You should not do anything online unless it’s adding value to your business. Hashtags are thrown around as an essential part of being online. But when it comes to business are they helpful or a hazard? The simple answer is they can be both. I don’t always use hashtags because of this. Despite popular belief, you don’t need to always use hashtags. So with this in mind, here is a brief explanation of hashtags and 4 ways I use hashtags to support my business.
What is a Hashtag?
It simply is a word or phrase preceded by a hash sign (#), and used on social media sites such as Twitter, Instagram or Facebook to identify messages on a specific topic. Two key hashtags I use are #connectwithopportunity and #alwayslearning.
It’s important to note that hashtags can be used on all key Social Media Platforms, however in this article I use examples of how I use them primarily on Instagram and Facebook. Rather than this article be a deep dive on all things about hashtags, my aim is to share how I’m effectively using hashtags for my business.
1. Hashtags Can Be Used To Gain Visibility
#connectwithopportunity is one of my value sets. I believe the digital technology we have available at our fingertips enable us to connect with opportunity. I aim to demonstrate this in everything that I do.
When on Instagram, I also add hashtags that are relevant and in context of what I want to be associated with. Examples include, #socialmediatraining (I do social media training for businesses), #sydney as I am based in Sydney and I set businesses up for digital self management, so I use the hashtag #digitalselfmanagement.
2. Hashtags Can Be Used To Increase Visibility Of An Event
When I attended Social Media Marketing World in March this year I attached the hashtag #SMMW17 to all my posts on Instagram and Twitter. This enabled the organisers to see my posts and also other attendees. This increased engagement with everyone at the event. We had something in common. On the same token, throughout the event I searched the hashtag and liked commented and shared peoples posts and tweets.
3. Hashtags Can Be Use To Tell Stories
In September 2016 I decided to do 30 days of live videos. When I did this I used the hashtag #30daysofalive. It was on Facebook. Not typically known as the place to use hashtags, it is important to note that they are searchable on this platform. The hashtag allowed the 30 days to be tied together in one story.
4. Hashtags Can Be Used To Simplify Messages
Hashtags can often be used to simplify messages and add emotions.
Can Be Good
1. They are easy to use search tool on Social Media Sites.
2. They create hype and awareness of a certain topic.
3. They set trends.
4. A great listening tool to find out what people think, feel or are reacting to a topic.
5. They are great for a set event or topic to be categorised or communicated about. E.g. Football Game, Conference, Election, Strike or Weather Event.
Can Be Bad
1. If a Hashtag is too generic (e.g. #hello) it can be lost amongst the other Hashtags.
2. Over use is not a good look. You can be perceived as not knowing what you are doing.
3. Hashtags for the sake of hashtagging will not add value to your business.
Watch Out For…
Spammers often communicate messages with popular hashtags.
If you want to read and learn more about Hashtags in General for use on Twitter, Instagram, Google Plus, Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, and Flickr please do read the Moz Blog Article by Ann Smarty. She really is thorough.
What’s your experience with hashtags? Do you find them useful?