What the Hell is a Hashtag?
In short, it is a social media system to categorize content. It’s a way to follow and search keywords or topics you or your business are interested in. They are viewable to everyone, even those outside your network. This is how it helps you gain followers, fans or reach new customers. They auto link to search results.
How do I use them on my social media platforms.
Hashtags can work for you in more than one way. The first and most obvious way to use hashtags is to categorize your work. This helps people FIND you. Not all social media platforms grade hashtags the same. But we will get to that below.
The second way hashtags work is as a search tool. When you post a hashtag on social media, it automatically gets made into a link. This means you can click on it and easily find other work categorized similarly to yours. This can be a good way to find community and other like-minded people, as well as do research on your “competition.”
It also means that you can search work that isn’t categorized like yours. It means that you can search hashtags that your customers or readers might use, which helps YOU seek THEM out (not the other way around) and entice them to your social media accounts, website or products for sale.
Your fans will almost never be people exactly like you, which is why you need to use both of these steps in order to GROW
Example, if you have a handyman business, your fans might use hashtags like #honeydolist, #momslife #weekendwork or #homeandgarden (even though you might not use those to categorize your work) so you can search the hashtag and leave comments for homeowners, moms and people that may be your customers that would love your work. Just knowing who your customers or readers are isn’t enough – you have to engage with them.
Hot Tip: Local businesses should hashtag their town or area names.
#PhiladelphiaLibrary #CentralParkNY #YourTownFireDeptartment Things like that if your a service business will get you reach within your community.
Use hashtags both to CATEGORIZE your work and as a SEARCH tool.
USING hashtags help you find people who could be looking for a service you offer.
Yes, this is work, but if you put a little bit of time in, you will build a meaningful following.
BUT WHICH ONES SHOULD I USE?
This question can be tough to answer directly because the answer will change for everyone because most hashtags do not work for everyone.
Search Google about which hashtags to use, you’ll get articles with canned responses to the “most popular” hashtags to use, but contractors of all niches, this don’t work. Popularity does not equate to results.
You need to do some research about which hashtags fit your niche or niches. Two easy ways to figure out what hashtags work, are by searching keywords on Instagram or Twitter itself – simply type in a keyword. Another way is to look at other people similar to you and figure out what hashtags they are using.
The more specific your hashtags are, the more likely you are to be found within that keyword.
Here is a tool you can use to find hashtags. Display Purposes
You type in a hashtag and it shows you a big grouping of other similar hashtags. Great for specific niche hashtags!
Ok, now for the social media to use them on.
Instagram allows 30 hashtags per post. If you can, use them all every time and no excuses that there aren’t 30 for your niche or that you think it looks bad to use so many. Hashtags are a FREE TOOL that are given to you to improve your social media following and business – use it!
Using meaningful hashtags is more important than using 30, but strive for 30.
What I know is that hashtags are a big part of part of my business content writing and Instagram gives you 30. They wouldn’t give us 30 if they believed that was too much.
Engagement is highest on posts with 11+ hashtags
- Use Websta to track hot hashtags.
Tweets with hashtags get 2 x the engagement of those without.
Using more than 2 hashtags actually results in an average drop in engagement of 17%
- Hashtagify tracks trending hashtags and shows “related” hashtags for any base terms.
- TwChat lets you discover, participate in, and host chats. It’s useful for monitoring and archiving any hashtag streams.
Facebook posts without hashtags see more engagement than those with. So Facebook is a no hashtag social media site, regardless if you other people using them or not.
Pinterest hashtag are almost useless. Pinterest hashtags are supported. “Supported” means the word after the # is clickable (and only in the description). The only reasonable way to use Pinterest hashtags is to use them for branding (to further spread awareness of your event, Twitter chat, etc.).
They don’t help with any search results, so no need to use them on your website.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Pair hashtags with Images.
Group hashtags at the end of your post.
Use trending hashtags that relate to your business.
Use hashtags instead of content for your posts. They should add to not be your post.
#Don’t #make #every #word #a #hashtag. Group meaningful ones at the end of the post.
Abuse trending hashtags.
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- Use good hashtags that are memorable, unique and relevant to you.
- Double check them, they could have two meanings.
- Use them at any large event you do in your market area. #HappyHour #StateFair
- Copy what competitors are using and what works. Check others outside your marketing area to see what works for them.
- Monitor the hashtags to see what is being said.
I hope this helps a little with your hashtag understanding and how to use them to boost your business.
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Great article RJ. Thank you!
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