• Are you telling your brand story in social media?

#EverythingIsSearchable – How Do Hashtags Work?

If you’re trying to understand hashtags and how best to incorporate them into your social media profiles and posts, try thinking of them as searchable tags or labels. The purpose is to identify the topic so that others who have an interest in the subject can find it. When it comes down to it, hashtags are really just carefully selected words with a pound sign (#) in from of them. They are added to content in order to make it searchable.

History of Hashtags

The use of hashtags started on Twitter where it was seen as a way to group related content to facilitate a search. The use quickly spread to Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest and they are used in many creative ways. Today, hashtags are widely used to make it easier to find specific information and provide people with a way to find content that is related to a specific topic.

Hashtags in Business

Even though the concept of the hashtag is really pretty simple, when applied strategically they can be pretty darned powerful. There are many great examples of how companies have parlayed hashtags into big marketing wins (#likeagirl, #shareacoke). #Shareacoke, for example, is used as part of a large Coca Cola campaign. Its purpose is to encourage customers to use the hashtag when uploading photos of a bottle with someone’s name.

While you may not have the resources available that Coca Cola does, you can still use hashtags as part of your marketing strategy. When using them, you can create your own or use an already established tag that is topical or trendy.

Why Businesses / People Use Hashtags

The original purpose of the hashtag was to group online conversations together to make updates related to a specific topic easier to find. This is still, fundamentally, why we use hashtags today. Since each social media profile is its own search engine, hashtags are powerful tools for searching for information and for grouping similar posts together. While there are folks that use hashtags for entertainment purposes, when using hashtags for your business – the point is to show up in certain search feeds to increase your online visibility and the chance that users will stumble onto your online content more often.

How to Use Hashtags

Like keywords, you first need to do some research to uncover which hashtags work for your brand. What are other people in your industry or area using? What comes up when you do a hashtag search and is that a search your brand is comfortable showing up in? How many people are already using, and searching, using that hashtag?

  • Businesses use hashtags to show up in general keyword searches such as #skincare for beauty professionals or #marketing for marketing companies.
  • Companies that host events will create a custom hashtag to group all the posts about that event together and make it easier to find.
  • A business owner could also create custom hashtags or their own brand to group their online content together and make it all easier to locate in one search.

You’ll want to make a list of appropriate hashtags for your business so you can recall them quickly when drafting your social media content.

When you create your own hashtags, you want to make sure to include them across a variety of messages and use them consistently. Ideally, the hashtag should be easy to remember and relate to your branding.

Creating effective tags can be harder than it looks. Luckily there are experts you can call on for help. If you’re interested in incorporating hashtags into your campaigns, now is the perfect time to talk with The Social Media Advisor. Right now you can take advantage of our comprehensive social media revamp and management packages that are designed to get you found and noticed on social media.

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Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#GrowYourBusiness – How to Use Paid Ads to Generate Leads in Social Media

You may love your job but you aren’t just working for the fun of it. You also want to make money. Moreover, to make money, you need to get sales. To get sales, you need leads.

Until the last few years, you could rely on getting leads organically through your website and search strategies. Unfortunately, the effectiveness of these tools has been on the decline over the last few years. Nowadays, to make the most of using the web to generate leads you need to take advantage of social media advertising.

Of course, you want to make sure that you’re using your dollars effectively so before jumping in you need a plan. Here are six key steps to using paid ads to generate leads in social media:

  1. Set a Budget: When it comes to cost, social media advertising is relatively inexpensive when compared with traditional media. Best of all, you can set a target for how much you want to spend. Based on the results you can either increase or decrease the amount. You’ll need to be aware of the pricing structures for the various platforms and decide how you want to allocate your resources.
  2. Think About Your Targets: When you purchase social media advertising you select the target audience. Consider your audience carefully and make your selections based on who is most likely to need your products or services.
  3. Decide How To Measure Success: Unless you have goals and metrics established you have no way to determine if you’re getting your money’s worth. Is it hard sales, leads, clicks, shares or some other number that will determine if your campaign is working?
  4. Analyze Your Options: Study each platform carefully before launching. Each platform (Facebook versus Twitter, for example) has its own unique strengths and weaknesses.
  5. Develop Your Content: The exact type of content that will work best depends on a variety of factors. Your best bet is to use a balance of different media.
  6. Rinse and Repeat: It may take time to develop the right combinations of spending, platforms, and specific content. Evaluate your progress and make adjustments to your strategy.

