Hashtags were a phenomenon that started on Twitter and quickly moved their way to all social platforms. Although they can be slightly obnoxious in some contexts, they are a great tool to help grow your online presence and followers. Let’s break down what a hashtag is and does.
A hashtag takes whatever it is attached to and pushes into a whole new world on social media full of people who are looking for exactly what you’re hashtagging. Let’s take an up and coming mother, blogger and fitness guru. She has grown her business mainly online by using hashtags to connect with other people interested in fitness and motherhood. Here is one of her latest posts:
If you read through her post, you notice at the bottom she has lots of things strategically hash tagged. She did not hashtag random words, she went after broader descriptions of what she does. Notice that the hashtags are blue, that means they link to another page. When you click on a hashtag, it takes you to another page where you can see all the photos that have used that hashtag.
Your photo gets ranked differently on each specific hashtag depending on how many likes you have compared to the other photos in the same hashtag category. In #fitmomteam, Monica is ranked first which means anyone looking for a Fit Mom Team will immediately see hers.
In contrast #tbt or Throwback Thursday, is an extremely popular hashtag and harder to get a higher ranking with. As you can see, Monica doesn’t show up on the top three for this one (the top hit has 63,000+ likes). Not showing up does not mean you shouldn’t use it, there is a still a great chance it would increase your visibility with a broader audience.
I know you’re probably wondering where to start with your hashtags. Here are some questions to help you get started
- What are the main words or keywords that describe your brand or your product?
- Are there other brands on social media that carry something close to you and have more followers? What hashtags do they use?
- What are some outside the box hashtags that your customers may search for in addition to keywords for your product (I.E. Fitness people may also look for healthy eating tips)
You can search for hashtags and check different websites to see what hashtags are trending for your business. Never be afraid to #test out something #new and #havefun!
“It’s not official until it’s Facebook official.”
Most of us have probably heard that once or twice in our lifetimes. It may be accompanied with an agreeing nod or maybe a big eye roll. Either way, there is no denying that social media is officially integrated with our lives. Social media (https://www.globalwebindex.net/blog/social-networks-grab-a-third-of-time-spent-online%20) now takes up 1/3 of our time spent online which means for businesses, this is a necessary tool to help build your business. To some social media seems easy but there is still social media etiquette that some may be unaware of. We have outlined the top 6 social media practices for business owners.
1. Use the right platform.
- Know your audience, know which social media platforms they spend the most time on and know WHEN they spend time on it. For instance, did you know baby boomers spend more time (20+ hours) online consuming content than millennials? (http://www.adweek.com/digital/how-different-generations-consume-content-online-infographic/)
2. Check your sources.
- How many times have you clicked on an article that looked interesting only to find out it was clickbait? If you post links to other websites, make sure you check the links for credibility and readability. If you post bad content, you run the risk of losing your credibility.
3. Make your content visually appealing.
- People like photos, especially cutes ones that make them stop and think or learn something! Articles with visuals get 94% more views than ones without. Having visual content can also boost engagement by 80%. Bonus points if it’s an infographic. (https://robertkatai.com/visual-marketing-stats-2016/ )
4. Try out new ideas.
- Don’t be scared to test out a new strategy. The best way to see what’s working and what isn’t is to try a few different posts over a few days and track their analytics. What’s working? What isn’t? What’s engaging people? Etc.
5. Don’t just try to sell.
- There is a common rule that says only 25% of content should be self-promoting. You don’t want to bombard your customers; you want to help educate them and turn yourself into a credible source. For every 4 posts, you want one that informs, one that inspires, one that engages, and one that impacts your customers.
6. Engage your customers.
- Make sure you are checking messages, ratings, reviews, etc. to stay in touch with your customers. If they tag you in a photo, react! Some of the best publicity is by word of mouth. Having your customers post about you is better than any paid advertising you can get.
You can read hundreds of articles that dissect different tips and tricks for social media beginners, but best thing you can do is to pick and choose what you believe fits your company best.