Hashtag With A Purpose, Not Just Because You Can
Hashtags are one of the most unique aspects of social media. I love that something so unique wasn’t started by a company, but instead the users of a social network got it all going (or so the story goes). Regardless of how it all got started, hashtags have become an integral part of social media marketing and when used properly, they can build community, grow your following and impart salient points within your posts.
Now many of us know there are hashtag and social media Nazi’s out there. You know the people who are self-righteous know-it-alls that have an over-confident view and proclamation of the what’s, when’s and how’s of hashtagging properly. I ignore these people and suggest you do as well. Are there more acceptable ways and quantities of hashtagging that can yield better results? Of course. Will the world end if you don’t do them? No.
So to those folks that feel the need to criticize everyone else, we will just say to each their own, smile and move on.
With the housekeeping out-of-the-way, let me bring up a few things you may (or may not) want to consider about your hashtagging tendencies. None the following scenarios are set in stone requirements, but rather suggestions that you should consider.
1) Your company or product name: This one always blows me away. You have 1200 followers on Twitter, 3000 Facebook Likes and 422 followers on Instagram and your company is only about 2 years old…
Questions: Why are you hashtagging your company or product name? Do you really think people are searching for your little company hashtag on social media? Do you really think your prospects and/or customers are following the hashtag?
Answer: Not likely… At the very most, you are showing everyone what a beginner you are at social media marketing.
Suggestions: Use hashtags that your prospective customers will actually be searching or following in social media. Your posts are already tagged with your company name and profile, so you are far better off optimizing a proper social media profile and executing a proper social media marketing strategy, than wasting time hashtagging posts with your company name.
2) You’re too serious: Don’t underestimate the use of hashtags through humor. Yes, I mean making up a hashtag that doesn’t exist just to be human and fun. You know, #Icanbeannoying or #Ireallywishyouwouldshutit etc.
These nontraditional uses of hashtags are often overlooked as a way to invoke humor and the approachable into your posts. Don’t over do it, but definitely do it. Have fun with it.
3) Use as many as you want: Again, there are some that get all Nazi about this, I am not one of them. Frankly, use as many hashtags as you want in a post, just be sure they’re relevant to the content and text you are posting. The worst things you can do are over doing hashtags in a post as well as including tags that are not relevant to the post.
Suggestion: One way to reduce the number of tags you use in a post is to tag keywords within the text of the post itself. If the word you want to hashtag is already in the text of the post, don’t add it as a hashtag too.
Example: “This is an awesome post about using #hashtags in #socialmedia #marketing effectively”
4) Repetition is the key to advertising, but… : Putting the same hashtag(s) in every single thing you post is not wise.
Suggestion: Be consistent with your hashtagging, but never over do it. If it’s relevant to the content of the post, then hashtag it. If it isn’t a relevant hashtag, don’t.
BONUS Tip – Going across all platforms: Whether you are posting to Twitter, Facebook, Instagram or Google Plus, be sure to hashtag consistently.
Again, these are merely suggestions that should help improve the results you’re getting with hashtags. There is no steadfast rules and I am not one to say what you MUST do, however in my experience these are a few things that you should consider and experiment with and measure the differences between the results. Then adjust and repeat.