HashtagThese days, it’s rare that you’ll find anyone who doesn’t know what a hashtag (#) is. Not only are they used as a way to discover and categorize content but for many businesses, they are a powerful tool to boost consumer engagement with specific marketing campaigns. Though they began on Twitter, they’ve spread to other major social media players like Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest and they’re even used on print advertisements.

Considering tweets with hashtags enjoy DOUBLE the engagement of those without, it’s a mystery why anyone wouldn’t use them. But, we get it. Many companies know they’re important to use, but figuring out how to use them properly is still confusing.

Here are a few best practices to keep in mind as you venture into using hashtags on Twitter:

1. Do Some Hashtag Research First

Before you start putting hashtags on random words, browse through posts that contain a hashtag you’re thinking of using and notice any trends of other common hashtags that you can add to your list.

Use the search function to find relevant keywords. Instagram, for example, will list all the hashtags and include a number of posts that have used that same hashtag. It’s worth noting that a bigger number, while popular, could result in your post getting buried.

Finally, check out what the competition is using. Who knows, maybe you’ll find a few you can use, or perhaps you’ll decide you’d rather not compete for the audience’s attention and opt for alternative hashtags instead.

Your best bet is to experiment and track results.

2. Adjust Hashtags for Different Social Networks

HashtagNot all hashtags work the same way on all social media channels. For example, hashtags on Instagram are usually more focused on image or video and message. Whereas on Twitter, hashtags are typically more focused on a specific conversation or chat.

3. Make Hashtags Specific

Get specific with your hashtags to hone in on your target audience and increase engagement rates. If you haven’t already, establish your own branded hashtag and find a few that fit the photo and message you’re trying to drive across. The key is to focus on those that are relevant, industry-specific and that speak to your target audience.

Sure, #love may be one of the hottest hashtags out there, but if #love has nothing to do with your business, it’s not going to benefit you in any way. Your message will be diluted, you may be seen as desperate and you could be flagged as a spammer. #notgood

4. Resist the Urge to Hashtag Everything

Watch “#Hashtag” with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake (Late Night with Jimmy Fallon). Enough said.

5. Say Thanks to Fans

You work so hard to consistently promote your hashtag. When customers join the conversation, do a happy dance (quickly) then say thanks! Like their post. Comment on it. Share it and send them a private message saying thanks for the shout-out.

6. Live Up to the Hype

Hashtags that deliver the most results are tightly connected to other marketing activity such as print materials, remarketing ads and other social media channels.

When you spend so much time creating the perfect hashtag for your promotion, you want to make sure your new branding tool lives up to its potential. The great news is that hashtags are extremely trackable allowing you to measure its ROI…or rather, ROH (return on hype). You just have to do some social listening to find the user-generated content and track conversations as they’re happening.

Post Café Covers More than the Hashtag

Using the best hashtags on Twitter will help your business get noticed, but along with hashtags, businesses require the right kind of content to make the right kind of impression. Is it time to dust off your social media marketing strategy? We can help!

Let our experts at Post Café help you generate all the content you need for social media marketing and get noticed online today; call us at 732-218-9377 to learn more!