having a huge #LaborDaySale. Come and celebrate with us!

Don’t use punctuation, spaces or any special characters (obviously, other than a #)
BAD – #WhyWon’tMyH@shTagWork? #Bad&Broken-WorstHashtagEver*
GOOD – #DontUsePunctuation #DontUseSpecialCharacters

Don’t use all numbers, Twitter won’t recognize it
BAD Labor Day sales call #5555555
GOOD  Call 555-5555 for #2016LaborDaySale

Separate words by using capital letters,
BAD – #commercialtrucktrader #equipmenttraderonline
GOOD – #CommercialTruckTrader #EquipmentTraderOnline

Research a hashtag’s history to ensure that the content is relevant to your posting interests. Use a free resource such as HashAtIt prior to posting and take advantage of trending hashtags when applicable.
BAD #LaborDaySaleWeekend
GOOD  #LaborDayWeekend #Sale

Social media, which was established in order to build communities of users online, continues to grow in leaps and bounds. As many trends fluctuate daily, the success of this single, weird, special character has proven to be a powerful tool in aiding social media’s fundamental principles. As hashtag continue to flourish, it’s important to integrate these into your dealership’s social media platforms.


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