Nowadays, it seems like every event and brand has a hashtag. What started out as something seemingly ironic and cute, has become a way to connect and form a conversation around a topic. Using hashtags effectively can increase the reach of your message to more people. It can also give others a way to get your attention and participate in your community. But before you start excitedly slapping hashtags in front of everything, let’s discuss the “rules” of hashtags on different networks.
First of all, only use hashtags on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. Don’t use hashtags on Pinterest, LinkedIn, or YouTube. Use hashtags sparingly and to add value to conversations. Too many words with the “#” in front can be distracting and annoying. If you use them on Facebook, only use one or two in a post for emphasis. You’re allowed up to 3o different hashtags on Instagram, but be sure to include most of them in a comment, not in the post itself.
Use hashtags with intention.
Live Events & Trending Topics
If you’re interested in engaging with other people about the award show or big game on TV, you may type in #Grammys or #SuperBowl, for example, to be a part of the ongoing Twitter conversation. If you’re adding some entertaining and interesting comments, you may gain some new followers while having fun in the process. If you’re attending a conference, use the designated hashtag in your tweets or Instagram posts to connect with fellow attendees and assist with building relationships.
Holidays and other special celebrations are often trending topics, as well. Smart business can make a great impression if they are monitoring relevant hashtags and jumping in with opportunities to surprise and delight customers. Check out this recent exchange I had with a local business. Talk about good social listening!
Twitter Chats are another great way to connect with other influencers and individuals in a certain niche. These typically last an hour at a set time during the week. When you participate, you can use the given hashtag to interact in a real-time conversation about a particular topic.
Increase Brand Awareness
Do you have a branded hashtag for your business? If not, you’ll want to take some time to think of something simple and catchy to use when posting. And be sure to do some research to make sure someone else isn’t already using it consistently. If someone wants to give you a shout-out on social, they may use this hashtag to get your attention. This is a good way to get user-generated content to share and provide social proof of how awesome other people think your business is!
Expand the Reach of Your Content
Adding hashtags to your tweets or posts can get more eyes on your content. When users search various hashtag topics, your content will be added under that word if you used that particular hashtag in your post. This means that people outside of just those who follow you can see your content, if your account is public. It’s a great way to make it easier for potential community members to find you!
For a detailed breakdown of how to maximize hashtags, check out this very informative and helpful post by HubSpot. If you have any questions, find me on Twitter at @StefanieShick or leave a comment below!
And… before I go, I just have to share this! Enjoy! #lololololololololololol
Want more tips to help you make the most of your time on social media? Be sure to get a copy of my FREE Streamline Your Social Quick-Start Guide!