Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Snapchat, and more. What was once your phone’s pound sign now has a place on the most popular social media networks. Likely the most common means of categorizing content on social media, the hashtag makes your own content discoverable and allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. In addition, it allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme of interest. That’s why knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental to your company’s success on social media. Luckily, Design Thinking’s social media gurus have put together the below do’s and don’ts when it comes to the infamous #.
Do be specific.
Try and hone in on a passionate community that shares an interest in one specific theme. The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be which generally creates better engagement.
Do cater to the social network.
While hashtags on all social networks have the same fundamental purpose of content tagging and discovery, the use of hashtags still varies by network. When it comes to photo- and video-sharing platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, hashtags are often more focused on the description of the content. Whereas on content-driven platforms, such as Twitter and Facebook, hashtags are more focused on a topic of conversation, or a group of people that you would like to engage.
Do come up with relevant, unbranded hashtags.
When it comes to creating a more personalized hashtag for your brand, the hashtag shouldn’t actually be your brand name but rather represent your brand and what you stand for. These hashtags are also great for user-generated content campaigns and contests as it helps to drive participation and engagement.
Don’t be too long or clever.
Keep your hashtags short and sweet! Although you can get very targeted with longer hashtags, no one will actually use it because it’s too long to type and there are platforms with restrictive character limits, #HelloTwitter. You also don’t want to get too clever with your hashtags since you want people to naturally search for your tag.
Don’t have more hashtags than words.
You’ve seen those posts, where an excessive amount of hashtags are used and it’s just plain annoying! Although more hashtags can mean a higher reach and amount of likes, you would be gaining the wrong kind of following, consisting mostly of spammers. Focus instead on those specific hashtags that we discussed above.
Don’t hashtag everything.
Going hand-in-hand with the point above, hashtags are meant to make your content discoverable to a wide audience. Not everything you produce is going to fit into a category and if your tweet, post, or comment isn’t adding any substance to the wider conversation, consider just leaving the hashtag off.
Using hashtags allow you to make an impression on a wide social media audience, so it’s important to make sure that you’re sharing the best content, and making the right impression to you target market. Contact Design Thinking today to learn how to use hashtags in a strategic way to connect with your customers and start building long-term relationships.