Quick and Easy Hashtag Hacks
In this week’s edition of “Tuesday Tips & Tricks,” I’m going to show you how to use hashtags to help boost your content visibility online. Think of a hashtag as a quick and easy way for people to sort social media posts by topic or theme. In other words, hashtags are similar to keywords, in that users will search on a hashtag in Twitter and other platforms to see what other people are saying about the topic.
Because of this, I have created a very practical set of guidelines collected form HubSpot and other social media resources to make it easier for you to start using hashtags.
Here’s an example of the hashtags I used in a recent Twitter post to promote a blog post on my website. I have the #Go4Broke hashtag that relates to the national day theme and my business hashtag #HCPDX. However, I should have added my #MarketingMeyvn hashtag!
First, let’s start with what is a hashtag.
- Simply put, a hashtag is an easy way for people to categorize, find and join conversations on a particular topic.
- The hashtag is used to highlight keywords or topics within a Tweet and can be placed anywhere within a post.
- The hash mark, or pound symbol, (#) is now known by social media users as a "hashtag" or "hash tag." Posts that have the same keywords prefixed with the # symbol are grouped together in user searches, making it easy for people to search by a specific topic that interests them. According to HubSpot and other social media experts, individuals can see 100% increase in engagement by using hashtags, while brands can see 50% increase.
After that, learn how to hashtag like a pro:
- Create your hashtag using only one word or phrase without spaces.
- Do not use or add punctuation.
- Include the hashtag within or after your message.
How to find popular hashtags to use in your social media posts
Search on Twitter or other hashtag sites such as https://www.hashtags.org/ to find relevant hashtags for your posts. I recommend that you double-check the hashtag to make sure that you are not launching into something that is not appropriate fit for you, especially if you are using the hashtag for business postings. Above all, test, test and test! (See my general guidelines at the end of the post.)
For example, hashtags are often used to unite conversations around things like:
- Events or conferences, like #TED2019 or #CES2019
- Disasters or emergencies like #PrayForNice or #NotreDameFire
- Holidays or celebrations, like #WorldNutellaDay or #NationalCatDay
- Popular culture topics, like #GameOfThrones or #BostonMarathon
- General interest topics, like #ChocolateLovers or #TaxDay
- Popular hashtags, like #tbt or #MotivationMonday
Recommendations on how to use hashtags
After you have created your hashtags, remember to use them sparingly. Too many hashtags on Facebook leads to fewer interactions. FaceBook posts without a lot of hashtags generally outperform those with lots of hashtags.
Hashtags on Twitter
A Twitter hashtag ties the conversations of different users into one stream. If Twitter users who aren't otherwise connected to one another talk about the same topic using a specific hashtag, their tweets will appear in the same stream. As long as your account is public, anyone who does a search for that hashtag may find your tweet.
Along with hashtags for events, campaigns, and promotions, there are these unique things on Twitter called Twitter Chats. Twitter Chats are live Q&A sessions organized around a hashtag—either on the fly, or at a pre-arranged time.
HashTags on FaceBook
To use a hashtag on Facebook, all you have to do is publish a Facebook post to your Page or timeline that includes the hashtag.
Steps & Guidelines for creating a great hashtag
In conclusion, here are the steps and guidelines you should follow to create a great hashtag:
- Hashtags should be distinctive and simple for followers to remember. Make your hashtags memorable, unique and relevant to your campaign.
- Find a balance between generic and specific. Generic hashtags, like #food, are too broad and too hard to track.
- Create at least 2 hashtags around your brand or business. Use your brand's name in one of them.
- Look to your fans and your audience’s influencers to inspire and create new hashtags or use what they are using.
- Steer clear of slang. Double check to make sure your hashtag isn’t being used elsewhere in an entirely different context.
- Proofread and proofread again. If you are using capitalization, make sure the words in your hashtag do not create other words or messages if the capitalization is removed.
- Test before you use! Check what your competition uses, what your industry influencers use, and how your followers react.