Hashtags are everywhere on social media but are mostly used on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook. They start with a hash or pound sign followed by the phrase. Hashtags are hugely popular with Twitter showing a list of most popular hashtags every day. They are used to group posts with the same topic to make searching easier for the users. Hashtag phenomenon started back on August 23, 2007, and is almost a decade now.
A social media post about sharing SEO tips, for instance, might use #SEOTips, #SearchEngineOptimisation, or simply #SEO as a hashtag. It is important to remember that a hashtag can include capital letters and numbers but not spaces and special characters. Hashtag your posts and take advantage of this opportunity to improve your social media presence. When you include hashtags in your post, that section turns blue and becomes clickable. Upon clicking on the hashtag, it will direct you to a page that shows a collection of posts from different users with the same hashtag. Using hashtags that are already used by others can help you gain more followers, make your page visible, and eventually generate sales.
However, small and startup businesses may not see the impact of using hashtags to boost a website’s ranking on search engines. Hashtags are somehow considered keywords and search engine algorithms use these keywords to rank websites and show the most relevant results to the searchers. So if your goal is to appear on Google, then you should make the most of social media hashtags too!
Furthermore, social media enthusiasts are using hashtags in the search bar to look for tweets related to a certain keyword. The hashtag craze continues, with several businesses leveraging social media to appear on Google’s first search results page.
How to Use Hashtags Correctly on Social Media?
After discovering how hashtags work and why they are important, I’m sure you are now eager to make some changes to the way you share content on social media. Social media improves online visibility while using hashtags makes it easier for people to find you. To help you out with this, here are few methods of using hashtags that convert.
- Use hashtags related to your brand and make sure they blend well with the entire post. This helps you establish your name in people’s minds without overdoing it. Forget about using your brand name as a hashtag over and over especially if it’s irrelevant to the content. If you’re lucky enough, customers and loyal fans will begin to use the hashtag as well to spread your brand thereby creating your own social media trend.
- Use general phrases as hashtags. Create a list of the terms most searched by your target customers on Google. Turn these terms into hashtags and incorporate them well in your post to increase the chances of getting found by someone searching for all the tweets or Instagram posts that fall under the same hashtag.
- Take advantage of trending hashtags and look for relevant topics to gain ideas. You can see this on your Twitter feed in the left-hand column. Do not use a trending hashtag just because you have to, instead pick one that best relates to your business to avoid looking as if you are just trying to keep up on the latest trend.
- If you are offering a coupon or want to promote an ongoing sale, use the hashtag #coupon #deal or #discount #sale because consumers love to use these keywords to search for products thus helping you reach more people, even those who never heard about you.
- Use hashtags in shares and comments too. Keep the hashtag intact when responding to a social media post that captures your attention. This will allow users to see your posts and increase the chance of being found.
Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram are the most common social media platforms that dramatically use hashtags so you may want to start on them. Social media is also a nice channel to build brand awareness, spread the word about your products and make a new network of friends. As you work to make your brand visible on social media and search engines, the correct use of hashtags is the key to potentially reach more people who will later on convert as customers.
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