What’s a Hashtag?
While the hashtag is a well-known tool in real estate marketing today, it’s important to learn what the hashtag is and how it shaped social media as we know it. Webster’s Dictionary defines a “hashtag” as a word or phrase preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
The # symbol was first used as a “hashtag” in the summer of 2007 by Chris Messina. That’s when the web marketing specialist walked into Twitter’s offices with an idea. He suggested the company start using the pound symbol to group related Tweets together.
This was the first-ever use of the hashtag:
Today, hashtags are powerful tools and have changed the way we use social media. Hashtags are most commonly used on social media platforms such as Twitter, Instagram, YouTube, and Pinterest. They can help you get more followers and gain more attraction to your posts!
I’m excited that this week we’ll be focusing on what hashtags are, why it’s important to use them, and how to strategically use them in your social media marketing.
Why Should I Use Hashtags?
First and foremost, hashtags are a search tool. When you’re scrolling through social media, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and bogged down by “information overload”. Trying to find what you’re looking for by simply scrolling through your social media feed is like trying to find a needle in a haystack. With hashtags, finding information that’s relevant to you becomes so much easier.
Social media users can follow certain hashtags on their preferred platforms. Doing so makes it more likely that they’ll come across content that is aligned with their interests. As you’re trying to build your brand, I would recommend that you do the same. Following hashtags relating to Real Estate can help you learn what’s working for others in your industry and stay up-to-date with important industry information.
If you’re not sure how to follow hashtags on your preferred platform, take a look at the links below. We’ve composed a list of the popular social media platforms and their how-to guides on the subject.
How to Follow Hashtags on Instagram
How to Follow Hashtags on Twitter
How to Follow Hashtags on Facebook
How Do I Know I’m Using Hashtags Correctly?
You may have seen people you know use hashtags on their personal posts, but it might have never occurred to you that hashtags are key when it comes to posting about your Real Estate business. An industry-related hashtag will help you reach your target audience and connect you with your industry.
Hashtags can be generalized or very specific. The best practice is to experiment and be consistent with your social media usage. The more you use a specific hashtag, the greater your chances are to grow an audience.
Start by searching for industry-specific hashtags to get your foot in the door, then you can add hashtags to your posts that are relevant to you and your business. For example, some popular hashtags for the Real Estate industry are:
Once you get the hang of generalized industry-standard hashtags, you can dive into more specific hashtags. As an example, you could use hashtags that are specific to your location, such as #SeattleRealEstate or #CaliforniaRealtor. If you are with a brokerage, you could use their company name as a hashtag, such as #kellerwilliams.
Another thing to keep in mind is that you should use hashtags that are relevant to what you are posting. While it’s great to add general hashtags that are trending outside of your industry, you want to ensure that the right people are seeing your posts.
For example, let’s take a look at this post from TourFactory’s Instagram page.
In the body of the post, we used two hashtags, #realestatephotography, and #photography.
#Realestatephotography is a specific hashtag relating to our unique marketing efforts, whereas #photography is a rather general hashtag that could bring in viewers from anywhere. It’s important to get the right balance of industry-standard versus general hashtags, which is something you’ll learn more about in practice.
Sounds Good, Let’s #Practice Using #Hashtags!
There’s a lot of great information and analytics I can provide regarding hashtags and their use in your social media marketing. However, I understand that it can be a lot to take in. I challenge you to think about the information above and how you can use it to grow your brand. Try practicing the pointers above and let us know how it works!
I also encourage you to follow us on our social media platforms to stay up-to-date with our latest blog posts. I don’t mind if you want to steal some of our #hashtags 😅!
Next week, we will be going more in-depth with hashtags, different types of hashtags, and some best practices.