To use social media paid advertising successfully you need to understand the basics as well as what makes each platform tick. The quickest, most effective way to do that is to consult with a professional.

The Social Media Advisor can help you jump-start your effort by helping you build a solid foundation. The Social Power Program will give you the tools you need to make sure that you are not spinning your wheels and wasting money. Best of all, for a limited time, you’ll receive a FREE Social Media Analysis with your Discovery Session.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#GrowYourBusiness – How to Build Your Business Using Social Media

As a business owner, you know how important it is to take advantage of all the tools available to you. These days, one of the most important of these tools is social media. It’s likely that you already have pages on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and perhaps Instagram and Pinterest.

But are you actually using social media to build your business? If not, now is the perfect time to fine-tune your strategy to make the most of these critical marketing assets.

Here are five key ways you can use social media to help you build and strengthen your business:

  • Strengthen relationships: As social media has evolved engagement has become the mantra for success. When you engage with your audience, you build and strengthen your relationships. Strong relationships can do a lot for you both personally and professionally.
  • Generate Leads: Of course, you want to get sales or else you wouldn’t be in business. Social media can help you get more visibility, reach a broader audience, and yes, make sales.
  • Strengthen Your Brand: You work hard to build your brand. Why not protect and strengthen it. When used to its full potential, social media can help you strengthen your brand and, in turn, make inroads in the marketplace.
  • Drive Traffic to your Site: If you are like most small businesses today, your website is your lifeblood. While social media is great for increasing your visibility, it’s also the perfect way to get your audience to click through to your website.
  • Establish your Authority: There are many reasons that you want to be perceived as an authority in your industry. Aside from getting customers to turn to you when they need your product or services, Google places a premium on authority when it comes to search rankings.

The decision to use social media to help you build your business is an easy one. But committing to it consistently and effectively is another story. Unless you’re a social media pro, you may need some help. That’s where the Social Media Advisor’s Social Power Program comes in.

The Social Power Program is the perfect way to up your game no matter what your level of social media expertise. As a bonus, as part of your Discovery Sessions, you’ll get a FREE social media analysis. Your analysis is the perfect way to get on the right track to using social media as a key tool for building your business.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.

#GrowYourBusiness – How to Build an Editorial Calendar for Your Social Media

Despite our best intentions, day-to-day responsibilities can push content creation to the bottom of the to-do list. Before you know it, you’re behind schedule and struggling to get caught up.

As if the stress from getting behind isn’t bad enough, an effective social media strategy requires not just top quality content, but also that it’s consistent. A good editorial calendar can help you plan your content and post the right amount at the right time.

When you break it all down, an editorial calendar is simply a way to organize your work. Sounds easy enough but how do you go about building a calendar that will help you get the job done? Here are six steps to building a great social media editorial calendar.

  • Think about your audience. The key to creating engaging content is knowing what’s right for your audience. If you don’t know your audience, then you should step back and learn.
  • Think about your goals. Different goals require different types of content. You’ll need a mix of content that is promotional, informational, and educational. What is most effective for you will depend on your business, your objectives, and your audience.
  • Budget time for planning: It’s not good enough to fit creating your calendar in where you can. Set aside time to create, monitor, and revise your plan. Whether it’s once a week, once a month, or once a year, treat your social media calendar with the same importance as financial planning.
  • Consider the requirements for each platform: Each platform has its own unique characteristics. What works best on Facebook may not work well on Pinterest or Twitter. That’s not to say that you have to create brand new content for each platform, but you will likely need to reformat it to fit the place where you are posting it. You should also keep the platform in mind when you decide how often to post.
  • Keep a master calendar: You don’t need a different calendar for each platform. In fact, keeping one calendar works best.
  • Put it in print: Once you have reviewed your goals, your audience, and the requirements of the platforms, put it in writing. Share your calendar with the other members of your team and stick to the plan.

In the long run, developing an editorial content system will make your job much easier. Not only will you have help if you get stuck for ideas, but you’ll also be able to assess what is working and what isn’t. To help you get started, take advantage of the FREE social media analysis that you’ll receive when you sign up for the Social Media Advisor’s Discovery Session. It will help you jump-start your effort and get you headed in the right direction.

Be sure to Follow us and Let’s Engage!

Hollie Clere of The Social Media Advisor is a “#BeAwesome” Developer, Social Media, Brand Builder, Content Manager, Trainer and Author in LinkedInFacebookTwitterBlogGoogle+YouTubePinterestInstagram, and the tools to manage them.

Click here for Social Media TrainingSpeaking and Strategy Consultations.


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