One way to improve the success your influencer marketing is to learn and adapt hashtag best practices. Knowing why and how to use hashtags still causes some confusion among both brands and consumers. Start by understanding that there are ways to use hashtags without abusing, annoying or distracting your followers.
It’s important to not only learn why hashtags matter, but to implement strategies that’ll bring you the most benefits. See why you need to be using hashtags and what you should and should not be doing with them on social media.
Why Use Hashtags?
Hashtags are useful to marketers because they are the bridge that connects a brand to trending topics. They’re also very popular among social influencers (consumers) who are exactly the people brands are interested in reaching. The best part about hashtags is that they can be used universally as a call to action for business, pleasure or social. They’re a useful marketing tool intended to be used for a variety of situations and social media platforms.
Hashtags help organize tweets and social media posts into categories that allow companies to analyze their impact at a later date. They’re also helpful for emphasizing and promoting specific pieces of content, products, campaigns or contests. Putting the # in front of your keyword or phrase turns it into a hyperlink and ties it to other posts using the same term. The Internet curates the content for you in this way so anyone can see related posts in one feed and you can track the progress of your hashtag.
Each social media platform has a distinct way of displaying hashtags and this creates a unique experience for users on each network. If brands follow hashtag best practices they’ll see how this curation of words and phrases is a great way to help organize social media data. Most importantly, they’ll be reaching and communicating with the people who they care about the most, current and potential customers. Hashtags make it easier for users to access social media posts connected to a brand, the topics being discussed and the things a company recommends.
Hashtags aren’t just symbols to be thrown around on social media with no strategy or thought put behind them. In order for hashtags to be useful to a brand they must serve a purpose and convey meaning.
On average, experts suggest using no more than three hashtags on one post. Hashtag spamming is known to occur when someone uses eight or more tags on one post. Choose your words and terms wisely because you only have a few concepts to work with as you try to get your message out in one post.
Pay attention to the social media platform you’re posting to and follow guidelines for that specific outlet. For example, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram turn hashtags into hyperlinks, where LinkedIn does not. Sticking to the dos will bring brands and marketers positive results such as expanding their digital footprint, marketing efforts across social media and increasing website traffic.
Doing everything right will only bring a brand success when they also stay away from doing the wrong things. Using too many hashtags to represent a brand, campaign or post is frowned upon. Doing so will defeat the purpose of getting large amounts of people to focus in on your message. Conduct some research upfront so you’re using hashtags that are popular and relevant. If nobody has ever heard of or used your hashtag before, it’s likely you won’t get the outcomes you desired.
Another reason you need to research your hashtag before you use it, is to avoid duplicating or associating your brand with a product or person you didn’t intend to be connected with on social media. If your hashtag is already connected to another brand or associated with another product, then you could be minimizing your chances of going viral. Also, your message may get lost in the noise or be a turnoff to your intended audience, especially if you’re linked with someone or something that hurts the reputation of your brand.
Hashtags are a free social influencer management tool that if used correctly will compliment your promotional efforts and expand your reach. Commit to implementing the best practices and avoid the habits that’ll only hurt you in the long run.
Educating yourself on the dos and don’ts is half the battle. Once you’ve got this down you can focus your energy on generating hashtags that’ll boost marketing performance and drive sales.