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Hashtags: How they work & how to handle them

 

What was once a practical signifier of someone’s phone number or a pass-the-time table game, is now one of the world’s leading marketing tools for social media strategists. A hashtag is a word or phrase preceded by the traditional pound sign to signify a keyword or topic attributed to something larger, usually a post, tweet, or blog. The key component of a hashtag is its searchability. When a hashtag is used in a tweet, for instance, the content surrounding the hashtag gets filed into a database of topics and categories and that tweet then becomes discoverable by other users.

 

This allows for your tweets (and account!) to gain visibility and be easier to find when weeding through the over 300 million active Twitter accounts. Don’t believe us? Social Media Today (@socialmedia2day) says that tweets with hashtags receive twice the engagement than those without. Why the increase? Hashtags. There are a few things that need to be taken into consideration, though, the first of them being quantity. Tweets containing one or two hashtags have been found to have a 21% higher engagement rate than those with more than three. While the more hashtags used equals more visibility to your cold audiences, it might not sit so well with your existing warmer ones, so tag with caution.

 

The hashtags themselves are also something to be aware of and use intentionally; it’s not just about having them. You don’t want to hashtag #anything, you want to be strategic. Many Twitter users follow and tweet using hashtags noting day designations like #NationalPizzaDay, #WorldPoetryDay, or #GetToKnowYourCustomersDay. Others go for classics like #ThrowbackThursday or #MotivationMonday. Many users, though, opt to create their own and this is the fun part.

When crafting a personal hashtag, it needs to be something unique enough that others haven’t used it before but still relatable enough that it makes sense. A popular trend these days is to feature a wedding hashtag for guests to use throughout a couple’s wedding day. Generally it’s something punny involving one of the last names (thinking #YouHadMeAtMarkle from the Royal Wedding), it could include the wedding date (like #WeSayIDo0927), or could be something completely original or combination (something like #SmithenWithYou927).

 

And these strategies can be used for anything. Businesses often create new tags for products or promotions (think #PSL or #CheckIntoWin), or simply hashtaging the business name suffices every now and then as well. The key to using hashtags strategically and successfully lies with the variety. Use super common ones every now and then. Create a single, business-centered on that customers and clients can use when using social media. Dabble in product or service hashtags so followers can learn more about your company. And connect yourself using trending hashtags to stay visible. While it can seem overwhelming at times (I mean there’s users that will use hundreds of hashtags on social media), it all comes down to you and your business.

 

And if this still all sounds like a bunch of mumbo-jumbo, that’s why Fourge Social is here, to simplify the complicated, take stress out of the situation, and allow you to get back to what you do best: your business.