First off… what in the heck are hashtags? Okay, in the simplest explanation a hashtag is a word or a phrase that is preceded by a “#” (pound sign) and is used to identify a specific message or topic.
At first hashtags can seem annoying and pointless, but once you get used to them they can be a very powerful tool for your brand. You can target certain audiences and bring awareness to your business all with the power of chosen keywords. Exciting right? Here is your first guide to getting started with #hashtags!
Hashtags allow you to reach more than just your followers. If you know a certain audience you are trying to reach you can target that market with just hashtags alone. This allows you to potentially reach hundreds or thousands of customers.
Hashtags allow you to organize your brands. You are able to see which hashtags are more popular than other hashtags. Like wise, if each marketing campaign is assigned its own hashtag then you can tell which campaign reached more consumers than others. This allows you to see what is working for your brand and what is not working, and it’s all with the simple use of a #hashtag.
Keep your hashtags clean and simple. Cluttering up a hashtag can make it more of a puzzle than a useful marketing piece. #dontdosomethinglikethisbecauseitsimpossibletoread … see what I mean. #Simple is the way to go. If you keep your hashtags creative but to the point you are more likely to reach the target audience you are looking for, and it will allow you to grow from that hashtag.
Rule of thumb is keep your hashtags to 2 or 3. Don’t over clutter or over #hashtag your audience. Some social media platforms are easier to get away with more #hashtags than others. For instance, Instagram’s rule of thumb is about five hashtags, while on twitter you should limit it to a maximum of two or three.
Another great way to JUMP into the hashtag world is to use hashtags that are already trending. If you are going to use this method you should first make sure that the hashtag is relevant to your brand and the audience that you are targeting. A hashtag will not help you if you are using something that has nothing to do with the message you are trying to send.
For small businesses a hashtag can be a very powerful tool and can make or break a social media strategy. Know the power of your hashtag and how to use it.