When Vogue magazine put Kim Kardashian and Kanye West on its April cover, fashion’s purebred spewed their disbelief in editor Anna Wintour’s tacky tabloid choice. But while the haters hated, we saw something else that appeared on the same cover that demanded our opinion – a HASHTAG.
This underrated compass of the digi-times is mostly misunderstood and used incorrectly. It can either be incredibly powerful or utterly useless. Because the reality is, hashtags rarely catch on and can easily fracture your content and dilute your message. They are hard to use and you may think that by tagging a job with #career or #hiring you’re doing it right, but actually you’re giving your post less meaning. This is why: If you are recruiting a Sales Manager in Cape Town and you tag your post with #career, your post will go under the myriad of posts tagged with #career and never get noticed. But if you tag with #capetown you’ll get your location right, if you add #jobsinsales you’ll get your industry right and if you tag your company #acmecareers you’ll promote your brand.
This brings me to the importance of a unique company hashtag. The #tobeapartner of Starbucks and the #jointheflock of Twitter are well known hashtags, part of the company’s branding and marketing and promote their EVP strategies. Think of it as a signature, an umbrella to all your content – including but not limited to careers – that will tell your story and attract people to come and work for you. You’ll use it when posting about company news, new campaigns, employee stories, new initiatives, you’ll use it as part of your email signatures, on competitions and on your website. When job seekers click on that specific hashtag they’ll see your story and how you present your brand online, they’ll get a flavour of what it’s like to work for you. It’s not only about the role; it’s also about the company and a hashtag has the ability to bring it all together.
Hashtags can easily expose ignorance and a bandwagon strategy, so start with the basics. Only use hashtags when it makes sense. You can use hashtags across all social platforms including:
Facebook: If you click on a hashtag a list will appear of all post with that same tag. You will be able to see all the posts, so it’s not just the people you’re friends with.
Instagram: Hashtags like #100days, #catsofinstagram and #TBT are synonymous with Instagram and has overflowed to most other social sites. Use hashtags on Instagram to put your picture into a category. All competitions on Instagram use hashtags.
Google+: When you click on a hashtag in Google+, the search results will include the original hashtag as well as posts with similar tags and keywords.
Do not use other punctuation marks, spaces or special characters like an ampersand or asterisk. You can include numbers and capital letters. Make your hashtags short and sweet, the whole #lifeisbetterwhenyouwatchtvinbedwithyourcat fad is obviously pointless but mostly annoying. If you create your own hashtag make sure it’s catchy, relevant to your industry and says something about you and your company. Tell the people who post on your social sites about the hashtag and get them to use it correctly. Put some thought into your hashtag strategy and treat it the same way you would a mission statement.