#Hello readers! Get ready for the #ride of your #life! Ok, maybe it isn’t the ride of your life. I could be #fabricating that a bit. However, this installment of #SMO is quite important to you #savvy #socialmedia users. If you haven’t figured out what the topic pertains to, then maybe you need a refresher course on social media – you can find my previous post here. We will be discussing hashtags and how to use them in a skilled manner. I will be offering up some suggestions from this article I stumbled upon, as well as some best practices I have found.
Before Twitter, most people understood # as a pound sign on a phone. There really wasn’t a use for it beyond that. However, social media has taken it to a new level. You can now use the hashtag to search for the hottest news or trending topics. It can be used to create a marketing platform for basically free from a personal computer, smartphone or tablet. The hashtag can even be used to sell a product to someone halfway across the world, or voice opinions to global leaders – all by hitting Shift and 3.
As stated in a previous article about optimizing your social profiles, certain actions can have positive and negative effects on your presence. Regarding hashtags, here are a couple poor practices and a couple good practices with Twitter:
- Leveraging trending hashtags without tying back to your products
A hashtag is used to contribute something to a popular topic, mainly for the purpose of exposure. It is smart to jump on the topic hashtags (ex: #tbt, #superbowl); however, you must have an end goal. In an attempt to capitalize on a trending topic, a British furniture store failed miserably. The company posted the following, “Our totally desirable Spring collection is now 20% off! #iPhone” A post like this is pointless, and makes the store look incompetent. If it doesn’t make sense, no one cares.
- #Using #too # many #hashtags #in #your #posts
Too many hashtags results in a poor response rate, and cries out desperation. A study by Statista found a direct correlation between user engagement and hashtag use per Facebook post:
All in all, one to two hashtags is where you get your highest pay-off. Less is more, people!
- Create hashtags that mirror your brand, and give people reasons to use them.
The real benefit of a hashtag is creating and building your own brand. Creating something unique can have a more resounding effect. Audiences will tie that tag to your brand.
- Use a handful of targeted, keyword-driven hashtags.
Quality is better than quantity. If you can create something original, you are able to resonate better with your target audience. Build that community, and your product/service/brand will sell itself.
Well, this is the part I hate the most. As Semisonic once said, “Closing time, you don’t have to go home, but you can’t stay here”. Happy #tweeting!