3 Tips on IMPROVING your Hashtags

If you’re managing a business, then you’ve probably already set up your business with the various different social media pages. With 1.39billion monthly active members on Facebook, 200million active members on Instagram, and 288million active members on Twitter, social media has become the perfect tool to create a community and represent what your business stands for. Spreading the word to millions of people is no easy task, which is where the hashtag comes in.

Hashtags are simple, they make it easy for users to find conversations, topics or posts they are interested in by just typing in the key words used as hashtags. Although hashtags seem easy enough to use, many people end up misusing or abusing this system. Here are a few tips on how to properly use hashtags to increase the productivity of your social media marketing.

Be Specific. The more specific you are in your hashtags the more likely you are to connect with your target audience. For example, if you are posting on Facebook or Twitter, you would use hashtags directly related to your topic and not a generalization of it. Likewise, if you are posting on Instagram, you would use specific hashtags with descriptions of your photo or video.

Bonus Tip: Hashtags used on Twitter, Facebook, or Instagram are not always the same. Depending on your post and topic, each website should have its own version of a similar hashtag, as exampled above.

Same Topic. Same Hashtag. Here is the beauty of hashtags, you don’t have to come up with creative hashtags every time you post something new. If you are creating a new post with the same topic or a continuation of an earlier post, use the same hashtags. Users search hashtags to find multiple posts/videos/images on the same subject. You want all your posts relating to one subject to come up under one search.

Boundaries. Using unrelated popular or trending hashtags only makes you seem desperate for followers, likes, retweets, etc. Create hashtags which represent what your company stands for and stay within these boundaries. This not only helps your business relate to your target audience but allows regular people to use these hashtags as well (causing growth through follower-generated content).

Common Mistakes. Although it may seem as though using more hashtags can only benefit your social marketing, it actually has the opposite effect. Here are the 3 main things to avoid while using hashtags.

  1. Don’t use a paragraph full of hashtags. Yes, this may seem as a good idea because there are more key words available for search, but this allows for a lot of spam, unrelated hashtags and followers only interested in receiving a follow back.
  1. Don’t make your hashtags too long, keep them short and simple. Even though “#StarbucksCoffeeLovers” is targeting a specific group of audience, it is not going to be searched or used because no one would want to type that in.
  1. Don’t hashtag every word. This is one of the more annoying aspects of using hashtags. Using “#I #Absolutely #Love #Starbucks #Coffee” is adding extra hashtags which, just like our first don’t, increases the chances of spammers and followers you don’t want.

Bonus Tip: Instagram has what is called “Broken Hashtags.” This was Instagram’s way of preventing inappropriate posts to be searched. Broken hashtags are a list of certain hashtags that when used make your post unable to be found when searching through hashtags. Whether you use 3 perfectly good hashtags and 1 broken one, none of the hashtags included in this post will allow your image or video to come up in a search. If you ever notice that one of your posts is missing from search results, go back to the post and click on your hashtags. If one of these hashtags gives you no results, you have found your broken hashtag.

Hashtags have completely changed the game of social marketing. Make sure you understand the proper use of hashtags to increase the productivity of your social marketing.

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