How to Use Hashtags Properly
If you are new to the social media game, those little words with the pound sign in front of them might seem a little unnecessary and confusing. However, they can be powerful tools for communicating online. But what if you have never used hashtags before and you don’t really know how they should be employed in your social media posts?
Let’s take a look at hashtags and how they can be used.
What are Hashtags?
Hashtags were originally the little symbols that were used to catalogue content on Twitter, but they are now popping up on a whole range of social platforms including Instagram, Pinterest, Vine and Google+. Hashtags are used as a way to group messages, so that one can search for the hashtag and obtain the set of messages that contain it.
How Should You Use Hashtags?
Hashtags allow you to add context to your post and show that it is part of a larger social media discussion. They are good for connecting your posts to others by people who are discussing the same topic. They are also great for bringing people together at events.
Creating a hashtag is easy, you simply need to include a # in front of the word or the phrase. It can be used at the beginning or in the middle of a post. When you are a business, you can use hashtags to make your events more social, join conversations and boost the visibility of specific promotion.
If you are new to using hashtags, here are some tips in mind that will help you to use them correctly:
- Try not to abuse your hashtag and use it too often. Research shows that too many hashtags can look overly spammy and your customer engagement will drop when you are using them too much.
- Don’t make a hashtag that is too long. It needs to be short and sweet, as well as easy to spell and to remember. This will also help people to fit it into their Tweet character limits. If you want to create a hashtag for an event with a long name, it’s best to use initials.
- Always do a search for a hashtag before you use it – because it might be already used to discuss something else. You wouldn’t want to accidently connect your business to an embarrassing topic.
- Make it easy to understand. For example, when many people read the hashtag #nowthatcherisdead they were wondering whether it was Margaret Thatcher or Cher who had passed away.
- Be careful when leaving your brand up to criticism. For example, McDonald’s launched a Twitter hashtag called #McDStories hoping that people would share heart-warming stories about their experiences at McDonalds. Instead, users turned it into a “bashtag” and wrote some pretty negative reviews.
These are just a few important tips to keep in mind when using hashtags, so that you can make the most of this powerful social media tool. Go ahead and give it a try!