For many users of Twitter and other social media networks, hashtags are an integral component of their online experience. However, for many brands making their first foray into social media marketing, hashtags may cause confusion, or worse, a social media misstep. There are many simple ways that you can use hashtags to improve your social media marketing tactics. By learning how to use hashtags the right way, your brand can better engage with potential customers and up your profile across social media networks.
Why Use Hashtags?
Most importantly, hashtags allow your content to be easily searchable on social media. A user can search any hashtag to see what others are posting and join in on the conversation. Hashtags also enable you to gain better insights into how your content is performing, using hashtags.org or Facebook Insights.
By regularly using the right hashtags, you can increase your visibility on social media and build your online reputation. Finally, using hashtags provides your brand with much better user engagement, which will translate into actual sales and profits for your business.
Hashtags on Different Platforms
While Twitter leads in terms of the popularity of hashtags, hashtags can actually be used on multiple social media platforms. Facebook recently added hashtags, and they are also available on Instagram, Pinterest, Google+, and LinkedIn. This is beneficial because it makes cross posting much easier between sites. For example, you can link your Twitter account to your Facebook feed, and the hashtags you use on Twitter will now be useable on Facebook.
Using Hashtags the Right Way
First, remember that hashtags must be one word, start with the # symbol, and are not affected by capitalization. To categorize your post based on a general topic, use generic hashtags such as #marketing. You can also use hashtags that are currently trending to add to the discussion, or make up your own hashtags for a specific marketing campaign. Be sure to check that the same hashtag is not already in use for another purpose. Remember to avoid overusing hashtags (stick to one or two per post) and only use hashtags for relevant content.
Tips for Applying Hashtags
There are many ways your brand can apply hashtags on social media. One great way to engage is to hold a contest. By using a unified hashtag, users can both share their contest entries and see what your brand and others are saying about the contest. You can also use the popular #FollowFriday to network with other users, or set hashtags to document your attendance and connect with other users at conferences and awards shows. In addition, a unique hashtag can be used to host a chat, gain user feedback, and hear what your customers have to say.