Social Media Marketing: Cutting Through the Hashtag Hype

Social media marketing continues to grow, so if your brand is not on board with social media, you need to start.

Hashtags are a way for social media users to find other messages that relate to a topic that they’re interested in. A hashtag can relate to a company name, product line, or just a field of interest. The more specific your hashtags, the more specific the audience you will reach with your messages.

These clickable key phrases should be used with care, however. If you use hashtags without any planning or forethought, you may not end up attracting any attention to your page at all.

Here are some key tips for what works with hashtags and what you should avoid if you want to be successfully on Twitter and Facebook.

 

1. Check Out Your Market

Pay attention to what other people in your industry are doing with hashtags.

Search out a few thought leaders in your field, whether you work in biotechnology or fashion, and find out the topics they are successfully using the most. This allows you to enter into some of the most relevant conversations, as opposed to just randomly selecting hashtags may not be often searched.

You don’t want to copy someone else’s tweets or messages exactly, but do pay attention to the big topics being “hashtagged” and get on board.

 

2. Don’t Over Hashtag

When you add 10 hashtags to every message, each individual tag loses its luster to an extent. Instead, choose a handful of salient words or phrases at most to hashtag in your message.

You want to point your readers in the direction of the most interesting and lively conversations, not bombard them with so many tags that they don’t know where to click.

Introduce your business name and a few important tags within your message and leave it at that. It’s especially daunting to read a message with all of the hashtags at the end, so try to incorporate some of the tags within the body of your tweet when it’s possible.

 

3. Remain Consistent

If you use a hashtag for your business name or brand, know that it takes time for the hashtag to catch on.

Be consistent with your messaging, and don’t give up just because you don’t start to trend within the first few days or even the first few weeks of using a particular hashtag.

While you don’t need to use the same hashtag in every single message, use it consistently enough so that other people will eventually start to see it and it can begin to catch on.

Retweet or share messages where other users have used your brand name as a hash tag so that even more people will see these posts.

Keep attempting to start or enter a conversation until you are a thought leader on the topic.

 

4. Be Specific

Using the hashtag “#science” won’t necessarily draw people to your page or brand. Some hashtags are so broad and commonly used that your message isn’t likely to stand out from the crowd. Instead, keep to hashtags that are more specific, such as a particular product name or a narrow part of your field.

For instance, “#CharityWorkLosAngeles” is more specific and can find a more relevant audience than the simple hashtag “#charity”.

Be as specific as you can without alienating people by using jargon that is specific to only your company.

hashtag art

(Flickr / Jeff)

Hashtags might seem like a mystery when you first get on social media, but if you underestimate their power just because you don’t understand them you may regret it later.

Think of hashtags as a way to connect other social media users to your profile via the key topics they have an interest in and search for on the site.

Instead of being mystified by hashtags, see what they’ve done for other companies and use them to your advantage.

If you can get a popular social media user to retweet or repost something with your brand as a hashtag, you will start to see increased traffic to your page and more interaction with potential clients or customers.

 

Guest author Bill Nixon is a social media maven of recent years. Always searching for ways to help others, he likes to share what he finds online. For more social media marketing ideas, visit the Yodle.com site.

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1 Comment

  1. May I suggest trying RiteTag – in which you search from words, brands, names, OR hashtags you know, and see related hashtags, who's using them, how many times each, the density of tweets (over time) and from these indicators, you decide which hashtags to add to a tweet with a click – to test. Then, RiteTag watches for you what you get: retweets, link clicks, favorites, and you get suggestions later ("My top-performing tags," in RiteTag's Tag Optimizer), and refine to using those that are actually the best. The "best" are those that get results, I would submit, with respect.

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