Inbound: Are you using the correct hashtags?

Inbound

Are you using the correct hashtags?

By Walter Pfander May 22, 2017 • 5 minutes to read

Social media before the advent of hashtags could be akin to having a room in a dark hotel. You’re hoping people would make use of a flash light, to eventually stumble into your space. Hashtags are the light switch that illuminates your room and draws people in through the dark corridors of the unknown.

 

Posting anything on social media is easy! Getting that post to garner attention and further your exposure is the tricky part. Hashtags are an effective means to guide people to you. Like a roadmap, they can search the hashtag and be transported to a myriad of posts that made use of that hashtag.

In this blog we will look at the Do’s and Don’ts of effective hashtag implementation.

The Do’s:

Try to find your audience by connecting with a community of people who share an interest in one specific theme. The more specific your hashtag, the greater chance you stand of reaching your target audience.  So, for example, if you are a design agency, and your target audience is corporate executives, don’t hashtag #design. Rather use the hashtag #corporatedesign as this is your target customer and filters out every other form of design intention.

Cater your hashtags to your chosen social networks, as Evan LePage puts it;

“While hashtags on all social networks have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery, the use of hashtags still varies by network.

As we explain in our post, The Complete Instagram Hashtag Guide for Business, hashtags on the photo- and video-sharing platform are often more focused on description of the content. This is at odds with Twitter, where hashtags tend to be more focused at a topic of conversation, or a group of people (a chat for example) that you would like to engage.

Before using hashtags, do research on the proper way to use them for that particular network. Most networks will have guides for hashtag selection and use (here’s Twitter’s, and again, our own for Instagram)”.

Ensure that your hashtags are relevant

Don’t make use of brands as hashtags, rather use words that illustrate what your brand stands for.  LePage mentions that “Destination British Columbia created the hashtag #exploreBC. The tourism company uses it to share scenic photos of the Canadian province taken by their employees and the community”. This prompted their clients to use the hashtag in their ventures and explorations, as people want to be a part of something greater than themselves, so allow them to use your hashtags to further their own story and add to yours.

The Don’ts

Avoid using hashtags with excessive characters, or hashtags that seek to be too clever as this will put people off from using them. Complicated hashtags often lead to people being unable to remember your hashtags, resulting in lost/dead traffic flow.

Stay away from using too many hashtags in your posts. Focus instead on being specific as explained in the do’s above. You’re looking for a targeted audience! Using too many hashtags might gain you a steady stream of followers, but it’s often the wrong kind of followers.

Don’t hashtag everything!

Hashtags serve to make your content discoverable to a broader audience. Not everything you tweet is going to fit in, or add substance to the conversation of your brand. If a tweet, post or comment isn’t going to serve your brand in a substantial way, rather leave the hashtags off.

For example, if a news story breaks and you simply share the news, leave the hashtag off of it. If you write a blog post that analyses the impact of that news, then absolutely use a hashtag when you share it. Using hashtags will allow you to make an impression on a wider social media audience. Make sure you’re sharing the best content and making the right impression.

If you’re looking to grow your social standing, gain exposure to your intended audience and get your brand to the right people, why not make use of a #DigitalAgency? An agency like MO Agency! ;)

If you are after yet more exposure, why not read our article outlining the difference between free and paid online advertising

Social Media Management

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