5 Things You Should Know About Hashtags

If you are new to the Social Media marketing world, you may be wondering what is a hashtag and why should I use it?  A hashtag, also known as the pound sign in the US, is used to make a word searchable on Twitter.  It is a way for you to categorize your post based on topics that people may be interested in following – and they can be a great asset in your Social Media marketing efforts.

1. Only use Hashtag Keywords that are Relevant

Think about hashtags you would personally follow. You don’t want to be too general; you want your customers to engage in what you have to say.  As a marketer, you need to think about the detailed words and phrases that those in your market will be using.   Below are some examples to give you an idea of where to start with hashtags:
  • Name of an event, webinar or conference. #Olympics2014
  • Create a trend. #conversetrainer
  • Use a location to gain new followers in your area. #Missouri
  • Something unique or specific, such as a TV Show. #AmericanIdol
  • A Quirky Summary of Your Day. #lovemyjob #TimeforBed 

2. Create Your Own Hashtag 

Create and drive conversations about your business.  If you are having a sale, you could promote it with #SaveBigat(company name).  Encourage your followers and friends to use the hashtag as well. Creating hashtags for an event also works well to get attendees and prospects interested in the event. Make sure your new hashtag is distinctive and try to incorporate your business name or at least initials if it’s too long.  

3. Search for the Hashtag Before You Use It

If you are creating a new hashtag to use for marketing, make sure it isn’t already being used by someone else.   Some words can have double meanings, so be careful when choosing a hashtag to represent your brand and company.  Popular hashtags are also a great way to get your business noticed.  See which hashtags are trending and try to incorporate them into your tweets.  Find businesses like yours and see what’s working for them.  

4. Don’t Use Long or Hard to Remember Hashtags

Since twitter already limits you to 140 characters, it is important to keep your hashtags short and sweet. If you want others to re-tweet your message you need to get your point across by being clear and concise in that short amount of space. The most successful hashtags are usually the ones that are easiest to remember.  

5. Avoid Excessive Hashtags 

Excessive hashtags send the message of desperate marketing and is a sure way to lose followers quickly.  Use a precise selection of 1-3 hashtags per tweet for the best results.  Too many hashtags can be distracting to other users.  Some people add on a bunch of hashtags to show up in more conversations, but remember what we said about only using hashtags with relevant content.   

Searching and using hashtags on Twitter can help drive more conversation about your brand and your industry.  Keep our advice in mind and have at it.  See what Twitter and its hashtags can do for your business.  

~ Erin Burdette, Social Media Coordinator


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