In this article we will show you how to use hashtags in social media marketing to increase your online presence.
Hashtags have been used on Twitter for some years now, they are a user born tool begun by a Twitter user to bring groups of people together and then were subsequently used during the San Diego fires by the community to communicate the latest disaster news. Forward a few years and hashtags are used across social media on sites beyond Twitter including Facebook, Tumblr, Instagram, Google+, Instagram. As recently as 2013 Google enabled the use of hashtags to search for a specific topic. More on that later.
Essentially the hashtag is a tool you can use to organize content, have your content found easily, be included in the conversation and contribute to a trending ( popular) topic. It should be clear that this once forgotten character on the keyboard has finally made the big time.
Why use them? To start with, tweets with hashtags tend to get twice as much engagement as tweets without them. Plus, they can help you gain more followers, improve your reputation, and help your customers find information faster. They are an easy tool to use within your social media process.
If you’re looking for a simple rule of thumb for hashtagging posts, follow this advice from The Next Web:
Rule of thumb: 1 – 3 tags per post is best for each social media platform.
Twitter: use hashtags to categorize and be a part of a conversation.
Pinterest: use hashtags to brand, and be specific (tags are only clickable in pin descriptions).
Instagram: use hashtags to build a community, and be unique and detailed in your choice. You can use any number of hashtags.
Google+: use hashtags to categorize; Google+ autogenerates tags based on what it thinks your post is most relevant to. You may want to tweak them and should add your own. You can also look at related posts using hashtags to search.
Tumblr: use hashtags to categorize interests, they can be specific and general and it has a “track your tags” feature.
Facebook: hashtags are not very commonly used here, but if you want to be among the few go for it – if your audience is very business-minded, follow the Twitter rules; if it is community-oriented, follow the Pinterest/Instagram rules regarding hashtag use.
What is a hashtag and how do you tweet to grow your online presence?
#1. Choose the perfect words
The point of this little # character is simply to organize content and make it easier to find. For example, if someone wants to find news about their favorite Australian soccor team during the World Cup they might search for #socceroos, but they probably aren’t going to search #soccer or #WorldCup as both are broad terms with lots of results that may not be specific enough. Be specific. But how do you know just what to say in order to send the most effective message? By testing.
#2. Test your hashtags
Most brands that take advantage of hashtags spend some time testing them. Try out various messages using a number of related hashtags and see which ones have greater impact.
It will be important to test each social media platform you intend to use and see for yourself what resonates the best with your customers on each one. In addition to testing, you can also search each social media website for hashtags and look for the most effective words that match your message.
Each social media site has a vastly different user base and you will do better to target each market individually whenever possible.
#3. Don’t get carried away now
Just use one or two hashtags with each post. Keep It Simple Stupid. While they can be an incredibly effective marketing tool, you may do yourself a disservice if you use them too frequently instead coming across as being needy and spammy. The only time this rule does not count is on Instagram. Go for it – use as many you have time for.
#4. Be engaging
The true power of hashtagging is the ability to connect your brand with various popular and incredibly visible topics, a kind of a matching of topics with your brand if you will. The intention is to drive new contributors to your social media presence, as well as give you the opportunity to engage with them. When well-crafted and used sparingly, hashtags can help increase your visibility and even improve customer relations. The more comfortable your followers feel with your brand, the more likely they will be to attempt to interact with you via social media. Use hashtags when it makes sense to use them for specific events, brands, content, ideas or causes.
Don’t use hashtags while conversing with your followers. As noted above, you don’t necessarily need to use a hashtag in every post, but it’s particularly important to remember that you should not use them while responding to someone . Whether it’s a retweet or a reply, avoid plugging these characters in when they are not needed.
Twitter’s own research into hashtags confirms that there is significant advantage to using them. Individuals can see a 100 percent increase in engagement by using hashtags. Brands can see a 50 percent increase.
Engagement, as measured in these studies, can include clicks, retweets, favorites, and replies, yet if it’s only retweets your after, hashtags still would be a smart bet to begin.
Hashtags on Google+
On Google+, your posts are given hashtags automatically based on their content, but you can also edit them or add your own. Also unique to Google+: is the ability to add hashtags in your comments, as well as your post . Doubling the opportunities to be found on Google. Now those hashtags are appearing on the right-hand side of Google’s search results page when you search using a hashtag. Yes, that same area on the search page you would normally have to pay for to get placement is free.
And since Google+ is Google’s social network, hashtags are now built right into Google searches. If you type in a hashtag search, you’ll get the normal search results plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts. Hashtags have truly arrived!
Hashtags on Instagram
Instagram is another hotspot for hashtags, and the good news for those who love to extensively tag photos is that there doesn’t seem to be a saturation point. Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
So there you got that is latest from the land of hashtags. Find your perfect hashtags and go for it!
If you need some help sorting out your social media strategy talk to us at Social Media Works. We’d love to help!
If you like pictures over words take a look at this great infographic that explains it well from Quicksprout.
How to use hashtags in social media marketing to grow your online presence.
#Google+ #Facebook #hashtags #Pinterest #Linkedin #Tumblr #Instagram #hashtag #socialmediamarketing