It’s kind of funny to think about the pound sign. Remember, that symbol that has now transformed into what we know as the hashtag symbol?
Now, the pound sign is only used for call prompts. Crazy huh?
But, just like everything in life, things change and they evolve.
Hashtags are more than just an add-on to social media posts. They can connect people from all corners of the earth (No, i’m not supporting B.o.B’s flat-earth theory) by one simple symbol with a word attached to it.
Here’s an example. Someone posts a picture on Instagram of a hamburger and in the description they simply write:
You see that word, and you think to yourself, “Wow, so original. I wonder how long that took them to come up with that?”
Now, let’s take that same Instagram picture of a hamburger and now it’s accompanied by:
Again, you think, “Geez oh man, she literally couldn’t think of anything else to say?”
But, much to your dismay, that little symbol tacked on to the front of that word just expanded your Instagram friend’s reach to many, many more people than just you.
She’s now connected to the people who are searching the hamburger hashtag and if her picture is eye-catching enough, it’ll entice those people to click on her picture and learn more.
Social media is all about strategy whether you like to believe it or not.
In fact, I’ve shed some light on three of my favorite tips
All in the gang
Contrary to popular belief, hashtags aren’t just for Twitter. In fact, hashtags can and should be used on multiple platforms. By using the same hashtag on all social channels, you’re creating an opportunity that broadens your reach while continuing the conversation across all platforms.
Here’s an example.
Let’s say a person is an avid Facebook user and doesn’t engage much with Twitter. That’s OK, because you’re using the same hashtag on both channels which allows them to still be part of the conversation and engage with your brand.
Why so serious?
Finding the right hashtag is a serious endeavor because you’ll want to tailor your hashtags to the people who are interested in what you’re posting. Put on your thinking cap and be specific and original when working with hashtags. The more targeted you are with your approach the better your chances to reach your target audience. Find hashtags that make sense and are relevant. If you’re a dog grooming company you won’t be using “#iguana.” Why? Because it literally doesn’t make an ounce of sense. Do your homework and see what’s piquing your target audience’s interest.
It’s pretty simple. Check and double-check your spelling. Since there’s no such thing as an “Edit Tweet” option just yet (I covered this topic in a previous blog), you have to be diligent. If you didn’t win the spelling bee in the fourth grade, now’s your chance because a misspelled tag will cause a communication divide with you and your audience because they won’t be able to find your message!
Step away from the hashtag
#Please #Dont #Do #This. There’s literally nothing worse than a person who hashtags everything and everything even words that have nothing to do with the topic at hand. When it comes to hashtags, sometimes, less is more. Avoid using hashtags that don’t add any value. This can make your message feel forced and too market-y (is that a word?). In short, don’t have more hashtags than you do words.
Do you understand the words coming out of my mouth?
There’s no excuse to miss an opportunity. After all, Twitter and Facebook have trending columns that alert you to what’s hot at the moment. Before you choose a hashtag however, check to make sure you know exactly what it means so that you don’t offend anyone. The last thing you want to do is draw negative attention to your brand. Also, just because a topic is trending doesn’t mean that you have to join in on the conversation. As a rule of thumb, if you have to think twice about using a hashtag, odds are you’ll want to veto that idea and keep it moving. Playing it safe is smart in the long run.
Yep, I literally started this blog off talking about a hamburger but I brought it full circle didn’t I?
So, the next time that you craft a tweet and before you hit send, take note of my five tips for hashtag help.