Tag: hashtags

Top 3 Uses of Hashtags in Your Social Media Marketing

In all the social media trainings and presentations I do each year, hashtags is always a hot button topic. Businesses know about hashtags but many of them don’t understand their value or the appropriate way to use them. Hashtags are a powerful strategy for getting your content seen but only if you use them the right way.

Here are the top 3 uses for hashtags in your social media marketing:

The Power of Search

Since every social media channel happens to be a search engine, hashtags help people locate the type of content they want to find. If someone wants to know more about social media marketing, they can type in #socialmediamarketing into any of the social media platforms and find posts that have been tagged with that hashtag. For folks who use social media this way, and it’s common on platforms like Twitter and Instagram, if you aren’t using the right hashtags you won’t show up in those searches.

Hashtag Followers

On Instagram, users can actually follow hashtags the way you follow accounts, people or businesses. By following a specific hashtag, it allows users to find content on a topic they care about from people they haven’t heard from before. Otherwise, they’d be stuck only viewing content from accounts and influencers they already knew about. If you are a photographer, using the #photography hashtag will pull that bit of content into the feed for that hashtag and into the feeds of those who follow it.

Content Grouping

The original purpose of hashtags was to allow Twitter users to group content together. For example, if a conversation was happening about 2020 marketing trends and you wanted to see all the questions and comments attached to that conversation, everyone using the same hashtag (#2020marketingtrends, for example) would help people keep up with the conversation.

This also works well for big events. If the event organizer gets the word out that every post should include their official hashtag it helps attendees and organizers to see what everyone is posting about that event online.

For those not well-versed in social media, hashtags can be confusing. Sometimes, they can appear to be downright silly. However, if you understand why they exist and the most effective ways to use them then you can expand your online reach much further.

If hashtags and social media confuse you, give us a call. Our team loves to help business owners make an impact online with their social media marketing.

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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.

#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.

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.

#BePrepared – Hashtags and Your Brand

Hashtags. You see them everywhere, and you may have a pretty good idea that they are important. But are you using them? If you are using them, have you built a hashtag strategy? In other words, have you thought about the hashtags you are including in your posts and making sure that they push your brand and your message strategically?

Hashtag Strategy

There are many good reasons to use hashtags. They are particularly important if you want to set your brand apart, reach more customers, and get your content found. If you rely on Twitter and Instagram, it is especially important that you pay attention to hashtags. Sure your followers may see your posts if you don’t use but hashtags make it easier.

One important thing to note before we continue is that each social media platform is its own search engine. Hashtags are used to locate the information we need with a simple search. Especially for platforms that reward hashtag usage – mainly Instagram and Twitter. The reason hashtags were created was to allow people to find and participate in specific online conversations. Today, they are used to attach content to a specific keyword so it can be found easily.

Hashtags are a powerful tool but you need a clear strategy. That means creating a plan, making a list, and then using the tags you choose consistently and strategically.

How To Pick Hashtags

Picking hashtags sounds simple, doesn’t it? The truth is it can be tricky. Think about how hard it is to find effective keywords for your content or an available domain name for your website. Pulling something out of the air (without a plan) just because it sounds good usually doesn’t work.

The more complicated or original the hashtag, the quicker your content will be found – but only by the people who already know to look for that tag. Common, frequently used, keywords have a better rate of return if the goal is to attract new traffic to your social media content. A unique hashtag is created for hosting and running events where you can announce the hashtag early and explain how to use it to attendees during the event. However, if you just want to attract healthcare professionals to your blog, for example, then #healthcare, #doctor, or #medical might be a better choice.

Where to start? First, your brand needs to create a strategy around why and how you want to use hashtags. Then you need to decide which hashtags to use. When it comes to Instagram, you need to find tags that focus on your brand, your community, or your content. Right now, the recommended number of hashtags per post on Instagram is between 20 and 30. You’ll be pleasantly surprised at how much engagement and how many new followers you’ll gain by using more tags on this platform. On Twitter, due to the character restriction, it really is better to limit it to 1-3 hashtags per posts. You’ll need to be much more strategic about the tags you use with your tweets since you are limited. These approaches are related, but they are also different. These social media channels are different since they are completely unrelated to one another so the strategy you use for one may not be successful with the other.

Twubs

Luckily, there are some tools out there that can help. One particularly intriguing tool is Twubs. Twubs is a platform that is designed to gather up all your tweets and create a branded page. The site can also help you find trending hashtags, register your hashtags so that you can stake your claim to them, and conduct conferences and live events. This type of tool can help you monitor and track the impact of your hashtag strategy.

If you don’t want to use another tool, you can the research and tracking on your own. Twitter and Instagram make it easy to find what’s trending. You can search to find out if a tag is already being used and what sort of traction it’s making. Pay attention to the volume of usage and engagement generated by those following and using that hashtag.

A well-researched and thought out a set of hashtags that are used strategically can help you expand your reach and strengthen your brand. While it may take a little work to make sure that you are making the most of your tags, it will be well worth it in the end. Hashtags should be a key part of your overall social marketing plan. We recommend that each of our clients sit down and come up with 50 hashtags they could potentially use and then start incorporating them into their content marketing strategy.

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.

#AwesomeConsistency – Hashtags & Brand Awareness

Hashtags may have begun as a fundamental aspect of early Twitter’s success, but today they are a mainstay for many social media activities. There are a ton of people using hashtags in social right now, some are doing it well and others, well….not so much. You may be wondering what the hoopla is all about when it comes to hashtags and whether or not they provide real value to your online branding efforts?  For many professionals, the idea of the hashtag may seem unprofessional or even irrelevant. We’re here to tell you that if social media is a part of your marketing strategy, hashtags should not be overlooked.
Hashtags & Search
Are you aware that each of the social media platforms operates as its own search engine? Whether you are in Facebook or Twitter, LinkedIn or Instagram, doing a search on any of these sites will pull up an abundance of information that you can’t get simply by going to Google. Each of the platforms is built with this search functionality whether you are looking for a person, a business, a feed, an interest, a job title…all depending on what you are looking for and where you are hunting. In fact, that is really how hashtags grew in popularity, as a way of organizing and searching Twitter to find groups of people with similar interests.
Interested in the origins of this powerful symbol? You can read all about it here.
Finding Your Audience
Researching and using the appropriate hashtags for your brand, business and industry narrows down the field and brings your business into direct contact with its target audience. If you know who your ideal client is, and what hashtags they are using, you’ve developed a direct channel of communication and the opportunity to build and grow new relationships.  To achieve maximum impact, spend time searching these same hashtags and either starting or engaging in conversations on places such as Twitter and Instagram.  Just posting them is a way for people to find you but a combination of posting and engagement is always going to make for a more impactful end result.
Branding & Identity
Creating, and trademarking, hashtags that are unique to your personal or corporate brand enables you to present yourself online in a way that is immediately recognizable to your audience. This can be especially beneficial when initially building presence or when attempting to tie brand concepts together. Once people are looking up your content by these unique identifiers, you can begin developing hashtag campaigns to truly grow presence and reach.
As with any marketing effort, understanding the tool and developing a strategy for using it wisely is the path to success. Spend some time discovering what the right hashtags for your brand are – Kim Garst has a great article on that topic here. Once you know your hashtags, have set some goals, and built a strategy for using them effectively, the returns will convince you of how powerful this approach can be.

Now, go out there and #BeAwesome with your social media marketing by incorporating hashtags!
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.
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