New to the whole hashtag thing? Well, the answer to your first question is, Yes, hashtags DO matter. They can actually be pretty powerful for attracting new followers and attaching your content to other brands and relevant topics. Don’t fret, it’s less complex than you might think, but there are some tactics and tips that will help you understand the reasons social media platforms use hashtags and how best to use them to your benefit.
That said, we wanted to offer up a few simple suggestions for new hashtaggers. So, this is for you. You newbie hashtagger you!
WHY DO WE HASHTAG?
Did you know that twitter didn’t even use hashtags originally? It wasn’t until 2007 that the hashtag was added to their repertoire of social media offerings. It was suggested by a user to help categorize posts in a better way for ease of contributing and following specific topics.
Hashtags link your posts to all other posts with the same hashtags. They will show up in feeds with the same hashtags you use, which has the potential to get your posts in front of more eyeballs than it otherwise would.
Hashtags have become so popular that every other mainstream social media platform has jumped on board with them.
- Keep it simple. #DontUseAHashtagThatsHardToReadAndWayTooLong. Make sure your hashtags are relevant to whatever your post is about, and that they’re simple to read. Think of hashtags in two ways:
- A quick joke you might mumble under your breath. #CoughCough
- An easy way to add your post to a conversation. #GreatAdvice
- Keep it relevant. You might know that there’s a trending hashtag like #PumpkinLatte, but it doesn’t make any sense to add it to your post about building a house. You’ll look like a spammer and lose credibility. Which leads us to…
- Control yourself. Yes, the more tags the more eyeballs our post may get to, but it can actually work against you too. If you have a bunch of hashtags at the end of your post, you’re likely to come off as desperate, unknowledgeable, and the eyeballs will scroll right on. Keep it to no more than three hashtags per post. The more you have, the more you look like a spammer. The more specific and to-the-point you are, the more professional you’ll look.
- Keep an eye out for what’s trending. You can use twitter, google, or a plethora of other websites to check on trending hashtags. That means those that are being followed by the most people. If there’s one that is relevant to your business, your post, your life, feel free to hop on and add to the conversation! #MoreEyeballs
- In your post (that’s using no more than 2 – 3 hashtags), use one hashtag that’s trending, and one that relates to your brand. The third is probably unnecessary, but I’m sure you can get creative! #MakeItUp
- Be creative and specific. You want to hop on tags that are relevant, but you don’t want to be too generic. #Wood #Building #SEO #Hashtag… these are too broad and you’ll get lost in the mix. Try being clever and just a bit more specific. Experts say the more targeted your audience is, the better your engagement will be anyway.
- Don’t use a hashtag when responding to someone, or trying to specifically call someone out in your post. That’s what the @ symbol is for. Everyone has a handle (screen name) with an @ symbol in front of it. Find out what your friends’ are, and use them in your post rather than #JohnnyJohnson.
- Don’t hashtag in the comments sections. It just doesn’t make sense.
- You might be eager to make up and take over hashtags that call out your specific brand names, but followers tend not to like this. Rather than putting #MyNameBrand at the end of your posts, think about who your brand is and what you represent. You may notice that we use #RethinkingConnection on some of our posts rather than #SWELL.
GO FORTH AND HASHTAG
Now that you have a bit more information on how it works, test it out! Let us know how these suggestions work for you, and if you’d have any more to add.