Are you making the most of Hashtags across your social media platforms? Have you created a unique Hashtag for your brand? In this post I’m going to give you a few tips on how to use Hashtags effectively, but first here are a few reasons you should be using them…
- Using Hashtags will allow you to grow your connections in your niche sector. Using Hashtags make your posts more visible to anyone who has an interest in what you do. Your posts won’t be just limited to your followers; they will become searchable and available to anybody who shares a similar interest.
- They allow you to get in on the conversation… By joining a conversation on a trending topic that relates to your business and using the relevant Hashtag in your status updates, tweets or Instagram posts, you have the potential to connect with a massive audience.
- A unique Hashtag will allow you to amplify a new product, event or campaign. As an example, if you are a retailer having a sale in store, you can create a unique hashtag to promote it. When your fans and followers start to use it your campaign gets extended reach, through online word-of-mouth.
So if I’ve convinced you to step into the Hashtag world, here are my top five tips for using them effectively:
- Do your research – Search for your Hashtag before you start using it in your campaign. Someone else may already be using it, or it may be a banned Hashtag, (Instagram has a list of prohibited Hashtags). Always consider that the hashtag may already have been used in a discussion about something negative, this could result in a bad PR fire fighting exercise for your business. Do a search HERE
- Create something unique – If you’re too generic you’re not going to get as much genuine audience engagement. For example if you’re a locally based (for example, Nelson, NZ) coffee shop, using the Hashtag #coffee, you could find yourself competing with many others many other cafes around the world using that same Hashtag; but if you used the Hashtag #bestcoffeensn you’d be narrowing your niche to an audience that might actually be stepping through your door some time soon.
- Keep them short and know the rules – The Hashtag originated on Twitter, so consider the 140 character rule, you don’t want the Hashtag to be so long it discourages retweets. You also don’t want to give people a whole lot of typing to do, keeping it short keeps it memorable. You can’t include spaces or punctuation, but numbers are okay to use. If you want to differentiate between words use capital letters where you would normally use a space…. #KateCooteSocialGirl
- Lead and they will follow – Don’t expect your audience to know how and when to use your Hashtag right away. Use your chosen Hashtags consistently in your content, and ask your audience to use it too! Your aim is to encourage your audience to mirror your use, but share their own images and ideas that are relevant to your chosen Hashtag.
- Monitor and Engage – As ever, you need to be “present” in your social media marketing. Monitor your channels for mentions of your Hashtag, and be sure you immediately engage and begin a conversation with people that use them. Use Tagboard to monitor.