Everyone knows what hashtags are, but few people know how to use them properly for social media. Often, we just throw a few hashtags into the bottom of a post and hope for the best. That isn’t enough – you have to use hashtags to increase your visibility and boost brand awareness. This can be done in a number of different ways, but it starts with knowing how to properly use hashtags on social media.
Start By Knowing What Hashtags To Use
The first thing you should do is research hashtags that are used by your industry. You need to find those hashtags and then put them to good use. There are a few different options out there that you can use, including: What The Trend, Twitonomy, RiteTag, Hashtagify.me, or just by doing your own research. Look at the hashtags that your competition uses, pay attention to what is trending, and make notes. Note that you will have to do this for each social network – typically, the tags do not transfer over all that often.
How Many Hashtags Can I Use?
How many hashtags you can use differs on every social media post – and that differs from how many you should use. Generally, you will use the highest number of hashtags on Instagram, where you can use up to 20. Twitter is a different story – you only have so many characters, so you don’t want to take up all of your space with hashtags. In general, you want to use a few high quality, high traffic hashtags. People are getting smarter and when they see too many hashtags, they know what you are trying to do.
Elements Of A Good Hashtag
When you are trying to use hashtags and you can’t narrow down between some options, you have to ask yourself these questions:
Is it unique? How many people are trying to compete for this one hashtag?
Is it memorable? Will people use this hashtag?
Does it have anything to do with my content?
You absolutely have to be mindful when you are coming up with hashtags. Instagram hashtags, for instance, tend to be geared toward what is in the picture. Twitter and Facebook, on the other hand, tend to have hashtags that are more about creating conversations and stimulating people.
You don’t want to push people away when you use hashtags, so make sure you think every hashtag out so that you get the most impact.
Some other basic tips include capitalizing the first letter of each word – this will help to make your hashtag readable.
Elements Of A Bad Hashtag
If there are good hashtags, there are also bad hashtags. There are a few things that you can do to create bad hashtags. The first is to put spaces or punctuation in them – that will destroy the integrity of the hashtag. Stick to using only numbers and letters in your hashtags. Do not use symbols either!
Even if you have good hashtags, using too many or spamming is annoying and will turn people off from your brand. Use them judiciously and ensure that each hashtag has a purpose.
If you see a trending hashtag that fits with your brand, make sure it means what you think it means. Many brands have had to backtrack and apologize for using the wrong hashtag at the wrong time – or even the right hashtag at the wrong time.
These are just a few elements of how to properly use hashtags on social media – the most important thing is that you do use them.