Hashtags are part of our online world – and to some extent, our offline world too. Are you still confused, though, about how to incorporate hashtags into your marketing?
This blog post and video strategy is a quick tutorial on how to use hashtags effectively on your social media sites.
What is a hashtag?
A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the pound sign (#) that helps social media users organize their posts and messages. Hashtags are used on most social media sites, including Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Tumblr and Twitter.
Types of hashtags
Hashtags come in many shapes and forms, including these three types:
- Keyword hashtags – these are hashtags created around keyword or phrases, such as #socialmedia, #colorado or #education
- Anecdotal hashtags – these are hashtags that enhance the story behind the social media post – often funny, snarky or elated. These types of hashtags are not driven by keywords. Examples: #neednewshoes, #dontjudge, #problemsolved
- Unique hashtags – these are hashtags created by a celebrity, organization, event or company for promotional reasons. They are usually time sensitive. For example, #ERedCarpet was used during the Academy Awards by E! Online.
Why should I use hashtags
Using hashtags on any social media site is a great way to extend the reach of your posts, target your ideal clients, connect with peers and influencers, and find content to share on your channels.
For example, if you are tweeting about Facebook, and you use #Facebook and #socialmedia hashtags, anyone following those hashtags will see your tweet. This could inspire them to follow you on Twitter or retweet your content.
Additionally, you can use hashtags to find ideal clients to connect with. By searching by hashtag, you can see who is using that hashtag, check out his/her profile and decide whether or not to connect with him.
How do I find the right hashtags
If you’re new to hashtags, I would advise that you first focus on keyword hashtags. Anecdotal and unique hashtags can come later, once you are more comfortable with using hashtags.
The first thing you want to do is brainstorm a list of keywords related to your industry or niche. Then, go to Twitter Search and type in each brainstorm (make sure to add the pound sign # before each keyword), and see if others are using the same hashtag. If you see a lot of activity and you like what’s being tweeted, then it’s a good hashtag for you to use across all social media platforms.
How many hashtags should I use
With the exception of Instagram, try not to use more than three hashtags per post. Using a lot of hashtags tends to look spammy and will diminish your post.
On Instagram, though, the sky’s the limit! Most Instagram users utilize at 5-10 hashtags per photo.
Hashtags are a fun, creative and effective way to enhance your social media posts. When you use hashtags the right way, you can share your content with more people, make connections with your target audience, have conversations with peers and influencers, and extend the overall reach of your social media posts. If you’re new to hashtags, start out slowly. Over time, you’ll get more comfortable and will find your “hashtag groove.”