Bragging on Hashtagging
If you have a social media profile, I’m sure you are well aware of Hashtags and know they can be quite important if you want your post to get noticed! What you may not know is HOW to use them, optimize them, and the recent tricky do’s and dont’s behind them!
You probably already know, if you are my age, that the hashtag symbol was called the pound sign or maybe even a tic tac toe board when you were a kid. What you may not know, was it was Chris Messina saw it as a solution to the Twitter clutter problem. Newsfeeds were filled with irrelevant material that warranted many complaints. It was already being used on Flickr to sort out content but would it work on other platforms? The simple and quick answer is YES!
Now that symbol is so much more! You can find it everywhere you look and once you get a hashtag rolling, you are a trending genius! Hashtags are not only used for sorting “clutter”. They can be used for so much more such as:
Everywhere you look, you see a # but just because you put a hashtag in front of something, doesn’t mean that it will work for you! It takes quite a bit of know how and a few simple tips to make sure that when you use this “#”, you don’t fade into the background with the rest of the failed to launch trends. So let’s break it down into simple and easy to do steps…
Step 1. DEFINE YOUR HASHTAG GOALS! Are you using them to find content? Are you branding yourself?
Step 2. DO YOUR HASHTAG RESEARCH PER PLATFORM! Each platform has a different trend, so what may be a Twitter craze may not be the same as the Instagram craze that day. Example: #dogsofinstagram wont’ work for a Twitter post about your dog. You’d have to change it to #dogsoftwitter
Step 3. MAKE YOUR HASHTAGS RELEVANT TO YOUR CONTENT. If you haven’t learned the hard way already, if your hashtag is irrelevant, your post probably won’t be seen and it will be lost in the sea of lost garbled mess. Example: If you sell shoes or shoe insoles, you probably wouldn’t have a photo with a colorful sneaker saying #NationalPizzaDay.
Step 4. DON’T DO A HASHTAG OVERLOAD! This can ruin your chances to be seen and viewed as spammy. Twitter prefers you use no more than 2. You can use up to 30 on some platforms but you really shouldn’t. Think of hashtags as content sprinkles. Sure, you can put a 100 sprinkles on that donut, but should you…probably not. Believe it or not, you CAN have too much sugar and nobody needs that kind of crash and burn!
Step 5. MONITOR YOUR RESULTS! Certain types of software, such as Sprout Social, and others allow you to track your hashtags. This can be vital if you are in business and will help keep you connected to consumers. Example: If you are selling a makeup brand called Bonita and you begin the trend of #BonitaBeauty, you can type in this hashtag and track how many users are using this hashtag daily. Is it growing? Is it failing? This helps you to better plan out your campaign and produce results you can actually see!
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