The word “hashtag” was added to the dictionary in 2014.
Since then, the use of hashtags, signified by placing ‘#’ (or to anyone born before 2000, the pound symbol) in front of a word or short phrase, on social media has continued to increase. While they may seem like a minuscule part of your interaction and posts online, hashtags can be an extremely beneficial tool in your social media marketing plan. Using hashtags in social media marketing has proved to be a mixture of both art and science; therefore, finding a balance is key.
Like any social media marketing tactic, there are do’s and don’ts of using hashtags that can make or break your marketing strategy. When using hashtags in social media it’s important that you:
DO USE HASHTAGS WHEN APPROPRIATE
The first step to using hashtags is knowing when to use them, and, more specifically, on which social platforms to use them. Do use hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. These platforms thrive on hashtags and are used to help users find and organize content. Avoid using hashtags on
. While the site does allow them, they are not as popular, and posts without hashtags tend to have higher engagement than those with hashtags.
DO CHOOSE RELEVANT HASHTAGS
The hashtags you choose should be specific to the content you’re posting and also related to general topics associated with your business. If you’re a marketing agency posting about social media marketing, consider using the hashtags “#socialmediamarketing” as well as “#socialmedia” and “marketing.” These hashtags cover the specific topic you’re posting about as well as broader topics related to your area of business.
DO TAKE ADVANTAGE OF TRENDS
On certain social media platforms, you can see the trending topics and content of the day. For example, Twitter categorizes trending topics by geographical region, and Instagram offers tips and tricks for using hashtags. Use trending hashtags to relate your business to current events and also get your name out to a larger group of people online.
DO THINK OUTSIDE THE BOX
Don’t be afraid to create your own unique hashtags and express your brand personality. If you’re promoting a campaign online, use a creative, clever hashtag to grow awareness and encourage your followers to use it when they post about your business.
Using hashtags in social media marketing successfully also means there are certain tactics to avoid. Be sure that you:
DON’T GET TOO WORDY
Keep your hashtags short, sweet and to the point. They should be no more than three to four words. In the social media marketing world, the shorter, more memorable your hashtag is, the better. Just be sure it’s something your online consumers will understand the meaning of.
DON’T INCLUDE YOUR BUSINESS’S NAME
According to Hootsuite, your hashtag’s don’t need to, or rather, shouldn’t, include your business’s name. Instead, use hashtags to display your brand’s personality and values. When done correctly, your consumers will be able to identify and associate your business through the hashtag without it being included.
DON’T OVERLOAD POSTS WITH HASHTAGS
When it comes to hashtags in social media marketing, more is definitely not merrier. Research shows that the more hashtags you include in a post, the less engagement it receives. While more hashtags does give you more exposure and can lead to a quicker buildup of followers, this method ultimately gives you more spam followers than quality potential leads.
Mastering hashtags in social media marketing is both a science and an art. By using terms that relate to your business, you can increase your content’s exposure and reach more potential consumers. When done correctly, this can greatly increase your influence and also help to build your reputation online. So jump online to your #socialmedia accounts and add a hashtag to #maximizeyourmarketing!