The social media world is buzzing recently over hashtags.
Two social media giants – Facebook and Google+ – have recently added the discussion tool.
Hashtags have been widely used on Twitter since 2007 when the first hashtag (#barcamp) was used by one of Twitter’s early users.
Since that first hashtag the conversation tool has become extremely popular. And while Facebook and Google+ are late to the party it seems that hashtags will improve both social discussion platforms just like they have for Twitter, Instagram, Pinterest and other social sites.
Here are 7 hashtag secrets.
1. Use The Most Popular Hashtags
Part of using hashtags or tags is about getting exposure to large audiences. For this focus it makes sense to use the most popular hashtags.
Social media expert Neil Patel used this strategy while growing his following on Instagram. He focused on the top 20 Instagram tags and was able to grow his following.
When writing updates for your social media posts check a few of the tags you want to use. When you find the ones that are the most popular stick with those.
You might find that #Social is more popular than #SocialMedia.
2. Target Specific Hashtag Communities and Groups
Marketing strategy is partly about exposing your brand to existing audiences. Think of the new music act that goes on tour with an established act. The new act plays for little or no money with the goal of winning over new fans from the existing audience.
The great thing about hashtags is that there are established communities like #BlogChat full of people in your target audience.
Use those hashtags to target your ideal customers when publishing your social media content.
3. Shorter Is Better
Instagram has a helpful post on hashtags and one of the suggestions is that shorter might be better when it comes to using hashtags. The example in the post is #VW vs. #Volkswagen.
People are busy and don’t have time to type out long hashtags especially on their mobile devices. This often makes shorter hashtags more common.
Find a balance of using short hashtags while still being specific and relevant (ex: #VWVan).
4. Proper Case Is Best
There are a lot of confusing hashtags out there. A big reason for the confusion is that people are often too busy to use proper case.
Using capital letters for each new word in your hashtag can eliminate confusion.
It’s easier to read #SpringSaleToday instead of #springsaletoday.
Although a Springs Ale today might hit the spot on a summer afternoon.
5. Give Control To The Community
Some brands try to force hashtags on the social community. It can work sometimes, but more often you can give control to the community and let them determine what the popular hashtag will be.
There is a little pushback from people that don’t want to give in to corporate suggestions. When launching a new hashtag or campaign see if you can pick up on the phrases or names the community is already using and form your hashtag that way instead of creating one out of thin air.
6. Less Is More
Some people get a little hashtag crazy. It happens in the blogging world where someone will share a guide or video with blogging tips followed by #Blogs #Blog #Blogging #Tips #BloggingTips #Marketing…
It’s a little over the top and unnecessary.
Figure out the most relevant hashtag for your update and stick with that one. Maybe go to two hashtags if you can’t decide on just one.
7. Browse Content On Non-Related Hashtags Discussions
Like anything we tend to get caught in our own little worlds on social media.
For me, I’m always looking at social media-related hashtags, but sometimes I’ll look at #Psychology or other non-related tags to get an idea of what other communities are talking about.
Sometimes you’ll see information that is helpful for you and your business. Other times you might notice a trend happening in a community that isn’t happening in yours yet.
You can take the conversation over to your community and become a source for new information.
Plus, your target customers aren’t as likely to be experts in what you do. Look at the tags they’re using and you might find a larger audience.
These are just a few of the secrets to finding success with hashtags.
But I know you’re already using hashtags and have probably had success.
Share your tips in the comments and help out the other readers.