Remember how strange it was seeing hashtags in social media posts just over a decade ago? Now it’s something we don’t even flinch at. In fact, if a social media post doesn’t contain hashtags, Is It even really a post? (We’re kidding! Of course, it is!)
But, honestly, even if you use them, you may not understand their importance or why you should use them. Don’t fear — we’re going to assist you with some hashtag education!
What Exactly Are Hashtags?
Hashtags are those words or phrases you see on individual social media posts and other apps preceded with the “pound” symbol (#). They originated on Twitter but are now commonly found on Instagram, Pinterest, and even Facebook and Tumblr.
You can use numbers or letters – but don’t include any spaces or punctuation or it won’t register as a hashtag.
On most social media platforms, hashtags will dictate what is trending in your area or on that channel as a whole.
Why Use Hashtags?
There are many reasons you’ll want to use hashtags in your posts.
Find an audience. Hashtags will help social media users find you and your brand. For example, if you use the hashtag #sailboat and someone searches for that hashtag, your post will come up in the search feed.
Look at the accounts and posts of people who make up your target market. Then incorporate some or all of the hashtags they use and look for which are relevant to your branding.
Keep up with your competition. Searching hashtags is a great way to find out who your online competition is and what they have to offer. You’ll also be able to see which hashtags your competitors are using to draw in the most responses to their posts.
Easy promotion. Create a unique hashtag around a specific product or event you’re offering. Then ask people to engage back with you or share their experiences using that hashtag. The more use it gets, the more it will draw attention to your business.
Things to Watch Out for When Using Hashtags
Although almost anything goes in the world of hashtags, there are some things you should keep in mind to receive the best return on your hashtags.
Don’t be too generic. While it’s essential to use popular hashtags, using hashtags which are too popular will end up burying your posts. Using the example above, #sailboat is a popular hashtag. If 10 people use that hashtag every minute, within a few minutes, your post will be buried under many others.
Do go ahead and use these popular hashtags as it may gain some eyes on your post, but mix those extremely popular hashtags up with more targeted ones.
Don’t mislead people with your hashtags. Let’s say #sailboat is trending, so you use it to bring attention to your brand. But if sailboats have absolutely nothing to do with your branding, people will feel misled and likely shun your products or services.
Contact Flynn Digital Plus
Hashtags got you overwhelmed? We understand it can be hard to know exactly how and where to start using them. We can help get you on the right track or take over your social media, branding, and other digital marketing to free up your time to concentrate on other parts of your business. Contact us today to get started.