how to use hashtags
One of the biggest social media mistakes a business or blogger could make is not utilizing the power of hashtags. Using hashtags gives you the power to grow your brand’s social media organically.
What is a Hashtag?
“…the pound sign (or hash) turns any word or group of words that directly follow it into a searchable link.” – Mashable.com
Hashtags instantly will link your social media post to a group of others with the same topic. As a small business owner, using appropriate hashtags can help drive your brand recognition and boost the reach of your advertising campaigns.
How to use Hashtags
- Use the #hashtag symbol (#) before a relevant keyword or phrase.
- They can occur anywhere in the body of your text – beginning, middle or end.
- They will not show up in searches if your accounts are private
- Twitter recommends using only 1-3 hashtags per tweet. Whereas on Instagram, you can use up to 30 hashtags per photo.
- Using too many hashtags devalues your brand, so do not use them spammingly. An example of a bad tweet would be: #DIY #ValentinesDay #Crafts you can #create at #home with your #kids #today. A better Tweet would be: 15 #DIY #ValentinesDay #Crafts to do at home today with your kids via @mommalewsblog.
- Using the “@” Symbol will speak directly to an individual’s account, “tagging” them.
Create a hashtag to develop your brand! Although you might want to be creative and quirky, keep it simple and easy to remember.
- Use no spaces between more than one word in a hashtag
- It does not matter if your hashtag has a capital or lower-case letters, as your search result will yield the same results.
- A popular marketing strategy is to use your brand’s name as a hashtag ie: #NorthEastBloggers or #BloggersGetSocial. By doing so, you can see all of this person’s work in one place.
You can currently use hashtags on:
- Tumblr and
- Google Plus
Just because a hashtag is on social media, doesn’t mean that your brand’s hashtag cannot be seen outside of the internet.
- While your small business may have a small budget, you can advertise your hashtag on posters, stickers, sidewalk chalk outside of your storefront or any well trafficked public location.
Now that you know what a hashtag is or how to use them, how can you use hashtags to find new followers?
- Use relevant hashtags that are being used in your field.
- See what the trending hashtags are and use the hashtags that are relevant to your business.
- Search hashtags and follow those who are using similar hashtags. For example, locally I often search hashtags like #Princeton or #NJMom and follow accounts using these hashtags because they are targeting the audiences I would like to be following me.
Quick tip: Not sure what hashtag is being used for an event, campaign, etc? Search! For example, I recently had a client asking what the hashtag was for the Tribeca Film Festival. We searched Tribeca Film Festival in a Twitter search and quickly found out that it was #TFF14.
Hashtags allow you to include yourself into conversations and network with potential new customers or business relationships! The best way to gain followers is to follow others!
Engage with your new followers. Be social! You already have something in common!