Social media marketing is a terrific marketing tool, but it should also be a social experience; a two-way street between client and company. Creating a consistent social media presence gives you as a business owner the opportunity to grow your brand, get your product noticed, connect with your loyal fan base, and show off your vision. Maybe you’re already posting on social media, but have yet to utilize popular and relevant hashtags (those pound # symbols listed in or after social media posts). If this sounds like you, read on to discover how you can help every post you publish reach an even bigger audience. Hashtags might seem silly to some, but with the right strategy, hashtags for business can actually be useful and super fun!
A little history about the hashtag:
- Hashtags first became popular on Twitter, though they are used on many social media platforms today.
- Chris Messina is credited with the idea for using hashtags to group people together in 2007.
- Hashtags are also called metadata tags.
- Hashtags can be used to expand your content reach
- Hashtags group like-minded people together.
- Hashtags help you target your intended audience.
- Content can be found more easily by using branded hashtags.
- Hashtags can help improve SEO, while building your brand.
As with anything social media, strategizing your hashtags and content will yield the best results. You can create hashtags for your brand, your specific campaign, an upcoming event, a trending topic, and/or specific content that relates to your post.
Brand and Campaign Specific
Brand and Campaign Specific hashtags are hashtags that you can create in order to differentiate your brand or campaign. Hashtags that you create for your business could be things like your company name, your tagline, your event name, or even a response hashtag. Always search Google first to ensure that the hashtag you’d like to use is unique to your business; this ensures that all your hashtagged posts are being grouped as you’d like them. It would defeat the purpose to start using a hashtag that directs fans to another company or points in a direction that doesn’t match your values. Did you hear about the company that used a hashtag that made light of domestic violence on accident? There can be enormous backlash by not doing a touch of research first.
A good rule of thumb is to keep your hashtags short, about 2-3 words, and remember that it’s not necessary to use a lot of different hashtags in every post. Since content is everything in social media, it’s better to have one engaging hashtag that people will use, as opposed to a bunch of hashtags that no one will care about.
Hashtags are really useful to help connect a group of people who share similar ideas and feelings. Relevant hashtags allow you to connect directly with people you’d like to chat with, while connecting you with others who have similar likes and values. This can be powerful for both customer service and brand recognition!
Take a look at Twitter or Google and piggyback off of trending topics. Trending topics are a surefire way to get more traction on hashtags that you might be able to use for your brand, and the beauty is you don’t have to start from scratch. You can search for your desired keyword with the “#” symbol to find popular topics that people are already talking about!
Remember that trending hashtags change often, so check Google or Twitter on a regular basis to stay on top of trends. When you find a popular topic, be sure to only use those hashtags that relate to your brand, audience, and content. Spamming hashtags, or using every single hashtag you find in order to reach a lot of people, is frowned upon, and won’t help your goal in the long run. It’s like buying likes for Facebook. You might reach a lot of people, but will they care, and will they engage? Probably not. You can also check out a couple other websites, like Hashtags.org (free) and Trendsmap.com (monthly charge) if you’d like more specific research and utilization.
Content hashtags are another effective way to use hashtags for your business. A content hashtag is one that relates to your post’s content, which can help improve the Search Engine Optimization (SEO) of your posts. People can search for your hashtag to find specific content that relates to your business, event, location, or campaign. By engaging with people who are using your hashtags (meaning you are liking, retweeting, and commenting), you can create Human-2-Human interaction and help strengthen your content hashtags, your brand, as well as your online presence.
The final piece of using hashtags effectively is to look at which posts and which hashtags are performing well on your pages. One hashtag will not always work for every company or event, and you may see different engagement with your hashtags on different posts. Using various campaigns and hashtags, and then analyzing the results of each, will help you to determine which hashtags are worth repeating. Repeat what works, forget what doesn’t.