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Best Practices: How to Use Hashtags

Hashtags are everywhere. There’s just no escaping them. Whether your business is on Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and now Facebook, you will be faced with hundreds of hashtagging decisions each day. It’s one thing to arbitrarily add hashtags to posts, but understanding how to use hashtags effectively takes another level of skill. Your company’s first step should be to realize that you should be using hashtags. They can be intimidating at first, but don’t shy away from them – learn to use them correctly. You can start right now by mastering these few simple best hashtagging practices tips. How to Use Hashtags

Prepare

Hashtagging might seem like a sideline tool, but it’s a central element within almost all social media channels. That means it needs to be treated as such. Do your research. Search hashtags within your industry and understand which hashtags are being used for what and who within your industry is using them. You should prepare to use popular hashtags to join in conversations but also more unique hashtags to draw your own buzz. Most often, you should be choosing popular keywords so users can find your post, read it, and share it without having to search too hard. It’s your company’s job to do the research for the user – if you do the most thorough research on how to reach a user through which hashtag, your post will be the one that gets read.

Strategize

Your hashtag choices should be intentional. Not only should you have a thorough understanding of what else is out there, you should also have a clear intent and strategy behind every hashtag. You should know a specific reason for using a tag before you hit that hashtag key. If you don’t know why you’re using a hashtag, you shouldn’t be using one. Every company’s strategy will vary, but your main goal should be to be seen. Hashtags file your post into a specific category, meaning hashtags are a simple way to target your audience for every post. Users are actually utilizing hashtags in searches, so it’s important to be stragetic in understanding which hashtags will get picked up by the users you are targeting.

Connect

Though it’s important for your business to strategically choose hashtags to use, it’s also important for your company to use the benefits of hashtag searches to connect within your industry community. Hashtags allow you to connect with different communities, brands, and individuals who have similar interests or questions. Meeting new people, drawing new followers, and finding a group of similar thinkers are all benefits of hashtag searches. Hashtags can also be used to join Twitter chats that specifically interest your company. Hashtags allow you to start conversations or join in other users’ conversations in order to develop a deeper understanding of current trends and topics within your industry. They offer an easy way to see what’s currently being talked about and learn how to apply that chatter to your marketing strategy.

Track

Hashtags offer a massive, automatic database for trends on your own social channels and within your entire industry. They automatically track how you’ve utilized your social media and give you the opportunity to monitor popular ideas within your communities. Tools like Viralheat can even help you monitor your company’s hashtags to identify the reach, impact, and total usage of hashtags. Hashtags can help you see where your company’s strengths and weaknesses lie, and offer an easy way to make connections and overall improvements. As social media marketing becomes a larger part of company marketing plans, learning how to use hashtags correctly is crucial for your business. Hashtags are an incredibly beneficial tool and they have the power to trasform your social media marketing – if used correctly. Interested in some help navigating the world of hashtagging? Connect with SocialNicole – we’d be happy to help! Photo Credit

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