If you use any of the social media platforms you will probably have seen the hashtag at work; this little symbol transforms a key piece of information into a searchable marketing tool that immediately adds to your visibility and brand awareness. However, firstly it does need to be used correctly and follow hashtag etiquette, and secondly, these are not random words, you need to learn how to target your hashtags for maximum effect.
How to Hashtag
The use of the hashtag varies across the social media sites, and in order to be successful, you should stick to the socially acceptable rules for each platform. So here is a quick look at platform etiquette for the big players.
The hashtag search is a popular method of finding what you are looking for on Twitter, and they also publish a continually changing list of the most used hashtags each day. You are looking for a delicate balance between being found and maintaining relevance. Just because #POTUS happens to be a trending tag, you cannot use it to get attention if your business has nothing whatsoever to do with America or Presidents. However, things like #MondayMotivation can be useful, but you run the risk of being lost in the crowd. Equally, #WeAreTheBestShoeMakers is pretty unlikely to be a searchable term. You want something short and relevant, the sort of thing people will look for. Finally, use two or three hashtags per post and no more.
This is the platform that thrives on hashtags, but a word of warning, you can still pull this off badly if you do not make plans and research your keywords. One way to see what you might relevant hashtags you may use is to find a big, successful company in your field and see what they are tagging with their images. On Instagram, you will find that you can use up to 30 hashtags on one post, but only if you can find relevant and valuable tags, otherwise it is making your post look spammy, and nobody wants that. There are also tools like All Hashtag that will help you find the most relevant and potentially successful tags, you input your keyword, and the software will return a breakdown of the best alternatives. You are aiming for a good mix of top-level tags (#dogs), and drilling down to specific tags (#chihuahua > #chihuahuaclothes). Market research is your best friend here so be sure you have done some digging on your competitors and target market to get the hashtags that will hook people in.
Facebook and LinkedIn
So, how do you hashtag on Facebook and LinkedIn? Well, in short – you don’t. Firstly the search algorithm for Facebook doesn’t use hashtags, and although the platform supports them, research has shown they actually irritate readers. The message scope on Facebook is more significant than Twitter or Instagram so carefully curated content with no hashtags works better here, and video is actually your biggest Facebook tool. LinkedIn doesn’t even support hashtags; you will notice they do not appear as clickable links, so no point wasting time here!
If you’d like any assistance with hashtags, social media management or strategy, please get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org or take a look at www.tartanotter.com