Claiming a Hashtag on Social Media

Feb 11, 2014
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Claiming a Hashtag on Social Media

How to Claim Your Hashtag

The first and most important thing that must be understood is that you cannot legally own a hashtag. The goal is that you habitually use a chosen hashtag and people will associate it with your brand. The hashtag selected should be a distinctive phrase or word associated with your company or messaging.

You will want to search all of the social media platforms that use hashtags to see if anyone else has been using it. The goal is to find one that has never been used. Once you select it, make sure it is in all of your social media bios, on your website, marketing materials and that you use it very regularly when having conversations on social media. If the hashtag you want to use is "taken" or used often, then pick something else.

Twitter introduced the hashtag to us in the summer of 2009. From that moment on, when you put this symbol in front of a word in a tweet, there would be a hyperlink associated with it and connect you to other tweets with that hashtag. Since then many other social media platforms have adopted hashtags and it's a proven digital-conversation-staple that is not going anywhere.

Basically, when using a hashtag you are categorizing your post. This is a very valuable tool when marketing your brand. So, the real question is, "How does a business claim their hashtag?"

An Example of a Hashtag

Example: I like to take Clamato with me when I travel outside of Canada so when I post pictures on Instagram I use "#clamsmuggler" (something I made up and think is somewhat funny). I checked both Twitter and Instagram and I am currently the only person who uses that hashtag. So, I've decided that when I post pictures of caesars or Clamato, I will always use "#clamsmuggler" with my post.

There are a few optional steps for you to take in claiming your hashtag. Twubs.com  is an online hashtag directory. This is a free service and you can also manage your hashtag and event Twitter streams. In addition, you can purchase the domain of your hashtag but that is an extreme measure that isn't necessary. 

Choose It, Own It, Use It

The true key to claiming your hashtag is to choose it, own it and use it. You should be including this hashtag in every tweet, with every image posted on Instagram or Pinterest and every time you post on Facebook. Vine, Google+ and many other platforms also support hashtags.

Encourage your fans to join the conversation by using that hashtag when posting about you. The goal is to go viral and have your fans join the conversation, so, #goclaimyourhashtag!

 

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