How to Use Hashtags to Improve Your Social Media Marketing
A hashtag is word preceded by a hash mark (#), used within a message to identify a keyword or topic of interest and facilitate a search for it.
Hashtags are such a prominent part of online culture today and people have started using them outside of their intended purpose like using them in text messages, chats, songs, and advertisements.
Hashtags are a way for social media users to tag their posts with keywords, which in turn make them easier for social networks to organize and users to search.
So whenever a user adds a hashtag to their post, it is immediately indexed by the social network and searchable by other users. Once someone clicks on that hashtag, they’ll be brought to a page that aggregates all of the posts with the same hashtagged keyword in real-time.
Once a keyword picks up enough momentum it becomes known as “trending.” Trending isn’t simply a matter of becoming the most popular hashtag on the networks. Each users’ trending topics is different based on their location and social connections. You can use hashtags on personal and business pages, in groups and even in comment sections. You can use them anywhere to get found!
If you’re looking for a completely cut-and-dry ruling on the topic of hashtags, then here it is: You should be using hashtags for your business and your social media marketing.
Why should you use Hashtags?
- By including a hashtag in your updates, you can get in front of MANY MORE potential clients who may not have seen your post otherwise and can create extra buzz and exposure for your business by sharing your content.
- Hashtags are the most popular means of categorizing content on social media
- Hashtags allow you to find relevant content from other people and businesses
- Hashtags allow you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest
How to use Hashtags?
Remember, hashtags have to be ONE word. Capitalization doesn’t matter: You can choose whatever capitalization you want in the words themselves and the hashtags will show the same results. #SocialMediaMarketing and #socialmediamarketing show the same search results.
TIP: Capitalize The First Letter Of Each Word: #whenyouputmanywordstogether in a single hashtag, the letters can become all jumbled up and difficult to read. #ButIfYouCapitalize the first letter of each word, it’s easier to distinguish each word and read at a glance, and the hashtags becomes more memorable.
Rule of thumb: 1-3 hashtags are best over all platforms. Don’t have more hashtags than words, except on Instagram.
Which Networks Support Hashtags?
Twitter: The network that brought us the hashtag is the most popular site to use it on. Just scrolling through my own feed I see that more than half of the tweets contain a hashtag. You can find the trending topics on the left hand side of your Twitter stream.
Instagram: Hashtagging on Instagram is a MUST. Simply hashtag the picture you took and it will create a link to a page with other pictures of the same subject.
Facebook: To use a hashtag on Facebook, all you have to do is publish a Facebook post to your Page or timeline that includes the hashtag. Be sure your post is public if you want people other than your Facebook friends to be able to find it. To make a Facebook post public, click on the button to the right of “Post” and choose “Public” from the dropdown menu.