Hashtags are one of the most powerful tools in social media, but let’s be real: hashtags are a language of their own. You have to learn to use them correctly. What word to hashtag, when to hashtag, and how often to hashtag make them more of a grammatical structure than a social media tool.
So how can you harness the power of the hashtag and use it to your benefit on the most hashtag-friendly social media site, Twitter? We’ve put together this post to help you better understand this tool and how to use hashtags effectively.
Why Hashtag at All?
Some people are of the mindset that if they can’t wrap their head around it or if it’s too difficult, they simply won’t do it. Don’t be one of those people with it comes to hashtagging!
The hashtag is an incredibly powerful marketing tool and can help drive brand awareness, positively impact customer loyalty, and boost conversions.
What’s more, tweets with hashtags get two times more engagement than tweets without. Are you convinced yet?
Image via Buffer
How Do I Use It?
All you need to do in order to create a hashtag is to use the # symbol before a relevant keyword. If you’d rather hashtag a phrase, make sure to capitalize the first letter in each word to make it easier to read and understand (ex: Nike’s #JustDoIt).
You can place a hashtag anywhere: at the beginning, middle, or end of a tweet. Make sure your hashtags are both easy to remember and crystal clear.
Your hashtags will then help categorize your tweets and show up in Twitter search for those terms or phrases. Just make sure your account isn’t private or protected to ensure your tweets and hashtags are seen.
Remember: don’t be a hashtag spammer. Officially, Twitter recommends no more than two hashtags per tweet. The reason for this is that too many hashtags devalue the strength of the hashtag and make subsequent ones less meaningful. Too many hashtags may even lose you followers or cheapen your brand’s social media reputation.
What Hashtags Can Do for You
The Huffington Post recently published an amazing infographic that outlined the power of the hashtag. Here are some of the key takeaways:
- Hashtags not only instantly link your social media post to a group of others about the same topic, it also updates a group of users interested in that topic in real time.
- Appropriate hashtags can help build brand recognition and boost the reach of an advertising campaign.
- If you create one hashtag that’s specific to your brand, like Samsung’s #SamsungTips, you’ll be able to strengthen consumer awareness.
- You can participate in live Twitter chats using the hashtag assigned to the chat.
Here are some tools you can use to find trending hashtags and organize your own.
- Hashtags.org: This site lists trending hashtags, popular hashtags, and a tool to help track your hashtags in order to gain valuable social media insights.
- Hashtagify.me: This site allows you to input a keyword and returns related words as well as real-time tweets containing that keyword. You can also set breakout alerts for a certain target.
- Tagboard.com: This site allows you to use hashtags to search for and collect public social media posts within seconds of it being posted. It also allows you to create “tagboards” on which you can organize your different hashtags (including uses of your company hashtag).
Don’t be afraid of the hashtag! Instead, embrace it and make it part of your social media marketing strategy. Not only will you be able to reach people other than your followers, you’ll increase social media engagement and boost brand awareness. What’s not to like about that?