Hashtags are such a prominent part of online culture today that it's rare to find anyone who doesn't know what they are. Yet even as most people have come to know what they are, many people still don't understand how to use hashtags to improve marketing for their business.
The proliferation of hashtags is truly incredible. What began on Twitter has now spread to Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Google search, and almost everywhere in between. (LinkedIn experimented with hashtags for awhile before giving up.)
If you're looking for a completely cut-and-dry ruling on the topic of hashtags, then here it is: You should be using hashtags for your business.
- ...is used on the most popular social networks: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Instagram, Vine and Pinterest
- ...is the most popular means of categorizing content on social media
- ...makes your own content discoverable
- ...allows you to find relevant content from other people and businesses
- ...also allows you to connect with and engage other social media users based on a common theme or interest
By including a hashtag in your updates, you can get in front of MORE potential clients who may not have seen your post otherwise and can create extra buzz and exposure for your business.
You can use hashtags on personal and business pages, in groups and even in comment sections. You can use them anywhere.
Remember, hashtags have to be ONE word. Capitalization doesn't matter: You can choose whatever capitalization you want in the words themselves and the hashtags will show the same results. #FacebookMarketing and #facebookmarketing show the same search results.
- Tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without and are 55 percent more likely to be retweeted.
- Interactions are highest on Instagram posts with 11+ hashtags.
- On Google+, your posts are given hashtags automatically based on their content, but you can also edit them or add your own. Also unique about Google+: You can add hashtags in your comments as well as your post - double the opportunities to be found.
- And since Google+ is Google's social network, hashtags are now built right into Google searches. If you type in a hashtag search, you'll get the normal search results plus a sidebar of relevant Google+ posts.
Here are some tips for using Hashtags:
- Be specific when using hashtags: The more specific you can get with your hashtag, the more targeted your audience will be-and a targeted audience generally means better engagement.
- Don't go too long or too clever: if you're creating a branded hashtag you should try to keep it short and sweet.
- Don't have more hashtags than words, except on Instagram.
- Don't hashtag everything in your posts.
Rule of thumb: 1 - 3 hashtags are best over all platforms.
Useful tools to find and manage your hashtags:
Start using hashtags to improve your marketing
This post originally appeared on the y marketing matters blog