Why use Hashtags?
Using Hashtags in social media posts is an important element of your social media strategy and greater content marketing efforts.
Originating with Twitter as a metadata tag and now prolific across the major social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram and Google+, the “#hashtag” classifies and defines posts into clickable and searchable terms found within that publisher’s site.
Categorising your posts with hashtags enhances their discoverability and popularity. Trending hashtag terms are often promoted on social media homepages potentially offering your post massive reach.
Common terms are best used to ensure reach. For example, posts with information on a new tool for a tradesperson could be tagged #tradie #tradesman or #tool as well as a broader term such as #innovate or #technology.
You can search potential terms and monitor their use and popularity across each social media site or you can check out www.hashtags.org and discover trending tags and topics. You should ensure the conversation you are joining is relevant and on-topic; there are plenty of cases of companies “hi-jacking” trending hashtags, leading to disastrous publicity.
Creating your own hashtags and associated social media campaign is also possible however carefully consider and assess your hashtag for a potential a hashtag nightmare.
Don’t overdo it:
#haveyouseenthisamazingnewtool is probably not going to achieve the results you are after. Hashtags are usually a distraction to the key message (although done cleverly can add creative integrity) and in this case will render that message difficult to interpret. Moreover, it is unlikely this term has been used or will be used again, so will do little to assist discoverability.
Likewise, don’t use too many hashtags in a post as it will be seen as spamming and lead to lost credibility with your audience. Limit it to around two to three hashtags per post. Twitter recommends limiting it to two.
Hashtags are an essential element of your social media and content marketing strategy. Like any content, they must be considered and created to align with you overarching brand or campaign goals and positioning.