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According to Constant Contact, 74% of all social media users are using #hashtags. That’s interesting because at last count, Facebook hadn’t incorporated hashtags – yet.

They’re working on it, though.

So, what is a hashtag and how can you use it for business?

Simply put, a hashtag is a word or phrase accompanied by a preceding # symbol that is often used to track a conversation. For instance, if you want to know what people are saying about hashtags on social media, you can go to Twitter or Google+ and search for #hashtags. You can even subscribe to the threads to follow the conversation more easily.

As a business, you can enter conversations where hashtags already exist or create your own hashtags. For instance, the popular micro-job site Fiverr has the hashtag #Fiverr on Twitter.

This is another way to optimize your social media posts. By creating hashtags around popular topics related to your niche you can pull in people who may not already be following you on the social media sites where you have a presence. Be sure, however, that you use the hashtags appropriately. Don’t use them to spam people with related topics. That’s a sure way to tick people off and get a bad reputation.

Hashtags are powerful social media tools if you use them correctly. They’re easy to implement and could lead to some big boosts in your business.

If you’ve been writing your company blog for a while and you’re not sure if you are reaching your audience – maybe the engagement is low, you’re not getting a lot of comments, or there’s little interaction with your audience – then try incorporating these 5 content marketing ideas into your blog. Measure your efforts to see how audience engagement on your blog is improved after you implement these ideas.

  1. Invite guest bloggers – Guest bloggers can often add a different flavor to your blog and encourage new comments. However, a guest blogging program is more effective if you set reasonable guidelines for your guest bloggers. Among those should be included a requirement to respond to comments and keep readers talking beyond the blog post.
  2. Content curation – Look for opportunities to incorporate content created by others on their blogs or through other online media into your blog. This can as simple as creating resource posts with links to pages online that could be helpful to your audience.
  3. Include multimedia content – Every now and then, add a slideshow or a video to your blog.
  4. Ask open ended questions – Get people talking on your blog by ending your blog posts with requests for feedback. Use open ended questions whenever possible. You can also incorporate surveys.
  5. Sync your posts with off-site content – Become a guest blogger on another blog in your niche. Sync your guest posts with a more in-depth post on your own blog. Drive traffic back to your blog and engage your readers with thought-provoking content and open ended questions.

Content marketing requires a creative approach. You can increase your blog engagement, but it will require some planning and thinking outside the proverbial box.