How hashtags can help you reach your audience
The facts are undeniable: if you’re posting on social media without hashtags, you’re missing a great opportunity! A tweet with hashtags gets twice the engagement as post without, and a 55% increase in Retweets. They are not just a fad that will pass, but rather a way of organizing information so that users can easily find what interests them. If a potential customer is using a hashtag to get insight into your industry or product, you should be present to capture their attention. Getting social on these media platforms allows you to tap into a community of people where they feel most comfortable.
Adding a hashtag (#) before a word, or phrase, changes it into a link that categorizes relevant posts when that term is searched. When using hashtags, no need to be a stickler about grammar – leave the punctuation and spaces behind! If you feel your phrase is hard to read use capital letters for each word #LikeThis. (Also known as CamelCase)
The two main ways a business uses hashtags its advantage.
To reach an audience by joining an on-going conversation.
To engage an audience by starting a new conversation.
Joining a conversation
A major part of every business is learning how to communicate to its target audience. Start thinking about the way people would search for a business like yours. If you get stuck, check out your competition on social media to see how they are interacting with customers on social media – especially those that have a large following. What hashtags are they using? Keep in mind that too many hashtags looks inauthentic. Try to keep it around 10 post relevant hashtags.
To build trust and generate interest, that communication has to be made in the same language that is natural to the community. Before jumping into the conversation, take note of the language and terms used when speaking about the topic at hand. Once you know how to position yourself, jump in! You are bringing awareness to your brand that otherwise you may have missed out on.
Starting a conversation
Starting a conversation is only easy once you already have a following that is interested and engaged with your social media. Try branding your own hashtags, so that others who love your business can spread it out. These hashtags can be centered around general brand awareness or a promotional campaign such as events, contests.
Brands like Nike (#JustDoIt) to Charmin’s toilet paper (#TweetFromTheSeat) have created momentum around their social media conversations, keeping customers engaged. Just be sure to create original hashtags that are simple, easy to remember and relevant. Don’t scare customers away with a conversation that is boring or overly sales-y. Hashtags helps humanize your business so that followers feel comfortable interacting with you on a personal level. Engage by replying to comments, answering questions when possible and liking relevant posts.
Not all social media platforms are created equal
Hashtags are meant for certain platforms, to be used as deemed appropriate on each site. None of the rules are fast and hard, but we can look at trends and see that their is an unspoken rule about how many to use. Although Instagram shows an average of 9 hashtags performing the best, Facebook posts get the highest engagement using only one hashtag. Take time to carve out a strategy for each platform, that is most authentic for that platform.
Are you getting social yet?
These tips on how to use hashtags as a business are not solely about the businesses using them, but above all, are about the community that is build because of them. Simply putting a pound sign before a word puts you in contact with people are interested in what you have to say. It’s a great tool to spread awareness of your brand like wildfire, as your followers get to know you!