How to Use Hashtags Effectively
Did you know that hashtags have become so ingrained in our culture, that the word was added to the Oxford dictionary in 2010? Although everyone is using them, few people actually know how to use them correctly.
Hashtags are the most popular way of designating and classifying content on social media. It makes your own content discoverable and also allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses. The hashtag also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common topic or interest.
Knowing how to use hashtags is fundamental when it comes to your success on social media as an individual or as a business.
- BE SPECIFIC
Too many times, people use generic hashtags, such as #food, that are way too broad and do not allow you to home in on your target audience. Instead of using #food, using something like #italianpizza is a lot more specific and allows you to reach people who are specifically interested in Italian pizza.
- KNOW THE SOCIAL MEDIA PLATFORM
Although Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter have merged in likeness, they are still different when it comes to hashtag use. On Facebook and Instagram, hashtags usually describe the content of what is in the photo/video. Hashtags on Twitter, on the other hand, are more geared towards a topic of conversation instead of the content of the post.
- COME UP WITH RELEVANT, UNBRANDED HASHTAGS
Having your own signature hashtag not only helps people find your content on social media, but allows you to brand yourself. For example, Frito Lays twitter account always used #DoUsAFavor to help spread the conversation of them using everyday people’s ideas for a new chip flavor. The hashtag is unique and memorable (and unbranded!), and that makes it work well with people reading their tweets.
- DON’T HASHTAG EVERYTHING/DON’T HAVE MORE HASHTAGS THAN WORDS
Hashtags can work with you, but they can also work against you. If your tweet, post, or comment isn’t adding anything extra to the wider conversation, you might want to choose to opt out of using hashtags. If you do choose to use hashtags, make sure you use only a few impactful/unique hashtags. Posts with too many hashtags look unprofessional and too “try hard”.