Are Hashtags Today?s URL?

April 11, 2014
Marketers and internet users today admit that hashtags are the new URL. Social media has dominated the internet marketing scene for severals years, especially when hashtags were introduced. Many brands today capitalize on the popularity and convenience of using hashtags and social media regardless of the time and place. People can search for topics as well as join the best trending hashtags to become part of the conversation and share their own opinions in their fields of interest. Hashtags are used more by brands today Especially during big events like the Super Bowl, fans will find a variety of big brands and companies incorporating hashtags in their advertisements. The upcoming FIFA tournament has made an exclusive list of promoters and discouraged non-sponsors from creating hashtags to ride on the popularity of the event. Other companies have created a series of commercials, using the same hashtags to drive new customers and create hype. Nike, Samsung, Wendy?s and Audi are just some of the popular brands that have invested much in hashtag use over URLs. Nike?s hashtag #MakeItCount and Audi?s #ProgressIs have been successful, proving that hashtags are more preferred over regular web pages. They are used in normal conversations Hashtags are becoming part of everyday conversations. On the biggest social media networks, users include one or more hashtags to cater to a particular audience as well as search for people with similar interests. Hashtags have improved the manner of conversations among individuals by targeting specific audiences and catering to specific needs. Hashtags are easy to use and remember, using only two to three words and leading people to the right platform, compared URLs. According to a study, 58% of social media users use hashtags regularly, with 42% of those users clicking on hashtags to acquire new content and information. Hashtags are based on relationships and familiarity On social media sites, users can acquire and exchange information within their own networks. This means that they are not merely talking to strangers but interact with family, friends and people they trust. In branding and marketing, hashtags become a very powerful tool when these are used by others within a particular network. Users are more likely to join hashtags shared and used by their peers, compared to visiting URLs presented by complete strangers. They can also ensure that they will be led to a specific topic and meet a community that share the same interest. Many internet users get disappointed with URLs that present very general information and little insight.

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