Last Updated: Jul 18, 2016
Hashtags can help more people find your content on social media. Learn when to use hashtags and how to know which ones are most likely to give your posts a boost.
These days, the pound sign isn’t just used to denote apartment numbers. On the contrary, the symbol on the “3” key can now be seen all over the web and is a crucial part of the social media landscape.
A type of label, the hashtag helps users connect and share information on topics of mutual interest. Similarly, marketers can use hashtags to increase campaign awareness and fan engagement. According to a study by Buddy Media, tweets featuring hashtags enjoy twice the engagement of tweets that don’t have them. Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, and Google+ all encourage members to use hashtags to get more eyes on their content.
Here are some tips on using hashtags to boost your social media results:
Don’t Overcomplicate Things
Using overly long or complex hashtags on social media is a mistake. On the contrary, the best hashtags are short and to the point. After all, you want followers to be able to spell the word or words you choose so they can keep the conversation going in their own posts. Similarly, you should avoid posts featuring a paragraph’s worth of hashtags or those in which every word or two is called out with a tag. This type of messaging comes across as spammy and not truly relevant to your product or brand. For best results, select one or two hashtags that apply and use them with confidence.
If you do employ hashtags featuring more than one word, be sure to capitalize the first letter of each new word for easier readability. The last thing you want is for followers to get confused or even annoyed by your messaging.
Pay Attention to Trends
It’s not enough to choose hashtags that appeal to you personally. If you want your business messaging to reach the maximum number of eyeballs, you need to keep abreast of what hashtags are trending. Trending tags change frequently, and are affected by everything from celebrity scandals to the coming presidential election. As a marketer, you need to pay attention to what’s trending and tailor your messaging accordingly. While it’s good to take advantage of trending topics, businesses should make sure their posts add value to the conversation rather than just contributing to the noise. As a general rule, strive to use trending tags that relate to your business in a meaningful way.
If you’re struggling to find trending hashtags, you might want to consider using a tool like Hashtagify.me. Not only does this resource let you know what people are talking about on social media, but it can also send you email updates on topics of interest to your brand. Additionally, you can use the site to determine what kinds of posts are being made with a given hashtag. If many of the posts in question are spammy in nature, it’s might be wise to avoid the tag.
Look to the Influencers
Along with assessing what celebrities and politicians are discussing, marketers should consider the hashtags being used by influencers in the industry. Twitalyzer is one tool that shows brands which tags are being employed by the people they admire. All you have to do is enter their names into a search to view commonly used hashtags. You can then create posts employing the same words and phrases.
Additionally, companies should pay attention to what their competitors are tweeting and posting. If other businesses in your industry are talking about a particular topic, you might want to get onboard.
Use Hashtags on Your Website
If you’re only using hashtags on your social media profiles, you might be missing out on a valuable opportunity to grow your brand. The savviest marketers also employ hashtags on their websites and even in blogs, email newsletters, radio, and TV ads. In this way, hashtags are like company slogans or taglines that followers come to associate with your brand.
Encourage Followers to Post
Along with posting their own hashtags, companies should encourage their followers to do so. As a small business owner, you can request that your clients post reviews, comments, and even pictures of themselves using your products on social media. Ask them to use a hashtag of your choosing in exchange for securing a special offer or coupon.
Use Discretion When Posting
As a marketer, it’s important to use discretion when posting hashtags online. After all, the goal is to speak to your fans in a meaningful way, not distract them with a lot of irrelevant tags. Additionally, business owners need to note that hashtags are clickable. If you’re including your own links in social media messages, you probably don’t want readers getting distracted by a bunch of hashtag links and clicking away from the post in question.
The fact is that the internet is full of noise. Use hashtags to ensure that your business’ content stands out among the competition.
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