#Hashtags may #confuse those who are not well #versed in #SocialMedia, but they are #actually a #very #simple #concept. (Sorry for all the hashtags, just giving an example!)
What is a hashtag you ask? To answer that question, we must start at the birthplace of the modern hashtag: Twitter.
According to Mashable;
“The pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link. This allows you to organize content and track discussion topics based on those keywords. So, if you wanted to post about the Breaking Bad finale, you would include #BreakingBad in your tweet to join the conversation. Click on a hashtag to see all the posts that mention the subject in real time.”
Makes sense, right?
At Today’s Business, we try to have between 3-5 hashtags PER TWEET. This is dependent on a variety of factors; what the tweet is about, how long the tweet is, if backlinks are included, a phone number, or any other call to action, etc. The list goes on. Below is in example of efficient and adequate hashtag use for one of our clients on Twitter, Paramount Country Club, a country club in New City, NY.
When trying to determine what to hashtag, think what keywords you would want to come up if you were someone searching for your post. Keep it simple and on topic. The tweet above is about a wedding day cocktail with a cherry in a champagne flute, so we hashtagged #cocktail, #cherry, and #champagne, so anyone who has a mutual interest and either posted a tweet with the same hashtags, or is interested in those topics, they can better find our post. February is also National Cherry Month, so we also hashtagged that so we come up in a search of #NationalCherryMonth as well.
Hashtagging can also have a lot to do in relation to your businesses branding. For our client, JAG Physical Therapy, we like to brand our tweets (if there is space, especially if it is a backlink to their website or a social tracking #) with their “go-to” hashtag, #JAGPT.
It is important if you are a company or brand, you have at least one of these go to hashtag or tagline to leave your imprint. That way, users who engage with you are fans can include that hashtag in posts, and it helps with overall brand awareness. Also, to further raise awareness, include the hashtag in your bio so it is visible to all followers.
Staying with JAG for a minute, in your posts you can also hashtag the towns of the locations you are targeting, or where your business is located. Chances are people who are hashtagging or searching those hashtags could be your potential customers. JAG operates 9 facilities throughout NJ and NY.
The above post was a #ThrowbackThursday to the Calabria Pizza charity golf outing at Brooklake Country Club, sponsored by JAG. Ironically enough, all 3 businesses are located in West Orange, NJ, so we obviously hashtagged #WestOrange. That way on that day anybody searching for that hashtag, our post would come up.
When thinking of what to hashtag, it is always good to see what the latest trending topics are on Twitter. These trends can be geared towards your individual account, and there might be industry-related topics with conversations that you want to be a part of. In that case throw up a post on the topic and include the trending hashtag.
When it comes to hashtags, you don’t want to over do it. This is a common problem with Instgram posts. Since there is no character limit, you are free to include as many hashtags as you would like. However, that doesn’t mean to hashtag every word in a post, or include 50 hashtags at the end of your posts text. Yes, it allows your picture to show up in more searches, but some can look at it as spam and that you are desperate for likes. Below is an example of what not to do.
However, for Instagram, you CAN surpass the 3-5 limit that we follow for Twitter. A good example of this would be our client NUC Sports. NUC has a few of their own branded hashtags that we like to include with each post, similar to what we discussed with JAG earlier. Some of the hashtags include #NUCUKNOW, #IMAD1, #NFLBound. The majority of our Instagram posts contain these three hashtags to further leave the imprint of the NUC Brand. In the below post we exceeded the 3-5 hashtags, but if done appropriately, it can work.
Keeping it simple on Facebook is important as well. Hashtags on Facebook have not taken off the way they have on Instagram or Twitter, but they still serve a purpose if used effectively. For our client, fitness professional Marc Megna, we use hashtags in Facebook posts to signify days of the week. For example, #MotivationMonday, #TipTuesday, #WorkoutWednesday, #ThrowbackThursday, #FlexFriday. For anymore searching these keywords, we will come up. See an example below:
#FlexFriday is big for people in the fitness industry on Friday’s, and many people are both searching for and using this hashtag. Our goal for Megna with these posts is to get people to engage, and ideally post in the comments their own Flex Friday picture, and this helps to further that purpose.
Hope this helped you better understand the art of the #hastag. Still confused about hashtags? Tweet me @harris_baker if you have any questions or comments.