Hashtags are everywhere. Whether you’re promoting a local event, weighing in on trending topics or participating in a live chat on Twitter, hashtags are a valuable tool for businesses looking to take their social media marketing to the next level. The infamous pound symbol makes it easy to connect with others, attract attention and increase engagement.
Hashtags are now a part of popular culture. More recently they have been heavily incorporated into television shows, commercials, movie promotions, print ads, and more. They can even be heard in everyday verbal communication (although usually with a touch of irony… #blessed).
What can we take away from all of this? The power of the hashtag cannot be denied.
Back in 2007, the hashtag was born and although it didn’t catch on right away, now roughly 10% of all Tweets feature the famous #. The hashtag now goes beyond Twitter and is used on a variety of different social networks.
Enhance Your Social Media Marketing Strategy with Hashtags
The hashtag is a powerful digital marketing tool that can lead to a huge increase in reach. Simply put, hashtags are an effective organizing tool that helps increase exposure. Both of these are compelling reasons to use hashtags in your posts. As a business owner, it’s important to remain professional and use hashtags in the correct fashion. How do you choose the right number of hashtags and make sure you’ve got them on the right social network? Here’s a quick breakdown.
Hashtags on Twitter
Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than those without. However, one or two hashtags appears to be the maximum. When you use more than two, engagement tends to drop by an average of 17%. Tweets with one or more hashtags are 55% more likely to be retweeted.
Hashtags on Instagram
Instagram is another platform where hashtags can be used to further the reach of a post, but it works differently than Twitter. Engagement is highest on Instagram when posts include 11+ hashtags. On Instagram, you can easily post hashtags in the comment section after “gramming” the initial image. This keeps the description clean and hashtags in the comments have the exact same function as those in the photo description.
Hashtags on Facebook
On Facebook, it’s best to use hashtags sparingly. Facebook posts without a hashtag tend to fare better than those with one. How come? Facebook uses their secret algorithm to determine what is seen from clicking on a hashtag and unlike Twitter, trending topics are selected by Facebook’s staff and are not universal — they are tailored to a user’s particular interests.
Hashtags on Google+
On Google+, your posts are automatically given tags based on the text content, however you can always add your own or edit them. You can also add hashtags in the comments of a Google+ post which will increase the opportunities to be found. At this point in time, there is less of an emphasis on Google+ in social media marketing strategies. How come? Many Google+ accounts exist in correspondence with Gmail, however a report says that 90% of Google accounts have never made a single post and that tells us that not many spend time on Google+.
Hashtag Mistakes to Avoid
The hashtag is powerful—but when used incorrectly it can be obnoxious and spam-like. Here are three common hashtagging mistakes to avoid:
- Hashtagging every word in a sentence. Don’t spam with hashtags. Too many appear unprofessional looking. Twitter recommends no more than two hashtags per Tweet. (i.e. #I #cant #wait #for #summer #beach #days)
- Hashtagging with punctuation. Social networks like Twitter, Instagram and Facebook will cut off your hashtag if you add any punctuation (apostrophes, periods, commas, etc,) (i.e. #St.Patrick’sDay)
- Hashtagging senseless words. It’s important to remember that hashtags are designed to accompany relevant keywords or phrases to categorize social posts and help them easily show up when others are searching for the same topic. Avoid using hashtags unless it will truly provide value for your company. (i.e. Join #us this weekend for lunch!) First of all, no one is searching the hashtag #us — and second, if they are, they are not looking for your business.
When used correctly, hashtags can be an extremely effective social media marketing tool. But with great power comes great responsibility and a hashtag can easily be deadly in the wrong hands. Respect the rules, keep it simple, and remember one size doesn’t fit all. Start utilizing the power of the hashtag for your business today!