Utilizing hashtags and social media can help small businesses cost-effectively build following locally, regionally and nationally. A hashtag was reportedly first used on Twitter in 2007. It emerged as a staple on Twitter, which, began to hyperlink tweeted hashtags on Twitter search results for the hashtagged word or phrase. Later, Twitter launched "Trending Topics" on its front page, which displays hashtags that are rapidly gaining popularity. Few years ago, Facebook enabled hashtagging on public-setting posts, further broadening its appeal.
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If you want to use a hashtag, simply type it in your own post. For example, "I love the products at #prestovirtuals.
If you want to establish your own unique hashtag, it's a good idea to search for it first to make sure no one else has used it. Once you've determined it's not already in use, simply type the new hashtag in your post.
Hashtags offer an online vehicle for small businesses to broaden their exposure and engage with customers. Because hashtags can be linked to a company's website - where it's products, services, promotions, etc. are exhibited - they could lead to revenues. Best of all, hashtags are free, so they can represent unsurpassed cost-effective marketing. (to be continued -4)
How does this number symbol work? For the uninitiated, a hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the number sign (#), as in #prestoVA. A curious customer would enter #prestoVA in the search function of Twitter, Facebook or other social media sites (note that hashtags don't include spaces). Search results would yield all Facebook or Twitter posts that include #prestoVA. Alternatively, if you see that someone has used a hashtag in a post, you can click on it to yield the same results. (to be continued- 3 )
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