Hashtags can be a quirky way to express your personality. But they can also be used quite effectively to market your business. They can tell your company’s story or share a personal history while connecting with your target audience. Companies that use hashtags effectively see double the engagement rates compared to those that don’t. Hashtags can mean big business. But you must use them correctly.
As you probably know by now, the pound symbol (#) or hash turns any word or group of words that follows it into a link that is searchable on social media platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook and Google+. Using a hashtag is a good shortcut for people to locate, categorize and get excited about topics and conversations. Say you are interested in following the upcoming season of your favorite TV show, “True Blood.” You could search #trueblood to follow any conversations that are happening in social media. There is also a free website called Hashtags.org to see how people have used a given hashtag over the past 24 hours.
Here are some helpful tips on how to use hashtags effectively for your business:
1) Figure Out What People Really Care About
Companies often make the mistake of assuming that people want to have conversations about their brand. In fact, this can’t be farther from the truth. A good brand name hashtag can certainly help but people want to talk about what matters most to them. If you join an ongoing conversation by searching for hashtags that already exist, you can add them to your own post. For example, if you are promoting a new item in your fashion line, you could pair your new hashtag #floralkimonofashion with an existing hashtag like #fashion. Those people that are already following the existing #fashion tag will discover the posts you are creating and get to follow a new tag.
If there is a lot of chatter on social media about certain hashtags, look to see what people are posting on the topic. This opens up new tags that you can get involved with, comment on and also learn about new competitors. You want to make sure you add personality to a hashtag too. Followers want to know there is an actual person behind your posts so feel free to get creative by using humor and creating a feeling that you care. You can also post business know-how advice and use hashtags such as #socialmediatips or #cheapDYIprojects. Use general keywords so that people can easily find your company.
2) Sharing Your History
The hashtag #tbt (#throwbackthursday) began with people sharing pictures of themselves on Instagram as kids or flashing back to a time in history. Companies are using this idea to share the history of their own brands. Magazines use the hashtag to showcase first issues, car companies use #tbt to show their vehicles in historical context to show their values and their part in American history, etc. Again, making the hashtags personal creates a sense that there is a person behind your brand. Think of the best way you want your company to be portrayed and use old pictures or items to reflect that.
Make sure to use multiple hashtags sparingly. Using too many hashtags in one post can be overwhelming and confusing for followers. Your message should be targeted while using only one or two hashtags at a time. Also, your hashtags have to be associated with good writing. There should be no grammar or spelling mistakes within the body of the post. Also avoid overusing punctuation and abbreviate too much.
3) Improve Your Reputation
Using hashtags effectively can allow others to follow your present and future conversations and builds your reputation and public good will. Companies have gained thousands of followers in just days using hashtags correctly. But you must provide relevant information and manage conversations to keep the discussion on topic. You can also track hashtag use to monitor the impact using hashtag apps, social analytic tools and replies/visits.
Hashtags can be used for contests, education, events news and advocacy but they are only effective if people use it. Making yours stand out from the background can lead to a very successful marketing future!
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Have you had success using hashtags for your business? What has worked the best for you? Let us know in the comment section below!
If you found this information helpful, be sure to check out our post “Facebook Hashtags: Use Them to Market Your Business“. Organik SEO is passionate about helping businesses grow by tapping into the power of social media and SEO. To discuss how we can help you grow your business, contact us today!