on October 21, 2014 Social Media

A How-to Guide to Using Hashtags in Social Media

The use of hashtags in social media has become a valuable marketing tool across a variety of platforms including Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Google+. The goal is to help make it faster and easier for potential clients and other prospects find what they’re looking for- your business. It’s one thing to use hashtags and another to use them effectively. This guide will help you do so; read on to learn how to maximize on the potential of hashtags in your social media marketing efforts.

 

“Your hashtags should have a purpose, be easy to search, and aim to build upon what you had to say”

Twitter
Given the limited amount of characters you can use on Twitter, you want to make sure your hashtags have a purpose- that is, that they add substance to your Tweet. As the “birthplace” of modern hashtags 2 , Twitter is a great platform to start and engage in conversations around specific topics or hashtags.

Best Practices: It’s best to use hashtags in every Tweet if possible. A good rule of thumb is to include no more than 2- 3 per Tweet. This has been shown to improve engagement over those Tweets with no hashtags or too many. Be selective and make the most of those 140 characters!

Facebook
While using hashtags on Facebook hasn’t taken off the same as on Twitter, it’s still a great place to utilize them. As the largest social media network, Facebook can be instrumental in helping you reach out to your audience. Selective use of hashtags can help build brand recognition across social media platforms, and where better to translate your branding on social media than with Facebook?

Best Practices: As with Twitter, being selective of what you #hashtag is the best bet- no more than 2 hashtags per post is best.

“Using effective hashtags will maximize your visibility and searchability” 3

Instagram
In this photo- driven social media network, hashtags can help you build your online following by attracting followers with similar interests and posts to those you share. You can also find other individuals and businesses to follow that relate to your business- this can be a great online networking opportunity.

Best Practices: Unlike Twitter and Facebook, the more hashtags you use in Instagram, the merrier- so hashtag your little heart out!

Pinterest
Another image- driven social media network, Pinterest is credited with being “the highest revenue- generating social site for businesses” . 4 Which means, if you’re not already leveraging Pinterest for your business, you better start ASAP. Don’t underestimate the power this network can have in helping market your business to a candid audience. Organizing Pins and boards that relate to different areas of your business and including items that will appeal to your target audience is a great way to draw attention to your business

Best Practices: On Pinterest, hashtags help organize content and can make it easier to narrow search results based on the hastags used in the image description. To maximize on this opportunity, make sure you hashtag the key factors/ descriptors of an image you Pin. Categorizing with hastags can help keep you organized and help others find your business’s pins; on Pinterest, like with Instagram, more hashtags aren’t a bad thing.

Google+
Considered the web’s “smartest” hashtags , 5 those used on Google+ help you garner attention from the world’s largest search engine. Even if you neglect to include hashtags in something you share on Google+, the network will automatically assign a hashtag to it to make it searchable. To differentiate, the hashtags you include appear in blue, Google’s appear in grey. When you add hashtags in a Google+ post, you optimize your content to appear in Google search engine results as well as alongside other Google+ posts using the same hashtag.

Best Practices: As with Twitter and Facebook, less is more. Limiting your hashtags to 1-2 per post is best; and remember, if you forget to include them, Google’s got your back.

Source Article: Final Site: The School Marketer’s Guide to Effectively Using Facebook

Image Source: Greg Bealzley

[1] http://bit.ly/1Dv5Yvt [2]http://bit.ly/1Dv5Yvt [3]http://bit.ly/1Dv5Yvt [4] http://bit.ly/1Dv5Yvt [5] http://bit.ly/1Dv5Yvt

Deborah Janz

Deborah is a true leader. Not only has she jumped through legal and regulatory hoops to launch a multi-million dollar US-based business in Canada, she also wears multiple hats at IMPACT. She's the researcher and strategist. She a learner and adopter of innovative practices. She's a speaker, consultant, and trainer. She's also building a dynamic team of experts through an awesome workplace culture. Prior to launching IMPACT, she was in the trenches of sales and marketing in the tourism industry. A globe-trotter by nature, her boots-on-the-ground approach to exploring new opportunities internationally is why IMPACT is successful. She's adventurous, hungry to travel the world, and is always willing to try different foods - bugs are not out of the question. When not working away to make IMPACT the best it can be, you can find Deborah climbing mountains, diving in clear waters, or mentoring female business owners.

Social media marketing doesn't just revolve around hashtags. You still need to consider your audience, content marketing, and nurturing your sales funnel.

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