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Hashtags are often misunderstood and sometimes even incomprehensible for partners who are not overly familiar with social media marketing. While it’s a simple concept, it’s tough to understand how to leverage them from a business perspective. Have no fear as I will walk you through the basics of what a hashtag is and how you can harness its power.

What is a Hashtag?

A hashtag is simply a word or phrase preceded by a hash or pound sign (#). The first appearance of hashtags online was in Internet Relay Chat, or IRC. IRC was a network where users communicated to one another through channels, signified by the pound sign. For example, #London would be a channel of people talking about – you guessed it – London.

In today’s digital world, hashtags provide a similar functionality. They are a way to categorize and index discussions on social media sites like Twitter, Facebook, Google+, and most recently LinkedIn (currently only functional on the LinkedIn mobile app). It acts as a label or tag to help users find content relating to a specific theme or subject. This can be a powerful tool for businesses for several different reasons.

How Hashtags Benefit Your Business

At their most basic level, you can create a search for conversations happening on social media that are relevant to your business. If you want to know who is talking about #IT or #Office365, just do a quick search for those hashtags. As you become more familiar with search functionalities within your social networks, you can be much more strategic.

For example, if you are a CRM solution provider and someone posts a social update that contains “#CRM” and a “?” that would be something you should want to be aware of. What if it is a potential customer evaluating CRM solutions?
Example:

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But picking the right hashtags to use and follow is important. Here is a list of what I think are the most relevant hashtags for you to follow and use as a Microsoft Partner.

10 Hashtags Microsoft Partners Need to Know

hashtags infographic

1. #BigData

This is an important hashtag for Microsoft partners dealing with Business Intelligence and Analytics. Make sure you not only use it but also follow others using it and provide insight when necessary.

Related Hashtags: #DataScience #Analytics #MachineLearning

2. #IoT

Because of the Internet of Things, you can check to see if you need milk while you’re at the store or lock your front door from your in-law’s house 300 miles away. Heck, I can talk to my child through my baby monitor while I am at the office. If you deal in the Internet of Things, make sure to set up a search on Twitter for #IoT and use this hashtag when sharing related content.

Related Hashtags: #IIoT #IoE #InternetOfThings

3. #Cloud

If you are a Microsoft Partner, you most likely deal with cloud solutions in some capacity. You should also use it to stay up to date with social conversations surrounding the cloud. Security is a huge topic of conversation as well so be ready to defend the security of cloud computing.

Related Hashtags: #CloudComputing #Security #DevOps

4. #Microsoft

Microsoft as a brand is extremely influential. Forbes has them ranked number three on their 2016 “World’s Most Valuable Brands”. If you are partnered with Microsoft, you can and should leverage the street cred that they have established. Using the Microsoft hashtag can help improve your visibility and increase your reach.

Related Hashtags: #Tech #Windows #Apps #MSPartner

5. #Windows10

When it comes to desktop operating systems, Windows dominates the market. Venturebeat estimates that Windows holds roughly 92% of the Worldwide OS Market Share. But Windows 10 only accounts for just under 10% of that portion with Windows 7 makes up right around 56% of that portion. This shows that while people don’t like change, there is a definite opportunity to educate them about new tools.

So, if someone is researching Windows 10, they know they can go to Facebook or Twitter and access the knowledge base of a large audience. Using the search “#Windows10?” will show you anyone that used #Windows10 and included a question mark. Answer questions to share your knowledge and build your brand as a subject matter expert.

Related Hashtags: #WindowsOS #OS #Tech

6. #Azure

Azure is Microsoft’s cloud computing platform and infrastructure for building, deploying, and managing applications and services through a global network of Microsoft-managed data centers. Follow and use this hashtag to show your networks that you are a subject matter expert in cloud computing and help them to understand the truth about the cloud.

Related Hashtags: #CyberSecurity #DataSecurity #Privacy

7. #Collaboration

Collaboration is an extremely hot topic right now. If you provide collaboration solutions like Office 365, make sure you keep an eye on this hashtag. Share an article about being able to work anywhere at any time and use #Mobility along with #Collaboration for even greater impact.

Related Hashtags: #Productivity #Mobility #SharePoint2016

#SharePoint

Speaking of collaboration, if you work with any of the SharePoint solutions this is a really popular hashtag. You will also find people using different variations like #SharePoint2010, #SharePoint2013 and most recently #SharePoint2016.

Related Hashtags: #SP2013 #HybridCloud #BI

#Office365

If you are limited on characters you can use #O365 when publishing content, but #Office365 is the buzz of Microsoft solutions. The majority of partners are dealing with it in some form or fashion so follow it, use it, tuck it under your pillow at night and dream about it.

Related Hashtags: #OneDrive #Office #O365

#SQLServer

SQL Server is the relational database management system developed by Microsoft. It stores and receives data as requested by other software applications, but most people still have no idea what it is or what it does. Make sure you are following this hashtag and jump in to conversations to provide insight. Use it when posting content because the people that would be following this hashtag are most likely IT professionals or people looking to educate themselves.

Related Hashtags: #DataBase #SQL #SQLHelp

I hope these hashtags will help you to be more effective in how you communicate with your customers online. Feel free to reach out with any questions and start using some #hashtags!

What are your favorite hashtags to use in your social media marketing efforts? Share your favorites in the comments below.

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