When it comes to social media, it’s all about the hashtag, right?
Not necessarily. Using hashtags for the sake of using hashtags can give the wrong impression to your followers.
The words that are preceded by the noughts and crosses sign turn your words and phrases into searchable content. You can keep it simple by using words or phrases that are common (and you will often find them trending), such as #WednesdayWisdom or #CharityTuesday. Or you can have some fun with them (but also know that this will have almost no impact on people searching for it) such as #WeLoveCariadTowers (we do!). So it’s important to be strategic on where and how you place them.
This short guide will help you to use hashtags to increase engagement across social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram:
Know the social platform you are using
Hashtags are used more across Twitter, where they were born. When posting from your business platform it’s important to use hashtags where relevant. For example: “We are pleased to announce that we will be holding a #GDPR training event at our office in #HemelHempstead tomorrow and would love it if you could attend”. Using hashtags for the subject and the location mean you will come up in searches for people looking for that subject and also things to do in that area. Hashtagging the subject and the location should become a habit, especially when posting about events.
Facebook joined the hashtag party in 2013 and, whilst they are not widely used over this platform, it still turns the word or phrase into a search term.
For Instagram, it’s important to use hashtags on all posts. Again this can make your content more searchable, but here people are looking for people who follow the same interests, so make sure that you hashtag locations (people always like to follow people local to them).
Don’t be a slave to National Days
Open up any social media platform and there will always be posts promoting a national day. As much as these can be fun and increase engagement for your business, it’s important not to go too mad. Posting every day about a different national day will come across as desperate and show you’re not interested in posting relevant content for your audience. For example, if you are a publisher, it will be expected that you use #NationalBookDay to promote your business and the services you can offer off the back of this. But on #WorldLlamaDay (for example) unless a member of staff or the owner has one, or a connection that you can bring back to the business page, it’s best not to use this.This short guide will help you to use #hashtags to increase engagement across social platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and Instagram Click To Tweet
Do not use spaces
Using spaces in your hashtags mean that the first part of the word or phrase is the only part that is searchable. For example if you are talking about #HertfordshireHouses and would like people to find your posts based on that whole phrase, make sure you don’t post this as #Hertfordshire houses, as this will only make the word ‘Hertfordshire’ searchable.
This may be an obvious one, but there are times when people go a little crazy with hashtags, making their message a series of searchable words which dilutes the message. For example:
“It’s national #TravelDay. Tag us in all your #Holiday #Pictures using #hashtag #LoveMyHoliday to be entered into a #Competition to #Win a #HolidayOfALifetime to #Florida #USA.”
So many hashtags not only looks messy, it also it slows the reader down and they then need to make sense of the message before taking in the meaning. Prioritise the words you would like to be searchable:
“It’s national #TravelDay (this is the word you want to be searchable). Tag us in all your holiday pictures and use the hashtag #LoveMyHoliday (this is the how you will search through the high volume of messages for the competition entries) to be entered into a competition to win a holiday of a lifetime to Florida.”
The amended post reads much better and gives clarity to the message.
When it comes to hashtags, you need to be spot on with the spelling if you want them to work for you. Wanting your posts to be searchable for the term #Hertfordshire won’t work if you spell it incorrectly (unless the rest of the hashtags are misspelled of course!).
Remember, before posting anything to social media using hashtags, just give it a quick once over using these 5 tips and you’ll be well on your way to mastering the art of effective hashtagging!