So we’re now living in a world of hashtags but what do they really mean and how should we use them? Through this blog, I will explain the pro’s and cons of using them and how to actually implement them into your social media strategy.
First things first, What is a hashtag?
Well think of it like a meeting full of people having a conversation and the hashtag is like the doorway to the meeting. So by using a hashtag, it allows your content to join the conversation. But remember to use a relevant hashtag as it opens the door to a broad audience allowing your content to be read by people discussing a similar topic, with this in mind you need to think about the content of your post and choose a relevant hashtag.
So now we have established what a hashtag is let’s take a look at the pros of using hashtags…
First up, Relevance!
Why does it need to be relevant? Remember that the hashtag is a doorway to a conversation that already exists so you need to make sure that your topic is relevant to that discussion this will create a stronger audience, this in turn will provide better engagement with your brand and attract the right customer! Example (drum roll…)
So if you’re after BMW lovers than #BMW will earn you a lot more of the desired followers than #car will.
Tip: Always research your hashtag, yes this adds a few extra minutes, but the results will be worth your time!
You can also use unbranded hashtags to engage your customers and turn them into advocates of your brand, a good example of unbranded hashtags is from the Coca-Cola Company, they launched a Twitter campaign for #Shareacoke this generated hundreds of thousands of customer generated content which flooded the feeds of millions of Twitter users.
This is a perfect example of raising your brand awareness by developing engaging hashtags.
Now we have taken a look at the positive impacts an on-brand, relevant hashtag can have let’s take a look at what not to do!
Number 1 on the hit list!
Don’t hashtag everything, and there is nothing worse than a vast list of hashtags containing every possible tag known to man, Take a look;
I just ate a grape
#food #grape #grapes #whitegrapes #wine #fruits #vintage #fashion #gifs
#text #trendy #lol #random #90s #snacks #ijustate #5aday #snacktime #muchies
#whatjusthappened #thatgood #fruittimes
Not only is this annoying, but this is also a typical example of what not to do, Want proof? Check out the stats…
- Posts with 1 or 2 hashtags averaged 593 interactions
- Posts with 3 to 5 hashtags averaged 416 interactions
- Posts with 6 to 10 hashtags averaged 307 interactions
- Posts with more than 10 hashtags averaged 188 interactions
These stats speak for themselves and prove that overuse may generate the wrong audience and even result in an engagement decline.
Top Tip: Remain short sweet and relevant.
Second of what not to do!
When selecting a hashtag, it is important to make sure it is not to long because people simply don’t want to type that many characters for example everyone would #VW but not many would #VolksWagen, You also want people to naturally search and use you hashtag as this will organically generate customer content.
A good rule to follow is more words than hashtags, don’t get caught on the prospect of more hashtags bigger reach as you might reach more people but these could be spammers or just not your market, By being more precise and appropriate you will keep your existing audience engaged and develop new customers to join.
The hashtagging roundup …
Hashtags are defiantly worth incorporating into your social media campaigns as used correctly, it can be a powerful tool for expanding your customer market, just remember short, sweet and relevant.