Hashtags are a fundamental part of social media and when used properly, they can influence public opinion, rally the masses and add a spark to marketing campaigns. When incorporating hashtags into Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, or Facebook posts, they help build your community and contribute to the growth of your following.
In a nutshell, using the hashtag symbol before relevant keywords or phrases categorizes your posts and helps them come up in searches. When you click on a hashtagged word in any message, it shows you all other posts marked with that keyword.
No matter how proficient you are in the social realm, brushing up on hashtag basics can’t hurt. Here are 10 tips to help your posts stand out:
- Test your hashtag. Type your keyword in Twitter Search or Tagboard and see what comes up. If it doesn’t relate to what you want to convey or if it’s too broad, try another. You can also check out Hshtags, a social media search engine dedicated to hashtags.
- If your hashtag is multiple words, don’t use spaces or punctuation.
- Limit your hashtags to two or three per post. Anything more is distracting.
- Use capital letters to make your hashtag more readable. Example: #GroundhogDay
- Twitter chats provide a great opportunity for connecting with influencers. Find chats that are relevant to you and your brand.
- If you’re attending a conference, workshop, or industry gathering, use the event’s official hashtag and participate in the conversation. Example: #SXSW
- When unable to attend your industry event, follow along using its official hashtag to stumble upon pictures, conference chatter, and live streams of presentations.
- When people talk about “what’s trending,” they are usually referring to the hashtags that are the most talked about right now. If you see a trend that relates to your business, engage by using the tag.
- If you want to engage with a brand on Twitter, use its handle with the “@” symbol instead of a hashtag.
- You can also use hashtags for monitoring. Whether monitoring specific campaigns, the competition, or just looking for brand trends, hashtags will give you an idea of what consumers are saying and when to contribute.